Childhood lawn mower memories...


When I was between the ages of 3 and 9, I recall my Dad using a lawn mower that you had to "wind" to start. It was a typical-looking push gasoline mower, but it had this wind-up handle that you (1)unfolded from the top of the engine, then (2) wound up several times clockwise and folded up again, and finally (3) threw a pair of levers up ontop near the handle you pushed the mower with.
1. Who made these mowers and 2. Any photos?
I vividly recall to this day the language that came from the back yard as Dad tried to get that thing to start and run for at least 3 minutes between "winding". The winding sound is actually similar to rapidly passing a stick across a picket fence or the clickety clack sound some bicycles made because their owners put a stick in the spokes that made the sound as they rode down the street.
Thanks for helping to revive these memories!
-ChrisCoaster
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I don't know what they called them, but it was a Briggs & Stratton engine. The thing actually worked pretty well. I remember them around 1965
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RBM wrote:

I had one. It was a Toro.
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Rick Brandt, Microsoft Access MVP
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On Mon, 29 Sep 2008 17:25:41 -0700 (PDT), ChrisCoaster

We had a Toro reel mower with that wind up handle.
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I do not remember the brand but I narrowly escaped serious injury from one like that. It was given to me and seemed to have a siezed engine. I was shaking the blade back and forth trying to free it when it came loose and the blade spun around and struck the back of my hand really hard. Since the blade was extremely dull, the damage was not severe but it taught me a lesson I never forgot. Wound-up springs are kinda like wound-up rattlesnakes; they can hurt you when you least expect it!
Don Young
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ChrisCoaster wrote:

did it look anything like this ?
http://www.vintagemowers.net/main_files/envoy.jpg
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Reed wrote:

...
I remember those mowers being the rage in the sixties. The idea was that, rather than pulling a rope to spin the crankshaft, you would wind up a big spring, release the ratchet, and the mower would start. It turned out that cranking took just as much (if not more) manual effort that pulling the rope. In addition, the cranking led to lots of broken arms and dislocated shoulders, so the E-Z Spin Starter didn't last very long.
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realtives had one we inherited it after bthey died,, a white B&S engine.
how mnany notice old mowers were low HP some like 2HP while new ones 6HP
are the numbers inflated? or did the HP climb as safety regulations demand lower blade tip speed?
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the engines still run 3600 rpm. it's just that the HP is way over rated. And NOW they won't even state HP. It's some BS tork rating.
s
how mnany notice old mowers were low HP some like 2HP while new ones 6HP
are the numbers inflated? or did the HP climb as safety regulations demand lower blade tip speed?
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On Mon, 29 Sep 2008 20:24:42 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

Any time I got near a briggs and stratton engine when I was a kid it ended up being part of a homemade mini bike or go cart. What a blast!
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_________________________ Well, I have what I term a "halo" memory. Specifically, my memory, as a whole, has a "hole" in it that gradually fills in the further I go back in time to remember something. Doctors call it "short-term memory loss". The very fact that I still remember the SOUND of that windup and the SMELL of gasoline as my Dad (unintetionally mind you) flooded the sunovabitch verifies that fact. The very fact that my wife just asked me to do something and I need to ask her "What was it you wanted, pookie?" at least twice also points to severe short-term recollection failure. I'm in my upper thirties, which might alarm you.
Unfortunately, I do not recall anything below the windup handle on top of the engine - appearance wise. I do recall that it was a metallic light brown colored affair, and that the pan(basically that which covers the blade and has the wheels attached to it, was somewhat more substantial than that in the above link.
Thanks for posting that, BTW.
-CC
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Some of those old ones look like they would take out every window and eyeball in the neighborhood if you ran into a patch of gravel.
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ChrisCoaster wrote:

I remember those, vaguely. I don't think I wanted to remember them.
--
Blattus Slafaly ? 3 :) 7/8

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ChrisCoaster wrote:

What I liked even better in my memories was the powered reel self propelled mower. Remember those? I really liked those and they worked great and also made great go cart rear drive.
--
Blattus Slafaly ? 3 :) 7/8

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wrote:

at perehaps 10 years old i got a new end of season close out riding mower from WT Grant.
it never cut grass the blade was removed before i was allowed to ride it, but risde it i did all over the neighborhood, and a couple times pretty far.
it was painted orange and made I think by the RT Rugg company. wehen we moved it was sold.
i would buy one of those today for old times sake
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____________________ I looked through that vintage mowers site and the problem is that the "wind-up" style was made by more than one manufacturer. I do recall that the pan covering the blade was pretty substantial. It was probably from the early to mid-60s but I don't see anything on the site that resembled it.
-CC
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In article

Toro
Sorry, no.
I bought it new and used this mower easily 40-years ago.
The spring-loaded starter was pretty much a failure-prone gimmick and caused more than a few returns to the local dealer for repair.
All-in-all, with it's "Auto Oiler" feature, deck wash-out plug, and magnesium deck into which was screwed a bolt that would never stay tight (ended up helicoiling it) it was mostly a POS.
My next Toro was MUCH better. After using for >17 years, my sister finally finished it off a few weeks ago.
I am now using and enjoying a Honda.
--
:)
JR

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