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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Automaton Timeline

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Further to my posting of two Automatons on the 'Virtual Annual Rally 2020', this is the timeline so far, comments welcome.


The first Automatons manufactured & tested by Royal gardens & large estates.


Now on sale to the public, available in 10,12,14,16,18 & 20in all designed for manual operation by one or two people.1000 were sold in first year of production.


2400 sold to date Now sold under the name of Ransomes Sims & Head


4000 sold to date


5000 sold to date with an 8in model now advertised


6000 sold to date


8000 sold to date


9000 sold to date


10,000 sold to date. Various improvements were made the notable ones being ’Adjustable Handles’ & removable concave for back delivery, this being a cast plate that required 4 bolts to be removed. See images below…                                                                                                                               












12,000 sold to date


14000 sold to date. Larger Horse & Pony machines introduced


16,000 sold to date


Introduction of the more ornate gear cover, sheet iron concave, longer handles & larger capacity grass box, this had cast internal brackets that formed the ornate handles, see images…







Name change to Ransome Sims & Jefferies with the New Automaton in both gear & chain drive being introduced the following year, 1885.

Keith Wootton Fri, 08/05/2020

Great information there Clive, thanks.

Although the primary intention of the Automaton theme was to bring these early models together at the rally, I believe we also wanted to include all forms of the "Automaton" through into the 20th century. Does anyone have a list of the various subsequent models and the date range in which they were made?

hdtrust Sat, 09/05/2020

Yes thank you Keith,and also corrections on years and sales figures to which Clive has added,as we have copies of Ransomes ledgers!

You cannot go on advertisement sales numbers.Ransomes are not the easiest of companies to research,as they were masters of their own version of the truth.

Kind regards


Archivist,The Hall & Duck Trust