MP063: Greens Monitor

The Greens Monitor was the first model produced by the company after World War Two.

The Monitor was the first new model introduced by Thomas Green and Son of Leeds and London after the Second World War. Advertisements in Spring 1946 proclaimed "Lucky Chap, He's Got One Of The New Green's Lawn Mowers". The price of the new mower was £6-14-6 including the grass box but excluding purchase tax.

Like most of the other mower manufacturers Greens had turned production over to the war effort between 1939 and 1945. A few companies continued to manufacture machines for essential duties such as mowing airfields. 

In 1946 most people would have been using the same lawn mower for at least six years and it is clear from the advertisements of the time that all of the leading manufacturers were keen to supply new models to an eager market.

The Monitor was in many ways a conventional design although it did make extensive use of "modern" materials such as pressed steel plates and tubular steel handles. It had more than a passing resemblance to the Popular Mk2 and Defiance models produced by Greens immediately before the war. 

A major innovation on the Monitor over earlier designs was the introduction of a freewheel mechanism that Greens claimed was "a great advance to ease of mowing" which "takes the strain completely out". This was also designed to help eliminate skidding. 

The use of a two-piece rear roller was designed to make it easier to control the machine when turning at the end of the lawn and while mowing curved borders.

The Monitor also has a number of design features in common with the Paragon and the Zephyr, both of which were introduced at roughly the same time and which were aimed at the professional user who needed a high quality cut for an ornamental lawn or golf or bowling green.

By 1949 the Monitor was available in 12" and 14" cutting widths priced at £10-8-4 and £11-16-3 respectively including the grass box. The price for the 12" model appears to have dropped to £9-12-2 by 1956 when this seems to have been the only version available, Greens often advertising it alongside the 14" Zephyr.

Greens supplied all of its hand mowers in the late 1940s and early 1950s with a looped handle.

Greens supplied all its hand mowers at the time with a tubular looped handle  which gave "the easiest and most comfortable position for mowing". Some apparently early examples of the Monitor have been spotted with a different type of handle and this has led to some discussion between collectors as to whether these are authentic or home-made replacements. Whatever the truth it is clear that the loop handles were replaced with a conventionally styled handle in 1954. 

There is also some debate among collectors about the date the Monitor was introduced. There is no mention on the model in the company's 1939 catalogue although at least one person claims to have an example bought that year (without tubular handles). The company itself appears not to have promoted the availability of the Monitor until after the war although it is clear that the design is based heavily on the Paragon which was available for a short while as early as 1940.

Production of the Monitor continued well into the 1950s when the model was replaced by the Monitor Mk2 and subsequent Greens designs. Examples are not especially rare although perhaps slightly less common than many collectors might imagine.

 

There is some discussion as to whether this Greens Monitor is authentic or not because it does not have the tubular looped handles.