The lawn mower was developed in the 1830s in England. Interest and enthusiasm for lawn care in the United States dates back to the post-World War II boom in sub- urban living when America’s obsession with the perfect lawn began. In the 1950s, the first gas-powered, rotary- motor lawn mowers were introduced, displacing the reel (manual push) lawn mower. The surge in demand for gas-powered mowers was also accompanied by a surge in mower-related injuries, leading to improvements in the safety of these devices. Today, the industry is challenged to come up with more environmentally sound equipment. Although today’s gas mowers are 70 percent less polluting than those produced 10 years ago, using a walking gas mower for one hour produces as much hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions—greenhouse gases—as driving 11 cars for an hour. And a gas-powered riding lawn mower produces as much greenhouse gas as driving 34 cars for an hour. PRODUCTS
A wide range of products are available for cutting lawns; they vary in terms of power source (manual, electric, gas), operator mode (walking, riding, or automatic/robotic), and additional accessories and features ranging from baggers for grass clippings, cup holders, and power steering to a cooking grill. An estimated 6 million gas-powered, walking lawn mowers were sold in 2007, the vast majority of all mowers sold in the United States. More Craftsman (Sears) gas-powered walking mowers were sold than any other brand. Prices for gas-powered walking lawn mowers range from $200 to $700 depending on horse power, brand, and features.
Reel mowers, the manual push mowers of old, have been making a comeback. American Lawn Mower Co. of Shelbyville, Indiana, claims to be the only U.S. manufacturer of reel mowers. Estimates are that 350,000 manual mowers were sold in 2007, up almost 100,000 over the previous year. Reel mowers are priced from $100 to $400 and eliminate concerns about gas, repairs, and getting...
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