I had intended to bring this mower along to the AGM at Milton Keynes this weekend if the forecast was good, it is, so here is the Johnson Hand Mower.
Invented in 1878 by Frank Grant Johnson 1825-1900 a physician and prolific inventor from New York, USA.
Johnson's comments in the patent application are quite interesting at this early stage in the lawn mowers development he was talking 'cuts per foot', this is an extract from the patent.....
Lawn mowers are among recent contrivances for economy in useful or ornamental agriculture. Originally imported from England, where they were first made about forty years ago, the various modifications invented & patented here in the USA have usually followed the English patterns of general plan, in which the cutting blades are actuated by a traction cylinder or roller through the agency of intermediate gearing-wheels, so that the motion of rapidity of action of the cutters is determined solely by the speed with which the apparatus is forced over the ground, and always an arbitrary proportion, whatever the speed may be. The cuts are usually about six to a foot, or two inches apart, at whatever speed over the grass, in addition to which the machines are complicated and heavy, which necessarily makes them expensive. They are easily deranged, and their use is thereby limited for so valuable an invention,
The idea was logical in that you could cut difficult to reach areas with the cutting cylinder revolving at a fast speed whilst only moving across the grass slowly or even standing still.
In June 1879 the mower was advertised in the London Standard as follows.....
The Johnson Mower, does more work, does it better, and does work which cannot be done with any other mower in the world, at only half the price.
To keep production costs down the main frame parts were made from readily available gas pipes.
I attach a video of the mower being demonstrated.......Video click here