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This old riding mower from Craftsman came into our museum the other day. The info plate lists this as a model 536.81350. I can't find a single image of any mower like this from Sears (or from any other maker for that matter). I couldn't find it in any old Sears catalogs either. The front reel cutter and the handle bar steering make it unlike any other Craftsman riding mower that I can find on-line. I am looking for a way to put a date on when this would have been originally for sale. Or any other ideas or opinions that you might have. Thanks!
 

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. I am looking for a way to put a date on when this would have been originally for sale. Or any other ideas or opinions that you might have. Thanks!
Use the engine numbers (date code) to find the year. The 536 number indicates it was made by Murray or Noma.
 

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Use the engine numbers (date code) to find the year. The 536 number indicates it was made by Murray or Noma.
Thanks! I also found a web site that showed how to use the Briggs and Stratton logo to get an approximate date. I will get the engine information.
 

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This old riding mower from Craftsman came into our museum the other day. The info plate lists this as a model 536.81350. I can't find a single image of any mower like this from Sears (or from any other maker for that matter). I couldn't find it in any old Sears catalogs either. The front reel cutter and the handle bar steering make it unlike any other Craftsman riding mower that I can find on-line. I am looking for a way to put a date on when this would have been originally for sale. Or any other ideas or opinions that you might have. Thanks!
I have one of those! I have been actively looking for information on them for a few weeks with no luck. When I bought mine the guy had another one, wish I bought that one as well. That was the only other time I've seen one of these and that was 25 years ago. I'll see if I can post some pics of it.
 

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I have one of those! I have been actively looking for information on them for a few weeks with no luck. When I bought mine the guy had another one, wish I bought that one as well. That was the only other time I've seen one of these and that was 25 years ago. I'll see if I can post some pics of it.
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Very nice. It is good to find others still exist. I see a few differences from ours, so a slightly different model or year. Yours has the double wheels in back, and no side bars to the seat. And I can't tell of yours has the handle bar steering, It looks like there might be only the one arm. Interesting that this version lasted at least long enough to have multiple iterations of the design.

The wide front reel suggested (at least to us) more of a commercial mower than for the home. Although that would not be Sears primary market. And our museum acquired ours from a family that used it as a home mower, and without even that large a yard to mow. So it is likely just a short lived version from Craftsman. Our dating of the engine puts it in the early 1950's. Going through Sears catalogs of that time frame does not confirm this.
 

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Yes, mine has the same handle bar steering as well. The other one I looked at when I bought this one only had the single rear wheels just like yours but I can not remember what it's seat looked like. Using the Model and serial number on the engine puts the engine being manufactured in February/March of 1956 but I have no way to tell if it's original. The Craftsman tag on the mower is 536-81351.

Very interesting how you think I may have been more of a commercial mower. I bought as a teenager to use mowing lawns for the summer, I also had a Locke Triplex and a 48" Bunton I had restored.
 
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