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Antique (Prewar?) Riding Lawn Roller

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#1 Florida_GT OFFLINE  

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Posted October 10, 2014 - 12:36 PM

Some of you may recall my selling a couple of garden tractors (2 Round Fender JD’s and a Bolens EK-10) here last year, on behalf of the widow of my life-long best friend and tractor co-collecting buddy, who lost his life in a tragic accident a couple of years ago. I am assisting his widow and college-aged son liquidate a few last items. He lived in Western NY. I am here in Florida, but am hoping to be able to successfully help her from afar.


About 15 years ago, he purchased this (for lack of a better term) “riding lawn roller” at an estate sale, held at a large Victorian house with a correspondingly large lot there in Western NY.


I was able to get some pictures of it last summer, although admittedly I wish I could have rolled it outside.


*Note that for some reason I can't the first picture, the best overall view of the machine, to rotate properly. Sorry about that although the others are correct. I will try to get it fixed.


He bought it minus the engine, with plans to source a period-correct power plant and get it operational again. You can see in the pictures where the engine was originally mounted, on the parallel 2x4’s there on the left front of the machine.


My assumption is that this was “probably” constructed locally by a shop or highly-skilled individual, although that being said the build quality is really superb. Note the attention to detail in the frame construction! Throttle control is visible on the right side of the seat support in the one picture. It could well be a factory-built machine, although my research has yet to turn anything up.


It almost certainly, in my humble opinion, is prewar. It utilizes a lever steering mechanism (the tall lever to the far right when seated), and seems like it has provision for not only reverse but also for (3) forward speeds, attainable by moving the drive belt between the variable-sized pulley sheaves. Note the final chain drive, and the means by which the chain is meant to be tensioned.


This machine is HEAVY, although quite compact. Maybe 60” long, perhaps shorter. The seat is wider than it looks; approximately 22-24”.  I apologize that I don’t have more accurate measurements.


Dusted off and fitted with a correct, vintage engine this machine will be most impressive at any engine show. It also could easily be pressed into service to roll your lawn! It should take a minimum of effort to have it, uhm, rolling again.


Frankly, it reminds me of those old photos that we all love; with the gentlemen operating vintage machinery on a gorgeous summer day, all while dressed in a white dress shirt. It will look positively killer with the right engine! We truly want to see it preserved and enjoyed.


This cool machine is located in Western NY, just outside of Buffalo, zip code 14043 and quite close to the NY State Thruway.


My friend’s widow is also including the small vintage air compressor, seen at the front of the lawn roller in the one picture. I don’t know a lot about this, although it probably dates from the 1940’s-50’s (maybe earlier) and is believed to be functional but no guarantees.

We would like to get $150 for everything. Please contact me with any comments/questions. Thank you!

Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by Florida_GT, October 10, 2014 - 12:52 PM.

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Posted October 10, 2014 - 04:17 PM

Lawn roller ? not so sure asphalt was invented in 1870 what is the tank for on the front? and the scraper blades just wondering

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#3 Florida_GT OFFLINE  

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Posted October 10, 2014 - 04:33 PM



The tank is actually not associated with the machine at all; it is part of the old air compressor that I described in the ad. My friend had a lot of stuff in the garage and merely shoved it up tight to the roller. His wife is including the compressor for anyone who buys the roller.


I am fairly confident that it was originally intended as a lawn roller, although I suppose it could also be utilized on soft dirt or gravel.


Again it appears prewar to me, maybe late 1930's or early 1940's. Certainly, I could be wrong!


Thanks, Mike

#4 icecream4070 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 10, 2014 - 07:42 PM

Pm me please
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#5 farmerall OFFLINE  

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Posted October 10, 2014 - 09:04 PM

It could be possible that it's an early greens roller for a golf course.

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#6 Florida_GT OFFLINE  

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Posted October 11, 2014 - 11:25 AM

Actually, that's an intriguing thought as well, it potentially being an early greens roller.


And please don't think I discounted the earlier comment about it being an asphalt roller!


Most of the (limited) research I've done, with regards to ride-on rollers, either directs me to VERY early machines (pre-1910) or else commercial-type machinery from the 1960's and up.


I am very excited to see someone buy this and hopefully get it powered with a period-correct engine. Honestly, were it me I wouldn't restore it other than a nice thorough wipe down and detailing.


Thanks everyone for the interest!

#7 Florida_GT OFFLINE  

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Posted November 04, 2014 - 11:36 AM

We have lowered the price to $100; note that this includes the vintage air compressor as well as the roller.


Would really like to see this sell before winter settles in. Please contact me with any comments or questions. Thank you!!

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