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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Ransomes Atlas Mk1 12inch push mower

I see lots of references to Ransomes Ajax mowers but hardly any to the Atlas. Does anyone else out there have an Atlas similar to mine? It was at my parents house near Sheffield when they moved in, in 1946, and is still in good working order. Apart from a new "concave plate" which I had made for it about 40 years ago, it's completely original. The grass box is a bit battle-scarred but otherwise no serious damage. I believe it dates from about 1938 and a catalogue page that I've seen priced it then at £3 8s 6d. I'm always a bit surprised about how heavy it is, but that was always a feature of the old Ransomes mowers. The Marquis I have (circa 1965) is very heavy and needs 2 people to lift it.

Photo of my "vintage pair" attached, Marquis in the foreground and Atlas in the background.

Clive1997 Thu, 30/06/2016

Hello Steve

A nice pair of Ransomes, yes several club members have Atlas's & the early ones having wooden sided boxes, as with the one I have. You are right they were introduced in the late 1930's, I understand only badged as a Mk1 and only available in 12in.?

Not sure how long they were produced for, assume a short period as not that many crop up.

The Ajax was produced for a long period approx 1933 to 1972 & therefore more common. Produced from Mk1 to Mk5 over this period, the Mk1 & 2 being very similar to the Atlas

I am sure I have some ad's somewhere & on ebay you will see there are some parts lists available.


Hope that helps.



stevecross Fri, 01/07/2016

Hello Clive,

It's good to know there are other Atlas's out there and cared for. Mine has the wooden box sides too - absolutely as new - no rot or woodworm. I wonder what wood they used? Perhaps Beech and maybe the same for the front rollers and handles? Mine has the word "Bearing" cast onto the makers plate - presumably this was an innovation for Ransomes?

I've seen a photo of an Atlas that's been restored, complete with Signal Red cutting cylinder. Having looked closely at mine which has never been repainted or touched up (it's been in the family since 1946 as I mentioned), I can find no trace of red, only green. How about yours? Interesting to see that the photo on the front cover of Grassbox 96 shows a Ransomes mower from 1937 with a green cylinder.

When did the fashion for red cutting cylinders start? Perhaps it was an early Health and Safety requirement, though I very much doubt it!!



David Bouchard Wed, 20/07/2016

Re: green cutting cylinders - my other Ajax Mk 3, and at least one other I've seen, has a green cylinder.  The grassbox (H M The King) decal probably dates it to the early fifties.

Unfortunately I cannot guarantee the originality of the green paint.


stevecross Fri, 22/07/2016

Thanks David, that's interesting. I don't know whether to repaint my Atlas or not. I want to keep it as a "working mower" and rather like it in its present state, rust, dents (most of which I was responsible for way back in the 60s) and all.



hillsider Fri, 22/07/2016

Whether or not to repaint is a very emotive subject to some folk but actually if there is a fair amount of original paint left and not a lot of rust then a wipe over with a rag after a spray of maintenance spray can work wonders on tbe appearance of a mower.

This applies particularly to a working mower as a machine that has been heavily restored and never cuts grass for fear of marking the paint is no real use in your situation. 


stevecross Fri, 29/07/2016

Your final sentence sums up my situation exactly. I want to enjoy using it and not worry about the paintwork - so - I'll leave it as is.

Thanks for your comments!