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Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 6,938
Likes: 275
Forum Historian
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: -

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]


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Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 6,938
Likes: 275
Forum Historian
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.

[Linked Image]

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.

Attached Images
harrigan_electric_00.jpg (21.46 KB, 25 downloads)
harrigan_electric_01.jpg (230.86 KB, 25 downloads)
harrigan_electric_02.jpg (127.4 KB, 25 downloads)
harrigan_house_00.jpg (21.7 KB, 25 downloads)
harrigan_house_01.jpg (71.53 KB, 25 downloads)
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 6,938
Likes: 275
Forum Historian
For the record, the demise of the Harrigan Electric was probably
due to the fact that Harrigans began selling Atco reel mowers
from the mid-1930s.

[Linked Image]

This is a typical story – how a regional car dealer came
to be selling lawnmowers ...

This is an atypical story in that Harrigans saw the potential in
power lawnmowers when they were novel in the community.

Post War, Harrigans would continue selling lawnmowers until
the mid-1950s. I guess, after that, specialist garden-equipment
stores started to appear.

Harrigans should be remembered for being pioneers in
introducing power lawnmowers to regional Australia.

Attached Images

Moderated by  Alan M, CyberJack, Mr Davis 

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