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Snapper Mower History

By Contributing Writer ; Updated January 09, 2018
Suburban lawns grew in size after World War II, inspiring Snapper.

From its founding, Snapper revolutionized lawn mowers. Renowned for their quality and recognized by their bright red color, Snapper mowers have become a staple of yard maintenance.


After World War II, Georgia businessman William R. Smith saw the growth of suburbs and predicted an increased need for lawn care. He bought a patent for a rotary-blade mower and produced the first “Snappin’ Turtle” in 1951.


The Snapper, as it became known, featured covered blades and an engine, making it safer and easier to push than previous mowers. Within a month, Snapper built nearly 4,000 mowers to meet skyrocketing demand.


Snapper quickly filed nearly 50 patents, enhancing mower design. In 1954, it moved into a large plant in McDonough, Ga. Soon after, it started manufacturing riding mowers.


Larger companies merged with, or acquired, Snapper in 1954, 1967, the early 1990s and 2002. Briggs & Stratton bought Snapper in 2004.


Snapper now makes more than 150 models of mowers, leaf blowers, snow throwers, tractors and other lawn-care equipment.


Snapper began with the belief that consumers would pay more for quality. Keeping that focus, the company sells its products through independent dealers.