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The Chief Engineer At Bolens


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#1 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted June 24, 2014 - 09:48 AM

Came across a very interesting article that talks about William J. Adams Jr. who was the chief engineer at Bolens starting in 1946

 

Scroll to page 10,

Attached File  TrailblJun2013a(1).pdf   6.74MB   146 downloads

 

Sadly after I posted this thread I found he passed away in September  2013 :(


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#2 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted June 24, 2014 - 10:04 AM

Not much in the article about his FMC career but he certainly had a long and successful life.


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#3 gunstuff1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 24, 2014 - 10:46 AM

Very interesting! Now you know this is going to throw a wrench into things because it states he is testing the bolens ridemaster in 1946 but all paper work points to 1948 as the start of production. I doubt they would need to test for two years when the fmc bean was already proven I'm sure they had a few prototypes an from what I have been told it was 10 prototypes they had made till they got the design they wanted. It sure would be nice if bolens would have kept better records of their productions!
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#4 Husky ONLINE  

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Posted June 24, 2014 - 11:27 AM

Good article thanks for sharing that. It would be a lot of fun to talk with him and work with him on a Bolens project.


Edited by Husky, June 24, 2014 - 11:28 AM.

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#5 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

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Posted June 24, 2014 - 02:34 PM

 He certainly would have been an interesting guy to have been able to talk with about these Ridemasters.

The article states that he started working for FMC in 1946  and shows a photo of him on a Ridemaster with the date as 1946 but that photo date could very well just be an assumption made by whoever wrote up the article.

 

I agree with Aaron, it sure would be nice if Bolens had kept better records.

 

I have read a lot on the Ridemaster tractors and talked with a few owners and I use to think that I knew a lot about them.

However, the more I read and the more people I talk with, the more confused I have become.

The only consistent thing that I've found is that you can't believe everything you read or everything you here on these tractors.


Edited by jdcrawler, June 24, 2014 - 02:41 PM.

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#6 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted June 24, 2014 - 03:03 PM


 

I agree with Aaron, it sure would be nice if Bolens had kept better records.

 

I have read a lot on the Ridemaster tractors and talked with a few owners and I use to think that I knew a lot about them.

However, the more I read and the more people I talk with, the more confused I have become.

The only consistent thing that I've found is that you can't believe everything you read or everything you here on these tractors.

 

That is so true, If anyone claims they know everything about Bolens they are full of it.

I still am learning new things everyday about these tractors and Bolens history.

 

Seems like anything older than 1956 the information becomes a crap shoot. Best we can do is keep uncovering new information and sharing what we find to help put the puzzle together.


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#7 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted June 24, 2014 - 03:48 PM

But, I would say this is what makes collecting Bolens enjoyable. Alot of the Garden Tractor brands used the same color scheme and basic design year after year, Bolens was always experimenting and coming up with fresh new ideas including new color and logo changes which looks great at shows when you have a vast array of years to display.


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#8 wilberj OFFLINE  

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Posted June 24, 2014 - 05:04 PM

Great find! I'll dig into this some more.

 

Heres the early patent to the Ridemaster. 

http://www.google.co...tents/US2457821

 

Heres a patent by William J. Adams Jr.

http://www.google.co...kward-citations

 

 

resolverCA2UW7L7.jpg

 

resolver 24.jpg

 

Here is a ad Ray sent his name is in it and see when its dated....   I think there was a typo in the stuff Brian posted.

 

Attached File  Tms.bmp   3.82MB   30 downloads


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#9 MyBolens1053 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 25, 2014 - 03:20 AM

Let me jump in here and help clarify. William J. Adams Jr., who was the chief engineer at Bolens starting in 1946, is pictured on a Ridemaster. Nothing was stated that the photo was in 1946. Also, if you look at the picture closely it was taken on a farm residence, not a factory. This would most likely be a personal pic of William at his home on his OWN Ridemaster sometime after 1948. Remember, the story is about William, not FMC.

What month did Bill start with FMC? He just didn't walk in on the first day of the job and say "Here we go. Here are the designs for a Ridemaster." R&D did take much longer, back then, because more things were done by hand; specifically, mechanical drawings of parts. Documentations were hand written. Drafting teams would need to be hired to draw all of the various parts. Manuals had to be written and then typeset for printing. Patents applied for. This all took time.

 

So there was a lot more to the build of a machine from prototype to production.


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#10 trowel OFFLINE  

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Posted June 25, 2014 - 05:04 AM

I agree with MyBolens,

It was not uncommon to take years instead of months so the prototype could be that date before full scale production, i find this to be very true with the early walk behind tractors and still to this day run into dating problems.

 

As an example, a current battle im fighting is the Choremaster one wheel walk behind and Rotary Spader of Lodge and Shipley is a tough nut to crack with the early ones and the Rotary Spaders were re-branded as David Bradley for Sears and Roebuck but Monkey Wards was a mail order company and did not keep very good records, same with Lodge and Shipley.

 

another example is Garden Way, the first of the ''upright'' garden shredder/grinders was built by and marketed as WW Grinder Co with the wood chipper feature as a option but on the Garden Ways timeline sheet it is stated as a prototype test model that ran for two years under WW Grinder's model number before the company was bought and rebranded as troy Bilt.


Edited by trowel, June 25, 2014 - 05:09 AM.


#11 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

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Posted June 25, 2014 - 07:46 AM

 

The only consistent thing that I've found is that you can't believe everything you read or everything you here on these tractors.

 

You can't even believe all the printed info published and distributed by Bolens.  .....Several errors are in their printed info!


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#12 wilberj OFFLINE  

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Posted June 25, 2014 - 04:40 PM

FMC started work on the Bean Cutler in 1946 then later started selling it in 1947 up to around the end of 1948.  The Ridemaster came out around June of 1948.  


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