Thu Jan 08, 2004 8:15 am

I got this from a wonderful friend in WV for helping her move last year during two rainy/cold weekends in a row. It sure is a heavy sonovagun!

It says BIG no4 on the wheel hubs. How do I find out exactly what this is and how old it is?

(For inquiring minds....that's a Craftsman GT16 in the middle pic. It has a custom fabbed and mounted cigarette pack holder!!.....Not for me...I only smoke if I'm on fire!....)

Thu Jan 08, 2004 9:37 am

:lol: Marion that sure is one heck of a mower from the looks of that stump it mowed down laying next to it. :roll:

Thu Jan 08, 2004 12:29 pm

That appears to be quite a bit larger than the IH one I found in the bush.
I sure would like to see one of these things "in action".

Would they have been used to mow hay in a large field?

I think the little IH NEW4 was used to keep roadsides clean.

Thu Jan 08, 2004 6:59 pm

EZ, these certainly were used to mow hay in a big field. They are stilll in common use by the Amish around a number of places such as Holmes County Ohio and Lancaster County PA. These folks are successful farmers and do it with horses, chiefly Belgians, and horse drawn equipment. Somehow they keep the horse drawn equipment running and seemingly in good repair. :D

Thu Jan 08, 2004 9:20 pm

The Big 4 was made by McCormick. Wendell's book gives the years as about 1892 to about 1897. That sounds about right.

Fri Jan 09, 2004 7:51 am

R U kiddin me???? 1892-1897?? Wow that's a real antique there.
Are you sure you are referring to my #4 BIG JD mower? It says John Deere #4 right on it. So, JD was made by McCormick?? I have so much more to learn!!!!...I wonder if I can still get any of the few parts it needs to be in working condition? And also, what is "Wendell's" book? Sorry bout all the questions but now I'm curious as heck ! I was going to make sort of a lawn ornament/conversation piece out of it but perhaps there's a more dignified use in store???-Marion

Fri Jan 09, 2004 10:51 am

I take it all back.

In the picture I could see the green paint, but couldn't read the castings. I knew there was a John Deere # 4, but wasn't aware they called one a "Big 4".

McCormick/IH made "Big" versions (heavier duty) of several of the horse drawn mowers, evidently Deere did too.

I think the Deere #4 was considerably later than the McCormick #4, a SWAG would be the '30s, but I don't know that either.

C. H. Wendels' book I was refering to is "150 Years of International Harvester". It is 400+ pages of mostly pictures with captions. It was published by Motorbooks and is probably out of print.