History and Evaluation of Leaf Blowers

There are some contradictory statements of who invented the garden tool “leaf blower.” Some oppose the idea of its invention. In the belief of many, the machinery was not even invented. The idea had been around for a long time; then, some people started to use one instead of brooms. They made one for themselves like a “DIY project”.

On the other hand, in popular belief, it was invented by Dom Quinto in the late 1950s in the USA. Dom Quinto was a manufacturer of chemical sprayers. The sprayers were made to use on agricultural fields for pest control. The manufacturers later noticed the growing usage of the machine without the chemical dispenser. So, they created a new line of equipment as garden cleaning leaf blowers. Dom Quinto took the initiative. So he is thought to be the inventor. But the claim is not validated. There was no circumstantial evidence found to support the claim. Thus the authenticity of the incident is merely foggy and unverified.

History of Leaf Blowers

According to a Wikipedia entry, the leaf blower was introduced in the late 1940s in Japan. Around 1947, Kyoritsu Noki Company had launched a fogger machine. Later in 1955, the design inspired the manufacturer to add a backpack and air stimulator/mister. They put a patent claim on the design in 1968. They started importing the product and earning profit from 1972. They later claimed to be the inventor of leaf blowers in 1977.

Some sources argue that H. L. Diehl invented the leaf blower in 1959. He and his company insist that the idea of the walk-behind leaf blower was their creation. As the following event, they rehauled the company as Giant Vac company. But like all other claims, this one does not have any concrete proof either. These are just claims of businesses to put their product in the spotlight.

But in all these sources of information, they agree on one thing. The basic concept of a leaf blower came to the manufacturers’ attention after some customers used sprayers as an air-stimulator to remove leaves and grass from their property. Maybe one of them was the true founder of the equipment. So, It is tough to put a pin on the actual inventor. Regardless of the actual inventor, Dom Quinto’s company and the Kyoritsu Noki Company (Echo since 1978), both sold 800,000 and 1Million blowers in the late 70s. So, the 1970s was the golden period of leaf blower sale. The question of who invented the machine is yet not clarified. But the origin of the leaf blowers remains to be derived from motor-run handheld sprayers/foggers.

In which order the different types of leaf blower were invented are mentioned down below.

  • Gasoline fueled Backpack leaf blower- 1968
  • Handheld Kerosene fueled leaf blower- 1971
  • Large Walk-behind blower with motors- 1978
  • Battery-powered, electro-engine leaf blowers- mid-2000

Evaluation of Leaf Blowers

We already know the leaf blower idea was put together from the chemical sprayer/fogger, which led us to the 1950s. So the concept of leaf blowers started in the late 50s when manufacturers began to consider it as a separate product. The primary idea was an easily portable machine that could move big piles of debris without putting too much effort and time. The idea was well-received by gardeners and lawn owners. Therefore, commercially manufacturing it was a decision companies pursued with contentment. They developed a design of gasoline-powered, two-stroke blowers with backpacks. In the 1960s, Aldo Vandermolen started producing and exporting it.

But in 1971, it gained mass popularity after the company Echo had released the petrol backpack blower in the USA suburban market. With their picture-perfect lawn image, Americans were more than happy to get their hands on one of these. So the company took the opportunity and dropped the shipping charges to lure in customers. The strategy worked wonders and by the end of the 1970s, they had sold over 800,000 units. And by 1990, the number was way over 1 million.

The production and sale of walk-behind leaf blowers were not accumulated until 1978. The manufacturer H. L. Diehl and his company started the production. They were inspired by the large snow plow machines used in the early 1860s. They were manufactured for industrial use, also in compact size as well. The users have to push around the motor while using the blower to get effective performance

Yet the machine had its perks to show. Even though people bought it spontaneously, soon, they discovered it came with an extreme noise polluting trait. Leaf blowers run on engines fuelled by gasoline/kerosene/petrol and it generates a continual blast of air (wind speeds 140–270+ miles per hour). Both the features are radical noise generators, which is a disturbance to the environment. Therefore it got banned in certain areas. In 1998, the rule was made official as “banned in 500ft ground around residential areas”. They had restricted the use of it and put a limit on the noise level as well.

Now the restriction in using it had made the manufacturer concerned. So they started exploring a more eco-friendly and quieter approach. Thus, the creation of electrical leaf blowers was intrigued. Electro-engine leaf blowers were, even more, comfortable to execute and it generated much less sound. They were battery-powered and cordless. Throughout the early 2000s till later that decade, the development, production and sale of electric leaf blowers ran smoothly as the new machine reduced noise generation up to 70%. The very equipment is still banned or restricted in many countries but the businesses are going strong anyways.

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