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Victorian Middle Class Wanted the Lawn Mower
Victorian middle class wanted the lawn mower.
From the beginning of the eighteenth century the lawn has assumed an important role in the English garden.
Lancelot Capability Brown, the English gardener to the King in the mid 1700s, created many a lawn on the properties that he was contracted to design in the new modern landscape style.
Since the garden of the wealthy had a team of gardeners to cut the grass, the lawn mower did not appear until mid nineteenth century.
The lawn mower came about because the middle class homeowner couldn’t afford the staff of gardeners. He wanted an easier way to cut the grass.
Mark Laird in his book The Flowering of the Landscape Garden: English Pleasure Grounds 1720-1800 writes, “Not until gardening became the leisure occupation of many new middle-class town dwellers did the mechanization of mowers begin.”The lawn mower in England appeared in 1830, and in America a few years later, 1850. Here is an ad for the Buckeye Lawn Mower from Springfield, Massachusetts that appeared in garden catalogs in the 1890s. [above]
With a mower the middle class could enjoy a lawn just like the wealthy, upper class had been doing for decades.
A lawn thus reflected social class. With a lawn the middle class could identify with the more wealthy estate owner, because now they both had a lawn to maintain.
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