Lawnmower, Stroud

Contributed by Museum in the Park

The world's first lawnmower

The inventor got the idea for his lawnmower from the cross-cutting machines that were used to finish woolen cloth.On August 31 1830 Edwin Beard Budding patented "a new combination and application of machinery for the purpose of cropping or shearing the vegetable surface of lawns, grass-plats and pleasure grounds". This was the world's first lawnmower. Edwin Beard Budding was a mechanic, building and repairing machinery for the textile mills of the Stroud valleys. He got the idea for his lawnmower from the cross cutting machines that were used to finish woollen cloth. It's rumoured that Budding tested his grass cutting prototype at night to avoid curiosity and ridicule from his neighbours. Before the invention of the lawnmower, lawns were cut by scythe. This was a laborious and highly skilled task if a short and even finish was to be achieved. Edwin Budding's invention had a worldwide impact, on the development of the suburbs that surround our cities and on all sports played on grass.

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