old lawn mower
Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash

The lawn mower was invented in 1830 by Edwin Beard Budding, an engineer from Stroud, Gloucestershire, England.

He obtained the idea after seeing a machine in a local cloth mill which used a cutting cylinder (or bladed reel) mounted on a bench to trim cloth to make a smooth finish after weaving. Budding realized this concept would enable cutting grass, if the mechanism was mounted in a wheeled frame to make the blades rotate close to the lawn’s surface. His early machines were all made of cast iron and featured a large rear roller with a cutting cylinder (reel) in the front. Budding and Ferrabee were shrewd enough to allow other companies to build copies of their mower under licence, the most successful of these being Ransomes (now merged with Jacobsen in the US), which began making mowers as early as 1832. The company has made mowers ever since, and is now the world’s largest manufacturer of lawn care equipment.