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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers


In this month's Old Glory Magazine, July 2020  

A brief history on the "famous" School Professor and  Engineer; William Stephenson-Peach,  1852-1919.

Stephenson-Peach is a forgotten Lawn Mower pioneer and Credited with the invention of the Electric Roller, Electric lawnmower and Steam powered  Roller  Lawnmower.


Some interesting photographs of the Engineering Workshop used by Repton School  next to  Askew House in Repton.  plus the patent drawings of  the electric roller and electric ride on mower.


This again raises the debate on the origin of Stephenson Peach's  "inventions" and how much (if any?)  we owe in collaboration to Thomas Green of Leeds!


And the recurring question; -  Thomas Green (?)  is  sat on the electric powered Roller, that Stephenson-Peach patented in 1895, when Thomas Green died in 1892!


A topic for discussion with the historians.....


Clive1997 Fri, 26/06/2020

Yes just read that myself, I did contact OG when I heard a while back they were proposing the article as I have a clear image of Stephen-Peach's mower the only other image I have seen is a particularly grainy one in The Gardeners Chronicle where it is hard to see that the machine is actually a mower, I used the clear image in my book together with the copy patent diagrams plus a suggestion of who is sat on the electric roller, the information having come from a reliable source.

Shame OG took several weeks to communicate as additional information could have been made available to the author of the article.


Mowing Wurzel Sat, 27/06/2020

Thank you for the reply;- So nothing to do with Green's in design or manufacture then?!

The field the roller with the old Gentleman originally propertied to be Thomas Green;  sat on the electric roller looks the same field as the other machines.

I would say that  they are all  in the garden at Askew House!

The magazine article is a good introductory piece on this  forgotten subject of early lightweight roller & mower propulsion, but they should have consulted a Mower Historian!

 Typically for a commercially produced magazine to use a lot of Secondary resource information, some of which conjectural,  although I suspect original unpublished research material is hard to find.


Old Glory is naturally the definitive monthly magazine for Steam Road Locomotives and Rollers Preservation, but  the Lawnmower side needs exploring more.

I have emailed OG on numerous occasions (they probably think I am a crank!) on articles they have  got wrong.  For example in last OG magazine an article on The P.S.S.  Great Eastern, a photograph they had said was  I. K. Brunel was actually Richard Tangye!  

One notable article on the Nicholas Cugnot steam carriage that was completely biassed,   factually wrong and misleading, so I sent a long repost on everything wrong.

The next month more was published incorrect on the Cugnot Steam carriage. (Which did not operate as it did not have an internal firebox in the boiler when first built! {this was fitted after 1840!} and therefore unable to generate high pressure steam. )


Back to Mowing matters:


Good that people like yourself are doing proper primary research and not relying on Chinese whispers altered over the years.

I have only just dabbled in this interesting subject,  but I look forward to finding more details on the design and construction of these pioneering Machines.


 Fed up with wrong histories!   Have been tempted to throw a brick at the television on numerous occasions!

hdtrust Tue, 14/07/2020

Many years ago I researched into the Stephenson-Peach history,there is allot more on this story to be told.OG like so many other periodicals want page fillers,so to that end there will be mistakes and claims made.

To solve the mystery of who is sat on the mower,it is infact Percival Green,Thomas's Son..Green's were involved with the engineering workshops at Repton School .Stephenson Peach also had involvement with Shanks of Arbroath .

One thing that was missed out which was important,when Peach moved to Malvern he designed a large stationary engine a little like the Loughbrough College design.

There is a far greater  twist to all these events,There were 4 Public Schools which took up sport to use within their curriculums,they were Worcester,Malvern,Repton, and Rugby so no need to tell you which game they all played! 

Andrew Hall


The Hall & Duck Trust

Mowing Wurzel Tue, 14/07/2020

Thank you for the post  Andrew;  you are the Pioneer and World Leader in collecting, researching, conserving and restoring Lawnmowers.


I did not know Thomas Green 1810-1892 had a Son called Percival, only Willoughby Green 1837-1870 and Thomas Green Born 1839 - ?

Thomas Green's two mentioned son's had they been around in 1895 would have been in their mid. 50's when the electric Roller photo was taken.

The chap in the famous photo looks certainly over 70? Although some had hard lives back then! (but not the affluent Green family residing at Roundhay Leeds)


Looking at the Reton Workshop, it did not have a foundry, plate roller or other associated machine tool  facilities needed to manufacture Stephenson Peach's inventions, so a lot of parts were made elsewhere.

Stephenson Peach must have had a small DC generator (like the one preserved just down the road at Clay Mills Pumping Station) to power the electric roller motor.