The first lawnmower was patented in 1830 by a mechanic called Edwin Beard Budding. Before lawn mowers were invented all cultivated grass was cut by hand or grazed by animals. Lawns were considered to be a sign of great wealth, as they needed considerable hours of effort for maintenance.
Budding designed his machine based around similar devices already used to cut cloth. Allegedly he was worried he would be ridiculed by his neighbors and so only used his prototype at night.
However, Budding's mower machine was a financial success and over 1,000 of them had been made and sold by 1840.
More about lawns:
- In the 17th century, it was considered good practice to regularly use heavy iron rollers pulled by horses to flatten a lawn. The horses would wear woolen shoes to soften their tread on the grass.
- It is estimated Americans spend $40 billion on lawn care every year.
- A survey of satellite data indicated the total combined space of cultivated lawns in the United States is roughly equal to the size of New York State.