Ever looked at your lawnmower with that sinking feeling in your stomach, knowing you had to tackle the lawn this Saturday? You shouldn’t really, you know. That baby is the product of much innovation and much tinkering by great minds, all to enable you to at least sleep in on Saturday mornings, even if you still have to cut the grass. And the days where you have to get involved at all may indeed be numbered.
In your ingratitude, don’t forget you’d be scything it. All of it. By hand. That is, if it wasn’t for the 1827 invention by British born Edwin Budding that, many refinements, patents, tweaks and a few Australian super-light gigantic leaps later would turn into the humble lawn mower. Believe it or not, this simple piece of equipment has quite a history, from being one of the first patent-savvy inventions (the controlling company were bright enough to allow the patent to be used under license, and avoid many of the pitfalls other early inventors had with patent copying) to being one of the few types of technology about which you can honestly say it hasn’t really changed much and it has changed to be almost unrecognisable.
It’s true. The basic concept of a mower still works tremendously similarly to the original patent, particularly the horizontal or reel mower. Of course, despite this basic design and concept similarity, the best reel mowers have moved on way past their fore bearers, with tremendous leaps in safety and efficiency. Try clicking that link above for just a taste of the bewildering world of lawn mower reviews if you don’t believe me. Fortunately, if you’re in the market for a new one you won’t have to tackle all that tech head on- useful little sites like those ones exist to help guide you through reviews of each product, as well as offer useful tips and tricks for lawn mower care and techniques.
The mowers of today come laden with safety features, from handlebar mounted brake control to kill switches, foot shields and more. And let’s not even mention the humble riding mower- from bulky contraptions pulled behind (no doubt reluctant) horses to the smooth riding comfort seats of today, complete with cruise control, stereos and automatic transmission.
But if you’re still not convinced enough to go out and hug your mower, don’t despair. The future beckons too, and with it- the robotic lawn mower. Capable of tackling this tedious garden task while you sip Pina Coladas on your deck, they’re already out there for the purchasing. There’s even a few solar powered units. Of course, these are still a relatively new technology, and for the moment you can only get them for small sized properties. However, the days when they’ll be able to tackle whole golf courses are not far off as the technology improves. The possibilities are boundless, too. Will we see biodiesel or hydrogen cell fuelled lawnmowers? Self Sharpening blades? Super-Mulchers? Only time will tell. Have a look at this baby if you’re as excited by the possibilities as we are.
The humble lawn mower had rich beginnings, and looks fit to be a pioneer into the future of robotics, too. Not bad for a dirty Saturday morning chore, eh?