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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

AJAX [Ransomes]

The Ransomes "Ajax" was a hand roller mower made from 1933 until the Mk V in 1972. Mks I and II were made prior to 1939, the rest being post-War.  Marks 1 and 2 had cast iron side-plates, and the roller on Mark 2 was ribbed.  After the war, a diecast alloy version was introduced, as with many other mowers at that time of limited ferrous metal supplies. The new Ajax was the only one of these to succeed and remained in production throughout the 1950s and 1960s.  Mark 3 still had the curved pressed-steel handles of the pre-war models until 1953, and was probably the last mower to have curved handles.  In 1953, they were replaced with X-shaped tubular handles.  Mark 4, a few years later, was similar, but the handles were now made in four separate pieces clamped together with a cast-iron centre boss -- this made transit easier, and also meant the handles could be adjusted for width.  Mark 5 (c. 1961) was similar, but had two narrow outer front roller sections so that the centre sections could be removed. All Ajaxes had simple gear drive, the post-war models having alloy gears which are prone to wear. In 1960, the Ajax was a 'Which?' Best Buy.