I've had it with gasoline engines, their myriad parts, and (at least some)
maintenance. So when I saw an electric mower advertised on my local
Craigslist for twenty bucks (!), I jumped on it.
The machine was made by SUNBEAM, sometime in the 50s or 60s! No ground wire.
No polarized plug. Sounds like the hinges on the gates of hell. Icky yellow
color and one of the wheels is held in place by a nail instead of a
But it works swell!
I don't think the person from whom I bought it had all his marbles lined up.
In addition to selling a functional mower for cheap, he's moving from
Houston to Santa Barbara.
I just have to be careful where I'm mowing - I don't think running over the
extension cord would be a good idea.
Oops! You are correct.
Still, the seller was not totally off the rails. He told me residential
housing rents for as much as $3/sq ft in Santa Barbara. He and his wife
found some "commercial" property (a former art studio) that he got for $1/sq
ft for 2600 sq ft. "How are you going to handle the requirements that, you
know, you actually HAVE an art studio?" I asked. "Easy," said he. "We'll
hang some of our kids crayon drawings on the wall with somewhat reasonable
prices, say $10/sq inch."
Now that kind of subterfuge would work in Houston, but I'll bet the
California bureacracy will ruin his life and the life of everybody he ever
Solar power retrofit with several deep-cycle golf cart batteries. You
might be able to get an energy conservation tax break. An added
advantage is that the mower will be self-propelled as long as you
remember to mow downhill.
If your property is dead flat and square - you live in Texas, right? -
rig a drive wheel off of the shaft so it is self-propelled, stick a
stake in the middle of the lawn and tie a cord to the mower and let
the mower cut an ever decreasing spiral until the lawn is fully mowed.
Doesn't seem to matter. Took out a no ground wire cord with hedge trimmers
once. Took 15 minutes to discover the cord was cut and it wasn't some other
fault. The bushes were dense and the cord sorta blended in ...
"I'm the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo ..."
When my family first moved to suburbia and the old manual push mower
just wouldn't cut it anymore (well. actually, it _would_ cut it but
it was just too much work) my Dad bought an electric Sunbeam mower. As I
recall it was blue and silver in color. This was around 1967. I mowed the
lawn many many times with that thing. It lasted quite a while too, maybe
15 years, well after I had moved out of the house. The deck finally
corroded through and there was nothing left to support the motor.
I remember that thing sounded like a jet engine, except that unlike
a jet, it came up to full RPM in a fraction of a second. It was a really
tough machine. My father looked for one just like it but there was nothing
comparable being produced. He did buy another Sunbeam, but it was a cheaply
made, lightweight POS compared to the old one.
Better to be stuck up in a tree than tied to one.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar.org
I used an electric mower (from Sears, I think) when I was in high
school becuase it was my Dad's choice. If you need more than 50 feet
of extension cord, it becomes an art to lay out long sections of cord
to get the most area cut with the least cord movement.
I think some of the Sunbeam mowers had a "flip-over" handle so you
could cut in the "other" direction by flipping the handle to the other
side and walking around to it instead of turning the mower around and
needing to flip the cord out of the way.
My mower didn't come with a cord either.
In fact, I had to scrounge around to find an extension cord that would fit
in the mower's power recess. This mower was manufactured before ground wires
were invented, so an ordinary extension cord simply could not be pressed
into the cavity containing the male plug.
Truely, it's an adventure to be operating an electrical device devoid of a
ground wire or polarized plug - and not even double insulated!
A thrill-a-minute, I tell you!
Back around 1984-85, I used to travel down into Westwood, NJ to mow my
aunt's small lawn (she was a widow with no kids) . She had an electric
mower which was a PITA to operate. It had a long (maybe 25') orange
electrical cord, so it didn't blend in with the green grass. .I hated
it. After I used it a couple of times, I started bringing my own gas
powered mower to do the job.
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