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#109586 05/12/20 12:53 AM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 6,938
Likes: 278
Forum Historian
Hello ODK history lovers
The 16-inch Morrison Model B reel mower was made by
Morrison Motor Mowers Ltd of Karamu Road, Hastings,
New Zealand - a company dating to the 1930s.

Here’s a factory studio image. Notice something different …?

[Linked Image]

The obvious distinguishing feature are the wooden handles,
a red herring in dating this lawnmower. The use of wooden
handles on powered reel/roller lawnmowers is super rare.

Can you think of any?
[The first powered lawnmowers all seem to have had steel handles!]

There must be another explanation for their use …

I can’t say I know a lot about the Model B but I was
intrigued by two images sent to me by NZ collector
Greg Stokes a few years’ back [see Gallery].

The notes on the back of each photograph are in
conflict. One says year of manufacture was 1944-46;
the other as early 1940s. Which is correct?

TO BE CONTINUED …

Attached Images
model_b_01_gs.jpg (185.11 KB, 50 downloads)
model_b_02_gs.jpg (39.61 KB, 49 downloads)
model_b_03_gs.jpg (335.35 KB, 49 downloads)
model_b_04_gs.jpg (50.14 KB, 51 downloads)
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 6,938
Likes: 278
Forum Historian
PART TWO – Model B Studio Images
The Model B made a significant change from the Model A.
The Model A was based on the English Qualcast 16” Power Mower,
a design dating to the 1930s; and that design was looking quite
tired by the 1940s, yet was still being sold well into the 1950s!

The Model B sat much lower and the frame cast a lower,
more modern silhouette. Yes, the wooden handles do look
out-of-place for an otherwise modern, all metal lawnmower –
but there is an explanation for that [see Part Three].

In any case, Morrison commissioned studio photographs of
the Model B and these are held by the Knowledge Bank, an
initiative of the Hawke’s Bay Digital Trust.

[Linked Image]
LINK: https://knowledgebank.org.nz/still_image/lawnmower/

TO BE CONTINUED ...

Attached Images
morrison_model_b_01.jpg (148.63 KB, 18 downloads)
morrison_model_b_02.jpg (155.83 KB, 18 downloads)
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 6,938
Likes: 278
Forum Historian
PART C – Model B in Context
It was the 2018 Jim Judd audio interview that permitted us to
gain insight into the early Morrison days [see link in Related Reading].

Mind you, Jim did not join the company until 1963. So, his
information is based on his own research and understanding.
He explained that the wooden handles of the Model B came
about because of shortages in steel during WWII …

[Linked Image]

New Zealand, like Australia, restricted production of non-essential
products (like domestic lawnmowers) so that factories could make
military or government-approved products. Morrisons was no exception …

[Linked Image]

My best guess is that, whilst the Model B was a production model,
its actual production numbers must have been very small.

There must have been a small ‘window of opportunity’ when
the Model B was produced during the early years of WWII,
or the early post-war period. I favour early post-war c1945-46...

Otherwise, Morrisons were engaged in the war effort.
[I might also add, that Morrisons developed their Motor Cultivator
at this time, a machine more likely to have gained an exemption
status during wartime production]. That appears to be the case.

I do know that the first advertisements I have found post-war
date to early 1946 in NZ and mid-1946 in AUS, with almost
definitive proof that this was the Model C.

TO BE CONTINUED …


Moderated by  Alan M, CyberJack, Mr Davis 

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