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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Patent chain Automaton?

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I am a new member and just purchased what I think is a patent chain automaton circa1905. I will try to add some photos if anyone can advise.

it is pretty much complete with the exception of the grass box, one handle missing and  only half of the chain.

i would like to restore it so if anyone can offer any help or advice feel free. 

In particular does anyone have any good pictures or drawings of a grass box I could make one from or reproduction brackets and is there a 'modern' equivalent of the chain?


thanks in advance 


Clive1997 Sun, 17/05/2020

Hello Andy

Welcome to the forum & club, Yes you have a Patent Chain unfortunately missing the ornate scraper plate,  assume its a 12in Cut, the year you mention is  probably about right,  they were made from 1897 to around 1930. I have the pattern & brackets for grassbox, will send more info soon. The chain is more difficult but will let you have details. 

olcadmin Wed, 20/05/2020

RM Fowler, as Alastair suggests, does indeed have block chain. In fact, they offer four sizes, all 1" (one inch) pitch in 3/16, 1/4, 5/16 and 3/8in block width (essentially the "gap" between the site plates).

They sell by length and as far as I know they are the only UK supplier of such chains. I'd be more than happy to be corrected on this if anyone knows of another source.

I've visited their premises and they are very helpful, having supplied for many vintage vehicles and types of equipment. 

The product is good but please bear in mind you will be paying 2020 prices, not 19th century.

Andy Thomas Mon, 01/06/2020

Thank Olcadmin,

yes tried chain drive and you are correct was gonna come out at £90 ish, but was only a close fit to the tooth width.

i am going to check with the local motorcycle shop to see if they have any old chains they have changed out