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Jan Oldenhuis's picture
Jan Oldenhuis
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

--27j and 323 Triple Gang Mower (1952-63)

A new thread for the 27j Triple Gang Mower.

Old triple gang mower, but still perfectly in use.

I grew up in the countryside of the Northern Netherlands with many farms. As a child I played a lot on a farm and saw many farm machines. The Farm Equipment series is therefore one of my favorites of which I would like to have all models. Also DT 27j-323 Triple Gang Mower.

My 27j Triple Gang Mower behind 27a Massey-Harris tractor

This model is classified as a Farm model but you will absolutely not encounter it in a farm. It is unsuitable for the farmer as a lawnmower, because this model is intended to keep the grass of a lawn short. The farmer needs long grass to mow for hay and he needs another mower for that. The triple gang mower is intended for mowing lawns in public areas, such as parks, football and golf fields and the like.

I think this model is a masterpiece of Meccano Liverpool. It is a complicated model, consisting of 3 separate mowers that are linked together by a frame with large rivets, which can be turned slightly, so that it can smoothly follow the track of the tractor. The model is even equipped with a towbar.

27j Triple Gang Mower top side

Triple Gang Mower underside.

Triple Gang Mower left side

The bottom of the 3 mowers are cast marked with “Meccano Ltd” and the wheels on the outside with “Dinky Toys”. The middle frame is marked "Made in England". My model does not have a sales number and could come from a trade box of 3 pieces. It is unknown to me whether the model was ever provided with a sales number. I couldn't find any documentation or pictures of it. The 27h Disc Harrow, for example, did receive a sales number.

Job 13695 Gang Mower Assembly

The model 27j was announced in MM of October 1952.

Introduction DT 27j in MM October 1952

The 27j model did not appear in the UK 1952 catalogue, but did appear in the USA and Dutch 1952 catalogue. For the UK, it first appeared in the 1953 price list and catalogue. Another proof that Meccano Liverpool considered export more important than the UK home market.

27j Triple Gang Mower in catalogue USA 1952 

27j Triple Gang Mower in Dutch catalogue October 1952

27j Triple Gang Mower in DT catalogue UK 1953

Documentation in DT&MM and GBofDT do not give any special information about this model. I therefore keep wondering whether there are models with a sales number in the base and whether there are casting variations. Shades of colour will certainly be there. I hope members can say something about this and add some information. In the PDF library is a Meccano assembly drawing of the Gang Mower Job 13695 dated 16-3-51 donated by Mike Richardson, but it doesn't provide any special information either. There is not any description of change on the Job list.

Jan Oldenhuis 14 July 2022.

janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Hi Jan, a very nice article and documentation regarding this Triple Gang Mower! I like the photo of the prototype in particular, never seen.

I had to dig deep in my memory to remember that I made a series of photos back in 2006 [!]. One was used for the cover of the 2006 July issue of The Journal and I used many others for a contribution to the Talk Model Toys website forum, which is gone now, unfortunately. On its turn the text of this provisional essay was used on page 4 of the same issue. Some scans and photos below.

Kind regards, Jan W

Jan Oldenhuis's picture
Jan Oldenhuis
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Jan, thank you very much for the additional information. From a response to your article in Journal July 2006 it appears that number 323 was applied to the bottom of the middle frame at some time. This is very important information I was looking for. It would be really nice if someone would add a photo of such base with number 323.

Kind regards, Jan O.

johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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DTCA MemberUSA

I only recently got interested in this wonderful model. I compensated for ignoring it so long by buying three ...

 

Jan Oldenhuis's picture
Jan Oldenhuis
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

I managed to post a photo of sales number 323.

I was able to contact Jacques Hammel for a photo of his 323 Triple Gang Mower, on which he sent me attached photos.

The number 323 is cast on the lower left side of the frame, positioned under the rollers of the first mower, so not so easy to photograph.

Jacques, thank you very much for that.

I don't think there is a Triple Gang Mower with cast sales number 27j on the base, otherwise the number 323 would have been applied on a raised plate on the place of number 27j, as is usual but not the case here. Sometimes there are 2 sales numbers on the base, as is the case with the 27k-324 Hay Rake, seen in the relevant Topic, but shown here again as an example, so maybe there is a dual numbered 27j-323 base? I'll keep an eye on that.

Kind regards Jan Oldenhuis, 20 July 2022.