Mower production records?

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Ransomes-Suffolk
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Mower production records?

I was wondering if the day books or production records of any of the lawnmower manufacturers are in the hands of the lawnmower preservation community or otherwise available to the public? One of my other interests is stationary engines and in the case of several manufacturers it is possible to find out information such as the date of production, date of sale and the supplier to whom the engine was first sold from the serial number. When acquiring a new project, it is good to know a little of its history where this is possible. 

Clive1997
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Hello, welcome to the forum &

Hello, welcome to the forum & an excellent question, 'we only wish', is probably the answer, but some information is available & a bit of a rough guide below....

Ransomes 

The Museum of English Rural Life holds a large quantity of the company's records, this does include indexes where mowers, usually motor mowers with serial numbers can be roughly dated, for example a Ransomes 20in Mk 4A Motor Mower you will be given the first date on manufacture Apr 1926 for machine No. B.905 & last date of manufacture May 1928 serial No. B982. So from this you can establish a rough idea of the year your mower was made from the serial number. 

I am not sure if for some of the larger Ransomes there may be more detailed records, but others on the forum may know.

Suffolk

Not sure there are any records & I don't think machines carried an individual serial number, but sometimes an idea of date can be established from the engine number?

Dennis

With the later Dennis motor mowers from 1928 I believe the company are able to date & give details of who the machine was supplied to.

Atco

No individual serial numbers, we tend to date from catalogue entries & noting when certain improvements/changes were made, also possibly engine numbers, some models from the 1950's/60's ofte have brass tag with a year date.

Jerram Pearson (JP)

JP mowers both motor & push have serial numbers where we can establish for most machines Month & Year of manufacture.

Thomas Green & Sons

The majority of Thomas Green mowers have a serial number cast in the handles or frame & with the popular Silens Messor produced from 1850's to 1930's we can roughly date to within a couple of years when comparing to a log that has been accumulated & added to by some of our members. 

As a general rule we try to date from archive information that members hold, catalogues, advertisements etc & can usually be within a couple of years.

Mowers were perhaps more mass produced than other types of vehicle/machinery therefore they were supplied in more bulk therefore individual records not kept.

I hope that helps & please let us know if you are looking for something specific.

Ransomes-Suffolk
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Thank you for your answer

Thank you for your answer which gives me a good appreciation of the situation for the manufacturers I have examples of and I will make a trip up to the Museum of English Rural Life once the current situation has passed. I think your point about the number of mowers produced is very valid; I hadn’t thought about this but you are correct that if complete lists existed for every mower made they would be sizeable!

hdtrust
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Hi there

Hi there

The Hall & Duck Trust house in their library the original ledgers for Automower, so can tell you the date of the machine, the agent it was sold to and sometimes the customers address.

Dennis we own the ledgers for their motor mowers from the earliest times to 1963

Ransomes we also have the production records from the earliest times to 1970

All you need to do is ask

Kind regards

Andrew Hall

Archivist

gtc
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Re Atco

Re Atco

some models from the 1950's/60's often have brass tag with a year date.

And 1940s.