Ransomes chain automatons
Many of you will have notised the recent eBay auction for 3 motor mowers and 2 very nice chain automatons.
From my understanding the chain automaton was to some extent a chain version of the new automaton and was the predessesor of the patent chain automaton, I believe the production period was the early to mid 1890s.
I hope the mowers have gone to a good home, I was not succesfull in the auction but if the buyer doesnt want both examples...
Sadly this listing completely escaped my attention, your post was the first I'd heard of it. May have had something to do with the fact that the listing didn't contain the words 'antique',' 'vintage' or 'old'.
Anyway I think your understanding of the Chain Automaton is correct - it is the chain driven equivalent of a New Automaton. I believe it came into production 1886 or 1887 and went on to 1894 when it was replaced by the Patent Chain Automaton.
Incidently I picked up a respectable New Automaton on eBay a few years ago for a lot less money, at the time there wasn't much other interest !
I have a copy of an 1893 Ransomes catalogue, hopefully will put full details on my website in due course, but for now heres the reference to the Chain Automaton, you will see that someone has written across it Double Chains for 18" upwards, this was certainly the case with the Patent Chain also.