Hand, Horse, and Motor: The Development of the Lawn Mower Industry in the United States grew out of Jim Ricci’s The Reel Lawn Mower History & Preservation Project @ North Farms, which began in 1997 with a scope that included:
- Gathering and preserving vintage lawn mowers, of particular importance to Jim as many of the early motor mowers were increasingly being stripped of their engines for resale, and the mower remains were being scrapped.
- Chronicling materials and manufacturing techniques, taking the embellishments of the castings and often intricate paint schemes into consideration.
- Documenting former and current manufacturers.
- Providing a contact person for lawn mower company personnel and their families; sharing information through presentations and publications; and acting as a repository for assorted materials, such as catalogues, ephemera, and photographs.
Hand, Horse, and Motor brings these project components to life in a unique and meaningful way.
Currently, Jim has over 250 mowers, representing thirty manufacturers, in his collection.