The lawn is a gift of the English garden tradition from the eighteenth century. Early…
Lawn mower became essential nineteenth century garden tool.
The lawn continues to be important to many homeowners.
The ‘modern’ design of the English garden, as it was called in the early eighteenth century, included a lawn.
The house was to appear as if “in a sea of green.”
The gardeners during this period used a scythe to cut the grass. Eventually the lawn mower appeared on the market, first in England, then by 1850 in America.
Rochester, New York seedsman James Vick (1818-1882) sold lawn mowers in his seed catalog.
Vick wrote in his company catalog of 1875, “Lawn mowers are now a necessity. As a general rule, we may say there can be no good lawn without this useful machine. Not one in ten thousand can use a scythe with sufficient skill to secure a good lawn.”
Vick recommended a lawn mower called the “Charter Oak”. He said, “Its workmanship, and the principles upon which it is constructed, we are disposed to think it is one of the best, if not the best Lawn Mower ever introduced.”
In an ad the manufacturer wrote these words about the ‘Charter Oak’ mower, “The machine is light and easily operated, beautifully and mechanically made and finished, leaving no essential point overlooked; has a three blade solid revolving cutter, preventing any appearance of ribbing on the finest English grass lawn.”
By the end of the nineteenth century the Buckeye lawn mower appeared on the market. [left]
The illustration seems to say “It is so easy to use, even a child could mow the lawn.”
Whatever a homeowner used was not as important as the goal of keeping the lawn in the home landscape trimmed.
Thus the American home owner could boast of a lawn in the long tradition of the English garden.