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The Lawn

January 23, 2011

Until 1830, when the first lawnmower was introduced, “lawns” were scythed or sheared, or grazed by horses or sheep.  Depending on the month, lawns were rolled and cut approximately every 15 days.   Before they could be cut, lawns were rolled to achieve overall smoothness and to flatten wormcasts.  Smaller areas could be rolled by hand-pushed cast-iron rollers.  Large areas were rolled with horse-drawn rollers, the horses wearing leather shoes.  Even the grass cuttings had to be swept up.  Labor was cheap, but this was a very time-intensive method of maintaining the landscape park.   With the rise of the middle class and more suburban lawns, there was more incentive to making lawn maintenance easier, and hence the development of the mechanized lawn mower.

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