Let’s Talk….History of the Leaf Blower

When you look at the standard leaf blower, it may strike you as equipment running only a few years in contemporary society. But No! This machine has evolved to become a device that you can’t possibly do without when it comes to yard maintenance.

So how did the leaf blower come to be?

Here, I strive to bring you a timeline of the events alongside developments of the leaf blower. If you can’t find a precise definition of this machine; it is simply a device which uses air pressure to blow debris which is mostly leaves, grass clippings, twigs, sticks, and cuttings.

The Idea behind the Leaf Blower

1800s

It turns out that the Japanese had a grasp of air pressure long before their concept was taken up halfway around the world. The people of Japan first used blowers to clear moss from wet grounds.


In the 1950s,

Aldo Vandermolen designed the blower as a mist blowing equipment. It was first used to spread pesticides and fertilizers on crops. The Echo brand starts manufacturing of backpack blowers for use in pesticide dispensing on crop farms and fruit nurseries.

After, the blower was soon discovered to be an essential tool to move leaves.


1951

Charles Cook, a public works director at Hartford Connecticut, uses snow blowers to remove wet leaves. He goes ahead to warn against using the machine on dry leaves since they could be blown to further distances.


1955

Farmers begin to use the backpack mist equipment as blowers. Manufacturers take on this idea to make machines dedicated to leaf blowing. The first designs are wheeled and backpack tools. But these are still too heavy to push and carry on the back for long.


1960s

The weight of these blowers is not the only setback users are having. Farmers in the White Plains, New York start backlashing the blowers for loud noise emission. It leads to the city taking action against noisy leaf blowers in 1963.

2-stroke engine backpack blowers are in high demand as the Vandermolen Company begins to export the product. The Giant-Vac brand starts manufacturing a range of other machines which include blowers and leaf vacuums.


1971

The invention of the PB-9 petrol engine backpack blower by Echo picks the interest of small users.

1978

As more people start using their backpack blowers, there’s a gap in using handheld blowers and machines which have low emissions and noise levels. It sees the entry of other brands which design the handheld blower to accommodate a broad range of users. Among the new entries is Husqvarna.

The call for using cleaner engines is also on the rise. Los Angeles restricts the use of traditional 2-stroke blowers. This sees the creation of high-quality 2-stroke, 4-stroke, and electric motors.


1980s

US sales are on the rise as the Weed Eater brand produces handheld blowers. Elsewhere in Germany, the Stihl Company launches their backpack blowers. This launches the company to higher heights as they lead in US sales at around 800,000 pieces by 1989.


1990s

Sales in the US reach over 1,000,000 by 1997. Meanwhile, California bans the use of gas-powered leaf blowers within 500ft of a residential property. It leads producers to make cleaner and quieter engines to accommodate the banned states.


2003

The Electrolux brand invents an electric blower which becomes adopted by Black and Decker plus other main brands like Ryobi. It increases the use of handheld corded blowers. But this is not the end of the invention pattern.


2010

The most significant time of blowers is in this year since cordless leaf blowers hit the market for the first time. With the significant competition experienced in this period, it is upon companies to stay afloat. Engines have to meet noise restrictions which lead to the furnishing of 4-stroke engines to produce less carbon and run at low noise levels.


In recent years, leaf blowers have continued to evolve and meet the standards of various states. Their prices have now become more competitive since many brands are a name to reckon with in this industry.

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