February 25, 2021
The Lawnmower Of Tomorrow, Today
Why mow the lawn like some kind of regular suburbanite? The summer sun beating down on you, the sweat dripping down your brow and not even a cold drink in your hand to keep you sated through this messy and unfortunately necessary weekend chore, doesn't that sound horrific?
The Lazy Man's Power Mower was a futuristic vision of summer chores. It offered an ease that until then didn't exist in the world of lawn care. This kind of futuristic design peaked in the 1960s as manufacturers attempted to mass produce products to make the toil of every day life as simple as pressing a button. Impractical and beautiful, this lawnmower brings the dreams of the space age generation to life.
The Lazy Man's Power Mower is an absolute beast of a machine. Even modern riding lawnmowers are like driving around a miniature truck with the turning radius of a cart and buggy, but this futuristic riding mower from the '60s was a huge pain to maneuver unless the rider was going back and forth in a straight line. The design is right in line with retro-futurism. Its space age design looks more like a flying car or a UFO, but in the '60s the closest thing Americans had to flying cars were riding mowers.
This riding mower allows the rider to stay cool with an air conditioning system inside its bubble, as well as drink holders to erase the chore aspect of mowing your lawn. Even though the mower looks less than functional, that's not really the point of its futuristic design. The atomic age designs of the '50s and '60s represented a forward thinking vision that pointed towards a better tomorrow.
It's not entirely clear if these mowers ever made it to the market, but from the lack of busted up domed lawnmowers in vintage stores it's safe to say that the only version of the Lazy Man's Power Mower was the prototype. The unfortunate side effect of the clean lines and beautifully cumbersome design of the futuristic designs of the 1960s is that the products were expensive to produce. By seeking to create sleek and stylish designs that ignored the past while looking to tomorrow, manufacturers and designers threw out practicality. The sky's the limit with space age design, unfortunately the products that are the most futuristic are the first to be grounded by the economic realities of their production.