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The Old Lawnmower club - Old lawnmowers glossary
Category: General technical and industrial > Lawnmowers
Date & country: 24/11/2007, UK
Words: 30


Badged Mowers
See 'Catalogue' mowers

Bank Cutter
A variant of several sidewheel machines (particularly Ransomes 'Lion', 'Ace', 'Cub' and 'Leo') supplied with an extra long handle, usually of some 70-inches or so. This enabled the user to cut grass on steep banks and slopes. Such mowers were offered from the late-19th century onwards.

Catalogue Mower
A mower usually made by a large manufacturer but bearing the name of the retailer. This practice was started in the late 19th century by American manufacturers who provided this service to retailers who sold a specified number of their mowers. These are also sometimes referred to as 'Badged' mowers.

Chevron Blades
A cutting cylinder with the blades set in a shallow 'V' shape, designed to throw the cuttings into the centre of the grass box and to prevent the blade from 'walking' to one side or the other and ruining the bearings. This was a feature on many Ransomes pre-1930s mowers, and on later Dennis mowers such as the 'Premier'. Also known as 'herringbone' blades.

Conversion Units
Engines which were made to be bolted onto manual mowers to enable these to be used as powered mowers. These could be either petrol-driven or electric. See also 'Pusher Units'.

Cutting Cylinder
A feature of all mowers until the introduction of the rotary mower, this consists of a number of blades moving in the vertical plane around a central axis and acting against a fixed blade forming an extension to the sole plate.

Delivery Plate
A curved deflector mounted adjacent to the cutting cylinder to direct the grass cuttings into the grass box. These, along with the grass box, were often offered as optional extras. Many sidewheel mowers do not have either as they were not purchased in the first place.

Draw Rope
Early manual mowers, unless they were quite small, required two-man operation, the man in front pulling the mower by means of a draw rope fitted to a bar in front of the grass box.

Edger
A machine for trimming lawn edges. This could either have separate blades, as in the Ransomes edger, or a disc coulter. This could also be part of a Trimmer mower.

Fine Turf Mower
A mower specifically designed for specialist areas such as bowling greens, golf courses and so on. The fine cut is achieved by making more cuts per unit of forward movement of the mower. This is dictated by the number of revolutions the cutting cylinder makes or the number of blades on the cylinder (or a combination of both).

Finger Bar Mowers
See Reciprocating Knife mowers.

Flail Mower
A mower using banks of flails instead of blades. A flail is a short piece of metal (or wood) that operates by beating the grass and breaking it off.

Front Runner
An optional extra manufactured for sidewheel mowers from around 1900 to enable them to cut closer to lawn edges. The wheel was fitted to the front of the mower frame and allowed the mower to roll along the grass even if one of the side wheels was overhanging the edge of the lawn.

Grass Box
A box made from metal, wood or plastic that is mounted on the front of the mower, or occasionally behind, to catch grass clippings.

High Wheel Mower
A name given to some sidewheel mowers made specifically for cutting longer grass. Basically the side wheels had a larger diameter than the normal version of the mower. Also known in the United States as 'Hi-Cut' mowers.

Hover Mower
A rotary mower in which the machine floats on a cushion of air created by the down-draft from the blades. First introduced in the early 1960s by Flymo.

Mulcher Mower
A rotary mower in which the grass cuttings are converted into a fine mulch within the machine by means of a specially shaped blade.

Pony Mower
A mower designed to be pulled by a small horse or pony which usually wore boots to protect the turf. In many instances shafts were fitted although some mowers had a whippletree or single shaft.

Pusher Units
Petrol engines with wheels and seats attached which could be shackled to the rear of the larger manual mowers to convert them into powered mowers. See also 'Conversion Units'.

Reciprocating Knife Mower
A mower in which the conventional cutting cylinder is replaced by a cutter bar with blades moving in the horizontal plane as in the old agricultural harvesting mowers. The cutter bar was sometimes interchangeable with a cutting cylinder. Reciprocating-knife mowers were usually made for smallholdings and orchards rather than for lawns. Also known as Finger Bar, and Sickle Bar mowers.

Reel Mower
An American term for a cylinder mower.

Ride-On Mower
A mower designed to be ridden like a farm tractor.

Roller Mower
A mower, either powered or manual, with the blades driven from a metal roller to which the power is applied. The drive to the blades can be either by chain or gears. The very earliest mowers were of this type.

Rotary Mower
A mower in which the conventional cutting cylinder is replaced by blades rotating in the horizontal plane. This type of mower was pioneered in the UK by Rotoscythe in the 1930s. There is also an American patent in 1929 by Wm. E. Beazley.

Scraper Plate
A narrow plate or bar fixed between the handles or side-frames of a roller mower to scrape mud and leaves off the roller. These were often used as a mounting for a manufacturer or retailer's nameplate.

Sidewheel Mower
A mower, usually manual but occasionally powered, with the blades positioned between two wheels and driven either directly or through gearing. Lighter than heavier roller mowers these were first introduced in the second half of the 19th century.

Sole Plate
A horizontal plate on the underside of a cylinder mower to which the stationary bottom blade is fixed. Also known as the cast back or blade back.

Trailing Seat
A seat with wheels or roller shackled to the rear of a mower to enable the operator to control the machine whilst being pulled along by it. Usually offered as an optional extra to larger mowers such as the Dennis 'Z'.

Trimmer
A machine resembling half a sidewheel or reel mower and used for trimming lawn edges.

Whipple Tree
Shaft, normally made of wood, that hangs from a horse's neck so that chains or ropes can be attached for easy pulling of equipment such as mowers, ploughs, seed drills and wagons.