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Alexander Shanks
1801 - 1845

Inventor of the modern lawnmower, who lived in Arbroath. While credit is usually given to the Englishman Edwin Budding (1795 - 1846) for the invention of the lawnmower, it is Shanks' machine which was the direct predecessor of the modern mower. Shanks' innovation was a machine which rolled the grass as well as mowing it.

Although Shanks himself died at a young age, his son showed the mowers at the Great Exhibition (1851) which led to a successful business that continued into the 20th century, supplying mowers to cut the tennis courts of Wimbledon, the cricket grounds at Lords and the Old Course at St Andrews.


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