ATCO's long history of keeping it short began 100 years ago, and we are extremely proud to be celebrating our centerary and our heritage.
Founded in 1921 by Charles H Pugh ATCO manufactured the first mass produced petrol lawnmowers at their factory in Birmingham. The ATCO standard revolutionised the industry offering an affordable, easy-to-use motor mower for households everywhere
There are some lovely stories surrounding the birth of the ATCO lawnmower. After the First World War, the company was looking at new products and new markets, so when the donkey that powered the mower at their factory died, they had a brainwave: why not develop our own motor power not just for the factory, but to mass produce?
Another company that Charles Pugh owned was the Atlas Chain Company, the title letters of this company created the catchy word 'ATCO', small enough to be stamped on every chain link produced - and so the ATCO brand was born. In the early days the left side of the letter 'A' was very much more rounded - it had to be in order to fit.
The first mass-produced petrol lawnmowers were made at the factory in Birmingham and in the first year of production almost 900 were sold - which was a great achievment. These first generation mowers were light enough to fit on the motorbikes and sidecars of the ATCO engineers and salesmen.
The production of the the first ATCO Standard mower revolutionised the industry by offering an affordable easy-to-use motore mower for households everywhere.
This marked the start of a remarkable success story that continues to grow to this day - throughout our 100 years ATCO have remained at the forefront of research, development and technology ensuring that our ATCO mowers always deliver "the finest cut of all".
A lot has changed since 1921 but the British racing green, engines, innovation, quality and superior cutting performance can still be seen in all the mowers in the 2021 range line-up.
To celebrate our centenary, we have produced an array of ATCO memorabillia including a 1920's-style newspaper, vintage sweet tins, deck chairs and pin badges. The set of specially commissioned commerative ATCO illustrations featured on the cover each represent a decade since the company was founded in 1921 - together, they form a visual record of ATCO's products and the spirit of the eras in which they were introduced.
We would like to thank the following who have helped to create this lookback on the last 100 years of ATCO:
Brian Radam, Curator of The British Lawnmower Museum, www.lawnmowerworld.co.uk
Clive Gravatt, Curator of The Museum of Gardening, www.museumofgardening.co.uk
The Old Lawnmower Club, www.oldlawnmowerclub.co.uk
Drive Creative Studio, www.drivecreativestudio.co.uk