The problem was how to keep lawns neatly trimmed. One labor-intensive option was to employ workers with scythes and shears. A more affordable alternative was to maintain sheep, horses or even rabbits who would graze your lawn. In New York City, for example, a flock of 200 sheeptended by a shepherd who lived in the building that later housed the Tavern on the Greenmowed Central Park.
Inventors continued to change the world of lawn care. In 1963, the John Deere Co. of Moline, Ill.,, known for its farm equipment, ventured into the consumer market to sell lawn tractors with mower attachments. The riding lawn mower was now within reach of the horseless homeowner.
1859 | Silens Messor replaces gear drive with chain
1902 | Ransomes builds a petrol-powered mower
1921 | Atco Standard popularizes the power mower
1948 | Toro acquires Whirlwind, a maker of rotary mowers
1965 | The Flymo is introduced
1968 | Toro markets first key-start home mower
1989 | Toro acquires rival Lawn-Boy
1992 | The Lawnmower Man film is released
2001 | Pollution from a lawn mower estimated to be four times that from a car, per hour