Victorian Americans loved their gardens. They loved lawns and flowerbeds, bird fountains and fences, rosebushes and daffodil bulbs.
For ages, men cut vegetation (including lawns) with a scythe
The scythe was invented in about 500 BC and appeared in Europe during the 12th and 13th centuries. Initially used mostly for mowing hay, it had replaced the sickle for reaping crops by the 16th century. [source]
ADVENT OF “PUSH” LAWN MOWERS
The first lawn mower was invented by Edwin Budding in 1830 in Thrupp, just outside Stroud, in Gloucestershire, England. Budding’s mower was designed primarily to cut the grass on sports grounds and extensive gardens, as a superior alternative to the scythe, and was granted a British patent on August 31, 1830. [source]
Note: 1830 (the patent date of Budding’s mower) predated the Victorian Era by a mere seven years. Close enough. We’ll call it a Victorian Invention. One of the many that made life easier, more enjoyable, and reduced the time and physical energy expended in daily living.
HOW TO MAKE A LAWN
TRANSCRIPTION of paragraph cited above:
After once fairly started it will be managed by top dressing, rolling, and frequent cutting. The proper top dressing for a lawn is old, finely-rotted manure, spread on evenly, and raked in with a fine-toothed iron rakes, working the rake back and forth, so as to get the fine manure down around the grass roots, and all the coarse parts of the manure taken off again directly and removed from the lawn. No coarse manure should remain on the lawn, and no manure should remain to make coarse and uneven patches. Finely-rotted manure, worked in as indicated, will give you a lawn as soft as velvet in two or three years, and one that will be beautiful from the first. Then, after a turf is formed, shave it with a lawn-mower once a week, or ten days, during the summer.
~ How to Make a Lawn, Detroit Free Press of Detroit, Michigan, on March 30, 1867.
CARING FOR A LAWN
VICTORIAN-AMERICAN LAWNMOWER NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENTS
LAWNMOWERS FOR SALE BY SEARS, ROEBUCK & CO.
LAWNMOWERS FOR SALE BY MONTGOMERY, WARD & CO.
Other Victorian-era Inventions:
Nineteenth Century Ice Cutting, Part 2 Old West Mason Jars Stereoscopes: Victorian Photograph Viewing Shave Ice, and milk shakes–in the Old West? Victorian Refrigerators (a.k.a. Icebox) Luxury Travel 1890-Style Screen Doors, a new invention! Speaking Trumpet: The Bullhorn of the 19th Century–on Sweet Americana Sweethearts Victorians at the Seashore (Victorian Bathing Machines) Indoor Plumbing in Victorian America Victorian Era Feminine Hygiene BOOK REVIEW: The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s On-Line Pioneers Victorian Fountain Pens 19th Century Washing Machines Victorian Yeast Bread… Easier after the Centennial
Copyright © 2016 Kristin Holt LC