10 Vintage Lawn Mowers You Just Have to See

Mowing the lawn wasn't always as easy as jumping on a rider or following a self-propelled mower.

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Big Wheels

Did you know that, according to Briggs and Stratton, formal lawns with neatly kept grass started appearing in France in the 1700s? While this vintage lawn mower came much later, it’s still not a model you’re likely to see today.

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Mega Blade

An early version of the riding lawn mower, this vintage model has a wide blade in front to cut grass. According to Popular Mechanics, in 1921 Knud and Oscar Jacobsen introduced a mower with a purpose-built gas engine that was used to maintain lawns on golf courses, parks and cemeteries.

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Give it Some Gas

Imagine using this walk behind lawn mower to mow your lawn this weekend. In 1919, according to Bradley Mowers, Colonel Edwin George developed the first lawn mower powered by gasoline.

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What’s Ergonomics?

While it’s still common to see push mowers, this vintage lawn mower model is very out-of-date. The reel-type spiral-blade cutter made its debut in the United States in 1868, according to Popular Mechanics.

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The Reel Deal

While push mowers like this one offered users a chance to get some exercise, that started to change in 1956. According to Bradley Mowers, that’s the year Cecil Pond created the first ride-on lawn mower.

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Back to the Future

Imagine using this walk behind mower to mow an acre or more of lawn. While these mowers are better for the environment (no gas fumes!), they are best for small lawns. Today’s models look much different, such as this version 16-inch mower with grass catcher from GreenWorks.

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More Power, Please

When it comes to vintage lawn mowers, it’s interesting to see how quickly styles progressed. In 1924, Toro introduced its first power mower, the 30-inch Park Special. It was a leading seller through 1961 when it was displaced by demand for rotary mowers.

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Riding the Wave

Here’s a look at an early version of the riding mower that we often see today. In 1987, the lawnmower took a staring role in the film, Can’t Buy Me Love. You may remember the nerdy character Ronald woos the popular girl, Cindy, and the two rode off on his riding lawn mower. You can see the famous ending on YouTube.

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Blast from the Past

This vintage lawn mower will take you on a trip down memory lane. In 1982, lawn mower safety standards were established, including a safety label, Bradley Mowers notes. We don’t think this model would pass the test.

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The Mow Ya Know

Imagine using this vintage lawn mower model today. Here’s a fun fact: According to Popular Mechanics, the world record for fastest speed on a mower was set in 2010 at 87.83-miles per hour. How fast can you mow your lawn?

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.