Australia in 1952 marks a year that saw the completion of a railway and the first express trains run between Melbourne and Adelaide. It’s also the year the world’s largest deposit of iron ore was discovered by Lang Hancock in Western Australia.
But maybe less well known is that 1952 was the year that Aussie blokes across the nation could lay down their push lawnmowers and claim back their weekends. This was the year that a man by the name of Mervin Victa Richardson came to the rescue with his rotary petrol lawn mower.
Merv originally designed the lawn mower for his son Garry’s lawn care business, putting it together with some good old aussie ingenuity consisting of billy cart wheels and an old peach can for a petrol tank (we wouldn’t recommend this if you stumbled upon this post while searching “how to build a lawnmower”). Appropriately this first model was dubbed the ‘Peach-Tin Prototype’ and Merv continued to tweak the Peach-Tin Prototype into what would become known as the Victa lawn mower. The Victa was to be victorious and the ingenious two stroke marvel almost made Merv an overnight millionaire!
By 1953, business was booming with demand for the Victa rotary lawn mower through the roof. In 1958, Victa Mowers Pty Ltd. had 3,000 employees and were building 143,000 mowers a year.
To-date, Victa has sold over 8 million lawn mowers in 30 countries. In 2008 the Victa Lawn Care business was acquired by an American-based firm for $23 million.