From the Curator
An Ideal Challenge
In 1970 I was on a farm in Culpeper County. The owners were in their sixties. They were Fordson farmers with two nice Fordson tractors and all the equipment. They wouldn't sell their tractors but they did have what appeared to be a motorized lawn mower, incomplete and missing parts.
It was a challenge so I bought it. It took me years to find out that it was an Ideal Lawn Mower, circa 1915, made in Lansing, Michigan. Last year at the Volcano Stationary Engine Show, a fellow said he had a Coldwell and an Ideal lawn mower. We made a deal and I went to Moundsville, WV and got them.
My cousin Ralph Davis of MacFarlan, WV, also a collector, helped me get it all together. So now I have an Ideal as it came out of the factory. I only know of three complete Ideals and two partials. My next project is to do the Coldwell Model H, made in Albany, NY in 1915. When I go to a steam or engine show, I always leave with a feeling of pride at what our predecessors made. It's great to be an American!
Owner & Curator from 1967-2004
Update - David Anderson of Conneticut notified us that he has a working Ideal mower. There are probably a few more of these great machines out there.
Roaring Twenties Antique Car Museum copyr. 2000 - 2010
Roaring Twenties copyr. 2000 - 2010