In 1992, author James B. Ricci set out to develop a booklet on the power lawn mowers produced by The Locke Steel Chain Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut. His topic and interests continued to expand over the years. Hand, Horse, and Motor: The Development of the Lawn Mower Industry in the United States is the result of Jim’s extensive efforts.
This thorough and well-researched resource for the lawn mower collector documents the development of the lawn mower industry in the United States of America; it features nearly 200 individuals or corporations that manufactured lawn mowers in this country and offers a snapshot on the patents, products, and historical contributions each brought to the industry. It also offers interesting anecdotes, photographs, and ephemera from the author’s extensive collection.
Hand, Horse, and Motor touches on the beginnings of lawn mower history in England in 1830, when Edward Beard Budding obtained the first patent for a lawn mowing machine. Honoring these roots, and Jim’s longstanding connection to The Old Lawnmower Club in Wolverton, England, the book also includes a foreword by Keith Wootton, the club’s founder and president.
The book has 266 pages, 155 black-and-white photographs, and an index. It was produced by North Farms Press, Haydenville, Massachusetts. © 2016 by James B. Ricci
The publication of this book was a true collaboration of talent from the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, where the author lives. In addition to Jim, the following individuals also contributed to production: Janice Beetle of Easthampton, editor; Maureen Scanlon of Florence, designer; Todd Verlander of Greenfield, photographer; Eric Wapner of Montague, image preparator; Fran Fahey of Easthampton, proofreader; Liz Chalfin of Zea Mays Printmaking in Northampton, who printed an image in the book from the original copper engraving plate; Roberta Geary and Sandra R. Karp of Easthampton, indexing; and Steve Strimer of Off the Common Books in Amherst, who printed the book.