Who Is L.A. Burr?

L.A. Burr is the nickname for John Albert Burr, an African-American male given credit for important lawn mower improvements. Burr’s addition of traction wheels and an improved rotary blade make his version of the rotary-blade lawn mower the one still used to this day. Burr’s rotary blade lawn mower was patented on May 9th, 1899. L.A. Burr’s birth date and birthplace is unknown.

The patent for the first lawn mower was granted on August 31,1830 to Edwin Beard Budding from England. In 1870, Elwood McGuire created the first popular lawn mower capable of being pushed by humans. After constant revisions, John Albert Burr was able to provide the design that remains the model used in modern times. U.S. Patent Number 624,749, which was granted on May 9, 1899, led to the production of lawn mowers that could be used by most people.

Focusing on designs of earlier versions of the rotary-blade lawn mower that were difficult to use and unsafe, Burr implemented traction wheels that improved the safety and efficiency of the lawn mower. The main success of this design was his version of the rotary blade, because it prevented the blade from becoming frequently jammed. Burr’s more streamlined lawn mower design also made it possible to cut grass closer to walls and edges.