Yes, different day and age for sure.
Today, 4 homes are built on a subdivided lot that used to occupy a single house. The amount of landscaping work for many people these days is very little, or none at all which requires lighter equipment. Decades ago, that single house required something a little bigger and a little heavier vs. making four stripes across the lawn. Different day and age.
Back then, consumers and manufactures seemed to take more pride in their power equipment than our society does today. Read a vintage owners manual and it's easy to see the manufacture was proud of their equipment, wanted it to last, and seemed to know that the consumer did too by explaining in minute detail how to maintain every square inch. And believe me, the consumer wanted to as well because they were proud of it. Same goes for vehicles. Manufactures used to put artistic designs in the visual aspect of their vehicles. Today, they are considered appliances and electronic based technology wins over. Ever have the opportunity to purchase a vintage piece of equipment from the original owner? More than likely, they'll describe it as one of their most prized possessions, how well they took care of it, and how every neighbor on the bock was jealous at the time. Ask the original owner of a 4-year old box store lawnmower that's sitting on the side of the road with a "free" sign next to it why they're getting rid of it and they'll tell you it eventually seized up because the oil was never changed. "Purchasing a new one is easier." Different day and age.
The typical Millennial, who appreciates a new home/condo/apartment in a subdivision over acreage in the country, was raised in an electronic age and not a machine-driven period like garden tractors were. The Miranda Lambert song called "Automatic" comes to mind. You can't necessarily be critical as it is just a different technology they were raised around which included different priorities to match. When garden tractors and other heavy OPE were in their heyday, there were no i-Phones or Call of Duty. People spent more time outdoors back then. Instead of downloading new songs to their i-Tunes, they were enjoying their pride and joy, possibly a Bolens piece of equipment on their lot. How often do you really see people working in their yards anymore? Think about it. What is one of the things you see the most while flipping through a classic OPE brochure? People working in their yards or fields demonstrating a wide variety of attachments. You don't see that much anymore. Unless I'm talking with another enthusiast or someone who lived in the same era as the equipment, most people question why I appreciate operating & collecting vintage power equipment as they don't have the same understanding. Different day and age.
Manufactures today don't need to build standard consumer based OPE in the way same ways they did back then because the end cost would be too expensive and people wouldn't see the value and purpose in buying them.
Edited by Austen, September 21, 2016 - 05:58 PM.