Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fantastic Invention No. 15 - The Lawnmower

It turns out that Weird Bloke was not actually dead which was lucky for him. He had to go to hospital with a traumatic head injury and would most likely never be the same again which was also lucky. Peter the Viking turned out to be the Museum child handler and not a Viking at all. He went out of his tree about the centurion wig mix up and threatened us from ever going back to his museum again. We all cheered. So, things were not a total failure AND we did not have to finish the worksheets.

To soothe myself I am showing you one of the greatest unknown inventors, Edwin Beard Budding and his fantastic invention, the lawnmower. Be amazed.

Edwin Beard Budding (1745 – 1846) lived in Stroud in Gloucestershire. He was an engineer and got the idea for a lawnmower from seeing a cloth trimming machine in the local mill. Maybe he had a terrible grass cutting trauma when he was a child; perhaps he was forced into grass-cutting labour at a very young age. Whatever the reason he looked at some blades set in a cylinder in a factory and it made him somehow ponder about their grass-cutting possibilities and then the lawnmower was born. He said, "country gentlemen may find in using my machine themselves an amusing, useful and healthy exercise." Dad does not find the lawnmower amusing at all and actually has alot of arguments with it. I tell him he does not appreciate what it was like before.

In 1830, Edwin Beard Budding invented the lawnmower. It is almost impossible to understand how long it took to cut the grass before that date. If you had a big house, you had an army of gardeners with scythes to keep your lawns trim; that or you brought in a flock of hungry sheep to do the job. The sheep could be a problem if you wanted to sunbath or go out for a romantic stroll or play a game of lawn tennis – they and their poo just got in the way. If you lived in a small house then you might not even bother with grass; being outside for fun was only for the people in big houses. If you did not want to starve, you would probably fill your garden with vegetables because grass was not going to fill you up.


Lawnmower world will tell you all you want to know about other sorts of lawnmowers. In the meantime here is a picture of a man with a beard using an actual Budding lawnmower. Look how happy he is. We are going on holiday to Stroud very soon and Grandpa Jack will be left in charge of the house and the stick insects. Hmmm.


7 comments:

Candy Gourlay said...

loved the happy lawnmower man. oh addy, very excited to see the cover of grandaddy's bench but disappointed to find, when i explored to the about the author Addy Farmer page, to find that the 'Ten Things I didn't Know About Addy Farmer' was 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 ...

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

Everytime our lawnmower packs up I think about getting a goat. But them I also remember that a goat would probably not just stop at the lawn!

BTW Wilf, I really need your help! As I sit here typing this, there is a solitary baby stick sitting on the outside of my window. What should I do?! Should I rescue it. The window and woodpile don't strike me as entirely safe places for a baby stick, especially as the squirrel is eating his nuts right nearby and might feel the need for some animal protein!

Dame Honoria Glossop said...

I thought rich people had servants to trim the lawn with nail scissors, before the lawn mower was invented. Maybe they still do if they're very rich.

There is lots of sheep poo around gere, but fortunately only in the places where the sheep live.

Wilf said...

Frankly, Candy I was disappointed as well.

Wilf said...

Atyllah, do not approach the stick - you must let it fight off attackers or die. It is the only way.

Wilf said...

I would be worried if the sheep poo was sheepless as well. In Stroud there are lots of cows and their poo is gross compared to sheep poo. I will take photos for you.

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

I think the stick died... sigh. Either that or it wandered off into the woodpile to pretend being a wood.