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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I spotted a listing on Craigs list for a Jacobsen antique 2 stroke push mower the other day. After a couple of days of hemming and hawing about it, I decided to call the guy and go take a look at it. It turned out to be an 18" Turbo Cut with a cast deck.

It has a fair amount of rust, and hardly any paint left on the deck, but he engine was free, and there weren't any cracks or breaks on the deck anywhere I could see. Heck, the tires still have tread on them and the original coke bottle grips are in tact with no splits, and the serial number plate was still on it. So, for 10 bucks, I brought it home yesterday afternoon.

I checked the serial number, 34C1-144038 on the Hit and Miss site and found out it's a 1961.



I sent an email off to Jacobsen/Textron this morning and asked if they had a manual or parts list in their archives for it. Much to my surprise, they sent me a pdf of the parts list within a couple of hours! They included the caveat that they don't support this product any longer.:rolleyes:
 

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Nice find Bruce!! :) Looks like you picked up a good, unmolested one. Any history on it like was it sold by the original owner or anything like that?

You don't see this particular style Jacobsen push mower with the staggered wheels as much. It looks very much like Jacobsen's version of a Lawnboy in a way. It's amazing how much bigger the engine looks because of that cover! It's neat to see the early beginnings of the incorporation of the gas tank molded into the engine cover, much like a modern mower of today. I bet that was soon after, if not the first year, when Jacobsen started doing that and really modernizing their mowers. I remember there was like a cut off point in the late 1950's or very early 1960's where all of a sudden their mowers started taking on a totally different, more modern look, and didn't have that antique somewhat crude style to them anymore. You can see this in the Jacobsen Story.

Well, keep us updated on the new addition! Are your plans to get it going right a way or maybe hold off for a while and come back to it later?

Congrats! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks Austen. Unfortunately I don't have the specific history about it. The fellow I bought it from had gotten it in an auction as part of a package of stuff, and he didn't want the Jake. Actually that rectangular shroud is nothing more than window dressing. Take it off, and the tank and shroud you see on any of Jake's 321s is there. I think they called this one the "Deluxe" model. Look at the ones in this ad from 1958. These are referred to as the Model 77 and the 34B Deluxe next to it. Without the outer shroud, it looks just like the 77.

LIFE - Google Books

Anyway, so far I found that a mouse had made itself a very comfortable home between the shroud and flywheel! Amazingly enough, none of the bolts or screws I've tried have been stuck. There's a big doughnut of a muffler under that big cutting disc, much like Lawn Boy's. It's right at 100 psi for compression, but no spark. I'll have to get out my home made 321 flywheel puller and check out the condition of the points and all. I looked though that copy of the Jacobsen Story this afternoon. Jacobsen came out with that 4 blade disc set up in 1955. All in all, I'm pretty tickled with it. This is my oldest rotary, and it'll go along nicely with the 1960 Edge-R-Trim I got last year.
 

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That's interesting, I guess I figured the cover included a gas tank as well. Thanks for the link and pointing out the observations. It looks clean too, it shows the difference compared to the 'ol reels that sling the grease and oil everywhere.

You're right, it is a great addition to your Edger as they date very close to each other. I'm curious, is it pretty heavy?

I'm sure you'll get it running without much trouble. :)
 

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I spotted a listing on Craigs list for a Jacobsen antique 2 stroke push mower the other day. After a couple of days of hemming and hawing about it, I decided to call the guy and go take a look at it. It turned out to be an 18" Turbo Cut with a cast deck. ..
Cool!! :cool: By the looks of those wheels it can't have too many hours on it even if they never touched cement or pavement.

I also see a picture of mine in that article. The model 63.

...You can see this in the Jacobsen Story. ..
Is there a book available with photos of the different models?
 

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Is there a book available with photos of the different models?
Yeah,

it was something I came across on Ebay a while ago. It is not quite so much about the models themselves, but rather all about the history of the company and how it was originated and progressed through the years. I was just about dumbfounded when I came across and got it because I quite literally couldn't believe there was such a thing like this.

Because of it's length and very delicate condition, it will take some time, but I will work on scanning it in and send it to you electronically. I'd like to get it saved in an electronic format and onto my computer so that it can be shared more easily, but it will just take time to do it properly is all. It's been one of those things that's been on the back burner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was very surprised to find that it was just another shroud tacked on over the existing parts of the other models. I'd be interested in knowing if there was a difference in the cutting blades on the different models. I see they called them standards, turbo cuts, and turbo vacs. Does your model 63 have the disc with the four cutting blades Mark? I have seen pictures of some with only two.

It is very light. I'll go out and stand on a scale with it today to see what it weighs. Definitely a lot lighter that a Lawn Queen! You're right, Austen, with the only moving part on the outside being from the engine, there's nothing to sling oil all over at all. The muffler and around the carb does look pretty greasy, though. Everything was pretty clean up under the shrouds and tank.

Austen, if you'd like, I could burn off a pdf of the Jacobsen Story copy you shared to pass along for now. That'll save handling the original too much until you can devote some real time for scanning.
 

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That is very kind of you Bruce, but I don't expect you to have to do that. Like I said, it's been something I've been meaning to do for a while and just need to actually make a bit of time to do it. A good weekend rainy day project sort of thing.
 

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Thanks Austen! Sounds like an interesting read. :cool:

.. Does your model 63 have the disc with the four cutting blades Mark? I have seen pictures of some with only two...
No, mine only has two blades. I still have never checked the numbers on mine to see if I could come up with a date. All I currently know is my father bought it used in 1965 from the hardware store where my grandfather worked on and sold mowers. Always assumed late 50's early 60's but never verified it for sure.



 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cool Mark! I knew I'd seen Jakes with two blades. That's exactly what the engine looks like on mine with the rectangular shroud removed. The recoil goes on top of the rectangular shroud and the four screws you see hold it all on top of the sculptured shroud you see on Mark's.

I went out and did a quick weigh in of the Turbo Cut this morning. Other than confirming I need to stick with my New Year's resolution:rolleyes:I found the Turbo Cut 18 weighs in around 50 lbs. A darn sight lighter than the Lawn Queen, which, by the way, is more than a bit lighter than me.:eek:

I'll have to share this link with Andrew over on SmokStak. He might like to see the photo of the two bladed version. Talk about a guy who know his stuff. Andrew is a wealth of knowledge about Jacobsens!

It wouldn't be a problem to make a pdf at all. I planned to do it anyway to get it all into one file, plus, I just like to have both printed and computer copies of the old stuff.
 

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I'm going to feel terrible if you haven't come across this site before! :eek:

Hit & Miss Model's Jacobsen serial number lookup for products made before 1975
I'm sure you gave that to me a long time ago. I just kept forgetting to pull the number while I had it out of the shed. :eek:

I went out this morning and dug my way back into it before I forgot again. ;)

This is the number from the plate I found on the left side of the engine shroud. There is no plate on the steel deck.

63 18 2456

Unless I'm doing something wrong it shows up as a 1941 model! :eek:

Name: Power Mower

Prefix: 18

Item number: 2456

Year: 1941

That would have made it 24 years old when dad bought it and over 30 years old the first time I pushed it around 40 years ago. :eek:

If one of you has a chance could you see if you come up with the same thing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I tried looking in this section. Rotary Disc & Bar 18"

The first prefix to come up is 18. When I put 2456 in for the serial number, it shows it to be a 1950.

A little further down the list is a prefix 6318. Tried that one and it shows 1958 as the year of manufacture. Given your Dad bought it in '65, does that sound more correct?

Curiously, there is a photo, and it shows something completely different than your model 63, but the photo never changes despite which model prefix you choose. Also the model 34C18(like mine) is also in this category of prefix numbers. I put my serial number in, and it showed 1960, just like the result that I got for the Turbo Cut 18.

I made a sticky in the Jacobsen forum for the Hit & Miss serial look up. I also found this publication that's in the Michigan State University library archives dated September 19, 1986. Sort of a condensed version of that book you've got Austen.
http://archive.lib.msu.edu/tic/groot/article/1986sep19.pdf
 

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Cool stuff Bruce!! :)

Thanks for weighing it out and everything, it's definitely interesting to have an idea of what it feels like and how much it weighs. I'm sure this mower would be very comfortable to use in small yards and tight places where you're always maneuvering the mower.


Yes, Andrew is a HUGE wealth of knowledge for Jacobsens. He definitely knows his stuff. When I get the book scanned, I definitely will get a copy sent to him.

Speaking of the book, nice find on that PDF! That is really cool and like you said, it's a condensed version of it. Nice find!

Regarding the year of your mower Mark, 1958 definitely sounds more like it. Jacobsen did not come out with the rotary until the 50's.

Geeze, I may just have to find a Jac rotary one of these days! I see them every once in a while on CL and it would be a great mower to use in our small front yard. Hmmmm.
 

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....Regarding the year of your mower Mark, 1958 definitely sounds more like it. Jacobsen did not come out with the rotary until the 50's.....
Thanks for double checking for me on that guys. :)

Yeah, that is the time period I've always figured it to be. I've always thought back in the 40's they were alll reel types yet.

I suspose there is a chance it came back into the shop used with a blown motor or dent in the shrould and they pulled a good shroud or engine off the scrap shelf from something older. But my grandfather never mentioned anything about it and it's pretty unlikely anyway considering my grandfather was selling it to his brand new son-in-law. :D I think at one time he might have told me the name of the original owners. But if so I have long ago forgot who it was. :rolleyes:

Thanks for the link to the pdf you found Bruce. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I was wondering what the heck they were talking about when they referred to "Rotary Disc and Bar". Then I went back and took yet another look at the Jacobsen Story. When talking about the introduction in 1955 of the rotary four bladed disc, they tout it's advantages over the "conventional bar-type cutter blade, 4 cuts vs. 2 cuts per RPM. So, the blades we're all so used to seeing in our mowers are evidently what they would have called "bar-type" blades, and Jacobsen must have offered both back in the day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
O.K., it's Sunday, nothing much on TV, and Google is my friend.

The "Jacobsen Story" says that the company acquired the Standard Manufacturing Company of Lebanon, Indiana, a pioneer in the rotary mower field, back in 1948. So, I Google that company. Up comes this story that mentions the company, and that the owner, Ralph Poynter, got a patent for a rotary mower back in 1935, and sold the company's inventory to Jacobsen in 1947.
MY HUSBAND' S 8 HOURS A DAY HOBBY
So, off I go Googling Poynter patents 1935, and fond what must be one of the granddaddies to todays mowers.
Patent US2005204 - LAWN MOWER - Google Patents
then, poking around a little more, I find this patent given to Poynter in 1941.
Patent US2245821 - R POYNTER - Google Patents
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the guy put cutting blades on the end of two spinning discs back in 1940. Looks like maybe Jacobsen took the idea and ran with it and put it on their mowers in 1955. But look close at it. Not only are there two blades down at the bottom, but two more further up on the shaft. Sort of reminds me of Honda's Quadra Cut system.
O.K., I'm going to get off of the computer now.
 

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This is good stuff Bruce! It sounds like you had an eventful afternoon spending quality time exploring more of Jacobsen's history! :cool:

Thanks for providing those links! I'm going to have to print them out and read them. It's always a wonderful thing to delve deeper into the depths of the history of something that you are passionate about. It always gives more understanding and can provide different angles to think about things.

As I said, great stuff! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)

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Thanks! I printed out the patent. Too bad there is not an easy way to print out the pages from Popular Mechanics. Looks like I might have to piece together some screen print images of it.

I used to have some old issues that my grandparents saved from that time period. Might still be faster for me to paste together the screen prints then trying to find if I still have the magazines. Last time I remember seeing them was back in the 1980's before we moved. :rolleyes:
 
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