Hello ODK history lovers The Harrigan Family have an important historical connection to the Illawara area of New South Wales.
They are recognised as being the first Ford agency in Australia! Dealerships under the family name continue to this day!
The Wollongong University Archives holds a photographic record with this note: -
It’s worthwhile visiting that online archive [link below]. Have a squiz at these great images but pay particular attention to ‘Early motor mower’ and ‘Home of Mr and Mrs H.E. Harrigan’. There’s a story to tell there.
This may be a side-note to history, but E.H.’s son, H.E., did make an early electric side-wheel power mower.
PART TWO – The Harrigan Electric Mower I was first alerted to the Harrigan Electric when I found a 1954 news article. It gave me an excellent red-herring in dating the machine.
Only considerable research would get to the facts of the matter.
The Harrigan Electric dates to, best guess, about 1930 and it was probably offered in very small numbers in the early 1930s.
It was a conversion side-wheel – using an existing ‘pushie’ mower and adding an electric motor. The venture appears to have been more of a ‘conversion service’ to existing mowers; rather than a new powered mower sold under the Harrigan brand.
I say that because I have never found a single advertisement for a Harrigan electric mower as such. Instead, I have found many ads from the early 1930s that describe the company’s “General Engineering” services. One service was the equipping of lawnmowers with “Electric Power appliances”.
Nonetheless, the Harrigan Electric should be remembered because Herbert Earnest Harrigan saw the potential in introducing a cheaper powered lawnmower to the public in Australia in the inter-war years.