In Gloucestershire, UK a chap called Edwin was a budding engineer.
No, wait, Budding was his name. Edwin Budding.
But he was an engineer. In 1830, he and John Ferrabee got together and produced their gift to humanity - the lawnmower.
Made of cast iron, with a rear roller and a cutting cylinder up front, it was a solution in search of a problem.
I was checking lawnmower history to see if our recently deceased 1970 Greenfields ride-on belonged in a museum. It didn't, but someone cruelly suggested I might qualify.
Looking around the paddock, and our neighbour's, there are tools great and small that can tell a story.
There's the combine harvester, famously invented in Australia - but by H.V. McKay?
Credit should go to a bloke called Morrow, who unfortunately wasn't too flash at marketing, 19th century-style, and history has given McKay the glory.
He was a good self-promoter, and Morrow's descendants are still cranky.
The electric drill was invented by Melbournians Arthur Arnot and William Brain (or Billy Brain, as he may have got at school), who patented their design in 1889.
In 1917, the first trigger-switch, pistol-grip portable drill was patented by Americans S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker. Their surnames ring a bell.
Where would we be without the wheelbarrow? That's what Zhuge Liang invented about 1900 years ago.
There was a dust-up between three Chinese kingdoms with an efficient way needed for a single soldier to transport food and munitions to the front lines, and to carry injured soldiers back.
Good old Zhuge came to the rescue, with a wooden device that gave his home kingdom of Shu Han the edge.
One of ours could have been his prototype, although it's not made of wood.
The electric fence deserves a mention. In Chapter 7 of Domestic Manners of the Americans, published in 1832, Fanny Trollope describes an arrangement of wires connected with an electrical machine that she used to protect a display in a Cincinnati museum. Effectively, the first electric fence. Good one, Fanny.
Finally, the humble rake.
Presumably the first rakes, for scraping soil or moving leaves, would have been human hands, and branches. Tools resembling modern rakes, with wooden tines attached to a head through holes, have been found in China dating from 1100 BCE, which means there were still 1300 years to go before there was a wheelbarrow to pop your rake into and do some gardening.
And the Swiss army knife? That's another story, with lots of elements.
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