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Firestone power mower- RARE!

alco2nr

Registered
I came across this 20" rotary power mower a week or so ago. It's a 20" push type powered by a B&S 6BH. It has an aluminum deck which had been cracked and repaired a few times. The cracks were from things thrown off the blade and the repairs were done nicely with TIG Heliarc welding process. The engine turned over easily and had good compression. I was told that it had not been run for many years. When I got it home, I found water in the fuel tank and carb and the fuel line was plugged. There was no spark. I cleaned out the fuel system, pulled the flywheel and cleaned and gapped the points, cleaned and gapped the spark plug, put everything back together, poured in some fresh gas, and checked the oil. It started on the second pull and ran beautifully! Good power and no smoke. So far, so good. Now the fun starts- the only identifying marks anywhere on the mower or engine are the badge on the handle bar which says Firestone power mowers around the outside and an old english "F" in the center. Also a few date codes. One on the underside of the mower deck and the other on the underside of the flywheel. These indicate that the parts were made in December and November of 1957. There is no manufacturers name on the mower and no model, serial# or type on the engine. I was able to determine that it was a 6BH by contacting Briggs and Strattons help line. Mike at B&H was very helpful and gave me a wealth of information including an "Antique operators manuals" link which gave illustrations and part numbers for many types of antique and vintage engines. The illustration for the 6BH shown there matched my engine to the last detail. The part numbers listed allowed me to order the parts I need to put the engine in like new condition. I still have no clue who made this mower for Firestone or what the model is called. This is mostly why I'm posting it on Smokestak. I'm hoping one of you will come back with something like" OH yeah! It's a Hubbertson nunsuch they made a bazzillion of 'em!" Meanwhile, I have taken the mower apart, bead blasted everything except the motor block, ground down, filled and sanded the deck, rebushed the wheels and axles and repainted everything the correct original colors. Great fun!
 

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Craig A

Moderator
Staff member
Age
68
Last Subscription Date
12/20/2015
Re: FIRESTONE power mower- RARE!!!

Great story alco....... :wave:

How about posting the link to that engine "Antique operators manuals" source?....... :brows:

OH........welcome to Stak....... :D
 

Bill Sherlock

Subscriber
Age
75
Last Subscription Date
06/27/2020
Re: FIRESTONE power mower- RARE!!!

I checked my "Lawn Mowers 1948 - 1962" Compiled by Alan C. King but there's no reference to Firestone mowers included in the 82 Companies and 255 mowers listed. I'm thinking it wasn't a common mower even when being sold.

Bill
 

Ken Karrow

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/10/2019
Re: FIRESTONE power mower- RARE!!!

Can't say how rare it is but back in those years there were a number of companies that would make equipment and put a store name on it with a minimum order. Western Tool & Stamping of Lincoln (?) Nebraska comes to mind. Only investment to manufacturer was decals and changing the color of paint. Franklin in the appliance industry did the same thing. Order a bunch of freezers and they had your store name on them. The minimum order was suprizingly small in some cases. Small hardware chains did this on a regular basis. If they did decent volumn even a six to ten store chain was big enough to make it work. Also back in the days when your mower was built, Wards and Sears were the big box stores and lots of towns that weren't big enough for those had a nice Firestone or Good Year store that sold mowers and appliances in addition to tires. I've seen lots of Firestone freezers built by Franklin. IHC freezers were built by IHC however.

I'll quit rambling now. Your mower looks real nice -- good job.

Ken :wave:
 

alco2nr

Registered
Re: FIRESTONE power mower- RARE!!!

Bill, I was wondering if Mr Kings reference included any illiustrations or photos? I'm sure this mower was manufactured by a company other than Firestone. Studying the illustrations may reveal who the manufacturer was. The design of the deck is quite unique. Thanks for your input.
 

Bill Sherlock

Subscriber
Age
75
Last Subscription Date
06/27/2020
Looked through my lawnmower book but none of the illustrations show a mower with a similar deck. That doesn't necessarily mean it couldn't have been manufactured by one of the compaies listed in the book.

Bill
 

alco2nr

Registered
Thanks, Mike and Dale for the info on the Cooper mower being auctioned on eBay. I looked closely at the pictures posted with this item. Although the deck is a different design, I see similarities which may be characteristic of Cooper mowers. Such as the rods set screwed into the discharge chute and the adjustable steel plate on the front of the deck. Also the shape of the chute. I am pretty confident that my mower was made in late 1957. Cooper may have redesigned their rotary mower between 1953 and 1957. It seems to me that the '53 design would tend to scalp.
 

oldwelder

Registered
i just got a firestone riding lawn mower id like to find somthing about it. its like a mini riding mower its gold and black
 

Banjo

Registered
BIG thanks for that link to the antique operators manuals!!!!! that's the part number lists I've been searching for!!!
 

oldwelder

Registered
i just bought a firestone deluxe 25" riding lawn mower all i know about it it runs good and will mow i cant find anything about it id like to know more
 

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