Invented in Gloucestershire, England around 1830 by freelance engineer Edwin Beard Budding (wikipedia), the lawn mower is an indispesable tool. The first lawn mowers were rotating blades pushed along on wheels, massively reducing the time that it took to cut large lawns with a scythe. Many decades later came the steam powered and eventaully the petrol driven lawn mowers.
Today the lawn mower is an invaluable asset to a home or an estate or any groundskeeper - a machine that can cut down grass with one or two passes, to equal height, in a tiny fraction of the time it would take to do by shear or scythe. Lawn mowing is a typical part of suburban life and many people find it to be a relaxing and even therapeutic activity. Mowers are very popular with sports grounds and traditionally a gardener will mow up and down in order leaving a neat striped pattern in the grass. These larger grounds usually employ reel mowers which are a cleaner cut and are often pulled by a tractor.
Modern garden mowers are powered by a petrol engine or by electricity. They use a rotating blade that chops the grass, which is then cast either onto the lawn or into a bag or bucket. Some mowers have several blades so that the grass is cut into such small pieces that they can be left on the lawn to naturally dissipate or act as fertiliser.
An even more modern lawn mower is the ride on mower. This refers to a lawn mower incorporated into a small vehicle, shaped like a small tractor or sometimes more like a buggy. These are very popular for large areas as the user can sit back and ride the mower, steering it like a vehicle, cutting large portions of grass at a time. There are even people who race ride on mowers, dispensing with the bags and blades, and turning the machines into speedy little racers with their own leagues and classes. Finally a more rare type of lawn mower works on hover technology like a hovercraft, floating above the grass, able to be gently pushed around the garden with minimum effort.
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