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The History of Atco Lawnmowers
A piece of British gardening history!
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Atco is an absolute classic British lawnmower brand - if
you wish to buy a cylinder mower, then these lawnmowers
are very best you can buy. These are the types of machines
that will last generations if looked after properly, and
there are many mowers bought in the 1950s and 60s that are
still going strong. Below is a brief history of Atco lawnmowers.
Incidentally, the name "Atco" was derived from the Atlas
Chain Company, a name owned by Charles H Pugh Ltd, the company
that launched the first Atco lawnmowers.
The first 900 open framed 22" petrol powered lawnmowers
were launched. These heavy machines were sold at £75
each by salesmen using a specially modified motor cycle
and sidecar combination. Charles Pugh Ltd, the company
behind the Atco name, was a successful manufacturer of
small components, used extensively during the First World
War on military equipment, including armaments. Demand
for these products inevitably dropped following the Armistice
in 1918, and the company looked for new products and markets.
One of the first products was a carburettor known as the
Senspray which was sold to engine manufacturers such as
Villiers for use in motorcycles. Another product was Alfred
Appleby Cycle Chain, "The Best Cycle Chain In The World". But best-known of these new products was, of course, the Atco lawnmower.
Nationwide network of Service Agents was set up following
the successful launch of the Atco range - the first such
company to do this.
The Atco standard range was launched using a malleable
iron cast chassis (produced by Qualcast). Click on this
link to see a picture of the 14"
Atco Standard, mid-1920s.
A new steel chassis was introduced, reducing prices such that medium
weight machines were now retailing at under £15.
The Atco training car was launched in July to improve
road safety awareness through schools and colleges. Following
the outbreak of World War II, production was halted after
only 250 had been sold.
100,000 sq. ft. of floor space at the Birmingham site was given
over to munitions production. The contribution to the war effort
was highly commended by the Ministries concerned.
Under peace time normality, the Birmingham sites grew four-fold.
Full time mower production and servicing heralded the beginning
of a 'boom' period for domestic lawnmower manufacturers.
By this time, several types of product from powered auto scythes
to boat impellers had been introduced. The latter found extensive
sales opportunities in the marsh-lands of the Far East.
Royal warrant was granted by Queen Elizabeth II for our tractors
Charles H Pugh Ltd. became part of the Qualcast Group.
Atco Royale, a prestigious sit behind lawnmower, was introduced.
Lawnmower production moved from the West Midlands to the Stowmarket
site of Suffolk Iron Foundry (1920) Ltd.
The Birmingham site became the spare parts centre for the entire
Qualcast organisation in the UK and was later renamed Serpar.
In the early hours of November 5th a fire destroyed the old
Charles H Pugh site and stock, resulting in its complete closure
and move to East Anglia as Atco Ltd.
Webb (mowers & cycles) was acquired by Atco.
A second Royal warrant by HRH Prince of Wales was added to the
The entire Group was acquired by Blue Circle Industries and
foundry divisions were sold off.
All manufacturing operations were transferred to Stowmarket
and the consolidated company was renamed Atco-Qualcast Ltd.
Successful Management buy-out of Atco-Qualcast Ltd. heralded
a new beginning.
The new company was acquired by Robert Bosch GmbH.
Atco Royale rose appeared at the Chelsea flower show to celebrate
30 years production.
Atco's 75th anniversary year saw the launch of QX, the innovative
Quick Exchange cassette system.
Atco expands its range to include silent shredders which have
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