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'Monta' Mower
'Monta' Mower
Resource Typeimage
Title'Monta' Mower
Coverage / Year1900 to 1920
Description"Monta" mower. Long (48.25) inch wooden T-shaped handle attached to a metal cutting unit by one large bolt. Nine disk-shaped gears are mounted on a horizontal shaft and attached by two brackets, each with a hole for oiling. Each of the nine gears rotates with the shaft by pushing the unit along the ground. Each of the rotating gears has 15 teeth, which engage cutting teeth, which in turn cause 16 overlapping toothed metal disks to rotate and cut grass as the mower is pushed over the ground. Sounds great, but it didn't work very well! Find out why someone would buy something like this in the Interpretation section.
InterpretationThis strange contraption was unsuccessfully marketed as the "Monta" mower. Before the 1870s, few Americans cut their lawns more than twice a year, using hand scythes or sickles. By the 1920s Americans were obsessed with cutting their lawns, and prizes were regularly given for the best looking lawns in many communities. Most people bought mowers with rotating blades, which worked better than this device. Having a nice lawn became an American status symbol which is still with us today. Lawns required special equipment, special care, and inspired a large number of lawn games including croquet.
Lesson Plans / ThemesHow we learn about communities; American communities in history; Communities and Geography; World Environments;
Learning Standards16 History; 15 Economics;
Author or CreatorEarly American Museum
Subject / KeywordsSuburban life; Lawn mowing; Mowing machines;
Collection PublisherEarly American Museum
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See http://images.library.uiuc.edu/projects/tdc for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statementhttp://images.library.uiuc.edu/projects/tdc/conditions.htm
Resource Identifier1995.007.0026
CONTENTdm file name33.jpg
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