The rotary lawnmower

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The rotary lawnmower
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Clip from Aussie Inventions that Changed the World  |  Season 1  |  Episode 1  |  The History Channel  |  June 24, 2019

Although the lawn mower was not a new invention, its technology was revolutionised in 1952 by Mervyn Victor Richardson. He invented and eventually patented the rotary action blades designed to cut long thick grass in his lightweight, petrol-powered version. Victa Mowers Pty Ltd opened for business in 1953. By 2011, more than eight million mowers had been sold. This backyard inventor transformed the concept of the Aussie backyard, by making a tidy lawn achievable for a mass market.

Although the lawn mower was not a new invention, its technology was revolutionised in 1952 by Mervyn Victor Richardson. He invented and eventually patented the rotary action blades designed to cut long thick grass in his lightweight, petrol-powered version. Victa Mowers Pty Ltd opened for business in 1953. By 2011, more than eight million mowers had been sold. This backyard inventor transformed the concept of the Aussie backyard, by making a tidy lawn achievable for a mass market.

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Grand Designs Australia

Hillbank Medieval, South Australia  |  Season 7  |  Episode 4  |  Lifestyle Channel

Anglican Reverends Neil and Ruth have a shared love of all things Gothic and medieval. So when the couple decided to build their first ever family home in the Adelaide suburb of Hillbank, it was no surprise that the city of churches would provide plenty of inspiration. Not that they want a church-like house. Neil is chasing a barn inspired house with big heavy timber beams. So they've chosen to create a medieval manor built in the traditional way using methods from another time. The bones of the house eight huge A frames will be built by hand out of timber by a team of specialist carpenters. Thousands of timber shingles will cover the massive roof, with a two-storey high gothic glass window the centrepiece of the house. But Neil is constantly let down by suppliers and has grossly underestimated the cost of the build so work on the site stalls. When summer hits and temperatures soar well into the 40s, the exposed A-frame timber beams begin to warp and crack. They elect to use something straight off a warehouse floor insulated refrigerator panels on the roof and walls a most unlikely fit for a medieval house. Not only do they look incongruous, they are hell to work with and expensive. What ensues is a tug of war between old and new materials; between a passion for the past and unsavoury reality. With a blind faith that sees Neil try to ignore spiralling costs, he enlists the help of his family to finish his passion project, turning a build he hoped would last a few months into a five year revelation.

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