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Mowing through the Decades (Artifact# 90401,98887)

After all the rain this spring the grass is growing quickly, and it is lawn mowing season for some already! Below are two lawn mowers of times passed we thought the lawn-mowing fanatics would enjoy.

This Jacobson Junior lawn mower was purchased second-hand in 1932 and Mr. Davis bought it in the 1970's. When he donated it to the Agricultural Museum in 2004 it was still in working order. Although, we do not use it to mow the lawn around the museum - it is much too heavy!

The Jacobsen Manufacturing company produced lawn mowers and light-duty tractors in the United States for nearly 100 years beginning in the early 1920s.

Artifact #90401

Donor: Murray Davis

For those with smaller lawns, perhaps you want a reel mower. The metal cutters and wheels are attached to a wooden handle.

According to, reel mowers have a very simple design. They have a ‘cylinder’ (or reel) of blades spinning on a central axle. The wheels on the reel mower turn the central axle and cause the reel to spin. The cylinder blades also create an updraft that helps cause the grass to stand up, ready to be cut as the cylinder blade meets it and presses the grass against the cutter blade.

Artifact #98887

Donor: Lawrence Parlee


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