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Getting to Know the Lawn Mower: A Brief History of our Grass Cutting Buddy

Curious about where our grass cutting buddy got its roots? Read on, and be fascinated by the fun facts we’ve found on lawn mowers, lawn-care, and lawn history.

The Dawn of Lawns

The notion of large expanses of grass appears to have European origins. The word lawn was originally the Middle English term “launde”, and historically referred to a glade, or a great field of grass. Early lawns initially surrounded medieval castles in France and Britain for protection, as unobstructed lawn views showed the guards who approached. Eventually, during the 16th century Renaissance period, lawns were cultivated by the elite wealthy, though often their lawns included thyme and chamomile.

Lawns and Sports

Ultimately, Northern European immigrants travelled to North America, and with them came their concept of lawns, and the grass seeds to produce them. Grass lawns then became popular due to several influences, though a main contributing factor is the industrial revolution, as the growth of suburbs required greenery maintenance. And, with it, came the eventual introduction of grass sports, such as golf and lawn bowling.

Lawns and Parks

Beautification campaigns played a major role in mid-19th century city growth, thus, introducing the modern day park. Originally, “park” referred to the manicured acres of lawn that surrounded wealthy English homes. However, it then grew to mean public spaces, and was characterized by landscaped lawns and trees. Eventually, lawns migrated into American backyards, and with it, the first mechanical lawn mower by the 1890s.

Lawns and Families

In mid-20th century U.S.A., three near-simultaneous developments promoted lawns and lawn care. Firstly, was the birth of inexpensive “cookie-cutter” housing, where residents were required to maintain neat, closely-cut lawns. Secondly, was the need for affordable housing to accommodate returning soldiers and their families. These two sociological developments, fundamentally, culminated into the third development, namely, lawn care inventions.

Though lawns were initially a sign of high class wealth, over time, it morphed into a powerful middle-class symbol of the American dream.

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