Sunbeam electric lawn mowers were produced under the Sunbeam brand, which was acquired by Jarden Consumer Solutions in 2004. Most were manufactured between 1950 and 1960, after which the company changed gears to focus on small appliances. Today, Sunbeam primarily manufactures small kitchen appliances. The electric lawn mowers are no longer produced.
Sunbeam electric lawn mowers were produced in the mid- to late-1950s. At the time, they were rather expensive at a price of $79.95 for the smallest, 18-inch model. However, the company focused on the fact that the lawn mower was meant to be a long-term investment. Users of the lawn mower would save money on gas to make up for the cost of the machine.
The Sunbeam electric motor was lightweight, weighing only 29 pounds. The 1-horsepower engine ran on 110-volt power. It did not have the option for an attached bag, but it had two discharge chutes -- one in front of the green metal body and one behind it. The mower featured twin blades with an 18-inch cut, adjustable-height handlebars with rubber grips and a cord reel that kept the cord securely out of harm's way while mowing.
Sunbeam electric mowers were marketed toward homeowners with small yards. The mowers were small and did not come in a riding model, making them suitable only for casual lawn care. Still, the fact that they provided a close cut and tight edges made them attractive to many homeowners. They also had flop-over handles, which made mowing the lawn a lot easier than gas mowers that did not have this feature.
Popular Mechanics included the Sunbeam brand motor in an article on electric mowers in its February 1967 issue. In it, the author of the article praised the mower for its quiet, close-trimming performance, but pointed out that the top Sunbeam electric model -- the 20-inch version -- cost $139.95, which was only $10 less than the brand's comparable gas mower.
Sunbeam electric lawn mowers are considered collectibles by people who value vintage garden tools. Before you invest in one, however, consider that it might be difficult and expensive to obtain the parts needed to restore the mower to working condition.