A brief history of lawns

70,000,000 years bc - The grass family, Gramineae, first appears on earth.

It adapts to browsing by prehistoric creatures and outlives them, only to

be confronted by a more persistent threat: the suburban man, armed

with a lawn mower.

AD 1260 - Turf-covered banks are used as seats in British gardens.

1584 - First appearance of the word "lawn" in English.

1858 - Central Park in New York, America's first public park, created.

1871 - First lawn sprinkler patented.

1880 - 47,000 man-powered lawn mowers manufactured in the US.

1900 - First motor-driven lawn mower manufactured in the US.

1929 - First US patent issued for a power rotary mower.

1965 - Astroturf invented and installed in Houston Astrodome.

1973 - Royals Stadium opens in Kansas City, its gleaming

artifical-turf surface a shrine to falsity.

1992 - The United States Lawn Mower Racing Association is founded.

1995 - Artificial turf in Royals Stadium is ripped up and replaced

with natural turf as the tide turns and grass has the last laugh.

1997 - 12-year-old Ryan Tripp sets a world record by riding a lawn

mower 3,116 miles from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Washington, D.C.

Source: 'A Man's Turf: The Perfect Lawn,' by Warren Schultz (Clarkson N. Potter)

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