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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Allen Scythe Dating

Query from a non-member in Australia trying to date an Allen Scythe with serial number 56958.

Any suggestions on the date?

And before anyone says, I know it's not what many people consider to be a "lawn" mower but we have had that discussion many times before.



Adrian Thu, 02/12/2021

Well, hellooo, Allen Scythe, fancy a drink, love?

Oh, sorry, wrong sort of dating! I have emailed Keith, but for general benefit the chap for Allen Scythes is OLC member Chris Eames - but not a man to try contacting online.

While I am here, has anyone got a photo of a mesh flywheel pulley cover in place on a Villiers Mk25 (4-stroke) or an Allen Scythe? I've just bought one from George at Villiers Parts and it's huge - much bigger than I expected. Would be interested to know if I've actually got the right thing.

PS If you let your lawn grow long enough, you'll need an Allen Scythe - good enough for me!

Messorestore Thu, 02/12/2021

Hi Keith, to be honest I don't mind discussing the Oxford Allen Scythe even though some may say it's not a true mower. At least it's an 'Old ' machine and not a 1990's 'Old' machine. Looking at the number on mine which is 37602 ( 1947 ) I would date it at about 1948/9. Unfortunately I don't have access to the manufacturers ledgers and it could possibly be a little after that but it's certainly around those dates.  Sorry I can't pin it down more precisely. I hope that helps. 

Clive1997 Thu, 02/12/2021

Interesting, all I can add which may be of use for those dating later machines is we have machine No. 112210 with its purchase receipt Aug 1964 cost £110.

Therefore a rather crude figure would be that sales between 1947 based on Sean's No & mine 1964 gives average annual sales of 4400pa over the 17yr period, this would of course vary on the machines popularity.

I have moved on several older machines having favoured the one from 1964, due to having a bit  of provenance including a photo of the owners son who passed it to me posing with it 55yrs ago. Also I remember using one on the farm myself around the same time when I was 11or 12yrs old.

If anyone is interested in some replacement blades, serrated style, I have 200+ brand new!!


Adrian Thu, 02/12/2021

Very interesting, Clive - mine is 111989, so only about 221 away - I wonder how many were in Cowley Works at any one time? I am absolutely not interested in blades because I'm not doing anything to it until I have re-done the Atco Standard... which is why I've ultrasonic-cleaned the carb, bought a new cooling fan, new forestry guards... arggh, madness looms!

Incidentally I happened across this earlier:…

olcadmin Mon, 06/12/2021

Thanks to everyone for their contributions here.

I know the original correspondent is monitoring the thread and appreciates the information you have provided.