Revised 3 February, 2007

Switzerland


ORIGINAL SWISS ROTARY TILLER

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SIMAR


In 1918 SIMAR ( Société Industrielle de Machines Agicoles Rotatives ) of Geneva Switzerland, under license from Dr. von Meyenburg began manufacturing their version of the "walk-behind" rototiller.

It was a SIMAR C5 that was the first rototiller demonstrated in the U.S. in 1927.

C-2, 35C, C5-6

3 Different SIMAR Models

Rototiller, Inc. started importing SIMAR's in 1932. Rototiller, Inc was the "Exclusive Licencees and Distributors for North and South Americas (Argentine Excepted)". As stated on C2J number 16048 data plate.

E. C. Geiger Co. of North Wales, Pa. became the exclusive distributor sometime after World War II ended. Rototiller Inc. had stop importing them after 1939 because of the war. They no longer have any parts and the last SIMAR Mechanic in America died and his sons discarded all the parts he had before I had contacted them.

SIMAR continued manufacturing rototillers until 1975 when they went out of business. At that time the firm H. Oberholzer of Dietlikon Switzerland acquired the remaining spare parts from the factory. Oberholzer address and phone numbers are on the Links page.

This is the last version of the C5; horsepower has increased from 6HP to 8HP over the years. It has 2 forward speeds and 1 reverse. Like all SIMARs the engine is 2-cycle design
SIMAR C5-6 Serial No. 53942

Why the different numbering format is not known. Horsepower is about 4HP with only one forward gear. A leather strap is wrapped around the pulley on the flywheel to start all the models.
SIMAR 35C Serial No. 5988

This is the smallest of the 3 models I've seen. Powered by a 2-1/2hp engine, also only one forward speed. In the 1930's there was a model C3 rated at 3-1/2hp, similar to the C2 in size
SIMAR C2 Engine Serial No. 6041

All the above models have a separate miller(tine) control and wheel speed controls. See the red handle on the C2. Which makes moving the machines under its own power safer then the pre-PTO Troy-Bilts.
I have the remains of two models C2J's that are the same as the C2 except the Miller is engage anytime the wheels are engaged. There is only one handle to engage the wheels and miller.
   

Besides the five models I have, C2, C2J, 21C, 35C and C5-6 other models I have seen mention are the A-5, B20, B21, C2-Junior, C3, C31, C4, C4-1, C5-2, C5-5, C50, C8, C8-1, C80, 3, 30, 30B, 35, 40A, 40B, 40C15, 46DK, 50, 56, 56A, 58A, 10.2A (single-wheel), and 10. Later names were used, the Hackney, Morgan and the Clydesdale. The C5 has had improvements over the years, so the model number has gone from C5-2 6 h.p. in 1937 to C5-6 8 h.p. in 1970's. What the letters stand for or why some are used as a prefix and others a sub-fix I have not been able to find out yet.

Every SIMAR rototiller I have seen has a brass tag attached to the left front half of the engine case. I use this as the engine serial number, the rototiller data tag with the model and serial number and who was the exclusive distributor is sometime missing. Some manufacturers stamped the serial number into the machine somewhere. But not SIMAR. Graham-Paige/Frazer stamped the engine serial number in the right front engine case.

To help you identify your rototiller; here are some pictures and specs with the year the data is from.

Model A-5   5 h.p., 20" wide tiller, 2 forward speeds, 380 lbs. (1932)

Model B20  1 forward speed, high speed. (1949)

Model B21  1 forward speed, low speed. (1949)

Model C-2  2-1/2 h.p., 14" wide tiller, single forward speed, has both wheel and miller controls. Magneto and Carb cover is missing on this machine. A stylist cylinder and carb cover was shown in a 1931 Operating and Parts manual. (1932)

Model C-2J  2-1/2 h.p., 14" wide tiller, has only wheel control, sold for $395.00 in 1937. 240-lbs. (1937) Cylinder cover is a square off affair with a curved piece of sheet metal attached that covers the carb and magneto. Miller section comes off to be converted to a C-2 Junior cultivator.

Model C-2 Junior   2-1/2 h.p., has tool carriage like a garden tractor, uses Planet Jr.® cultivating tools. 27-1/2" wheels for high clearance and adjustable tread width. Can be converted to a C2J model in 1/2 hour. 220 lbs. (1932)

Model C-3  3 h.p., 14" wide tiller, has a stylist cylinder and carb cover. Has both wheel and miller controls, 240 lbs. (1932)

All of the following models seem to have two wheel speeds controlled by a long plug installed on the Left Hub for Low Speed and Right Hub for High Speed. Neutral wheel speed is obtained by inserting the plug halfway.

Model C31  2 wheel speeds, controlled by plugs on wheel hubs. (1938)

Model 30 and 30B  2 wheel speeds, controlled by plugs on wheel hubs. (1938)

Model C4 and C4-1   3-1/2 h.p., 14" wide tiller, looks similar to C3 except has 2 forward speeds, has miller control. 312 lbs. (1937), Fifth year of production 1939.

The C2, C3 and C4 series uses the same piston and cylinder. The crankshaft is different.

Model 35C  5 H.P. $615.00 (1954)

In the 1939 Rototiller Inc flyer it shows two unidentified SIMARs that have the same design Air-Cleaner but larger, and steering column going to the two handle bars like the C2/C3/C4. This steering column also have an additional up/down control feature to move the two handle bars like larger machines. Also check out the muffler on this picture of it.

Type 46DK   No specs known.

Model C5-2 and C5-5   6 h.p. 20" or 28" wide tiller. 450 lbs. 2 forward speed "This model represents the culmination of more then 15 years' effort and experience...in the development of Rototiller" (1937)

Model C5-6   8 h.p. 2 forward speed and reverse.

Model C8 (1937) and C8-1 (1939)  10 h.p. 24", 30" or 36" wide tiller. 880 lbs. 2 forward speed and reverse. (1937)

Model 10.2A Note air cleaner on left side and muffler out the back and exhausting on the right side. No specs known, only single-wheel rototiller made by SIMAR. Miller is missing, current owner never had it.

Model 10   No specs known, Largest rototiller made by SIMAR

The Hackney  No specs known

The Morgan  No specs known

The Clydesdale  No specs known

When SIMAR went out of business in 1975 the Swiss firm H. Oberholzer of Dietlikon, Switzerland acquired all the parts from the closed factory.

Numerous Options and Attachment were also available including mufflers, furrowers, ditchers, rubber tires, mowers, etc.

Geo. Monro, Ltd.


In the British Isles Geo. Monro, Ltd., Machinery Section, Waltam Cross, Herts. was the "Sole Distributors For The British Isles" in copies of literature the type 30 and 50 are discussed.

"The Rototiller 30 is the "Junior" model - first introduced as the Rototiller "3" in 1931..." "The Junior Model is now provided with two forward speeds and is designd for ploughing and cultivation in addition to normal rotary tillage."

"The Rototiller 50...having superseded the Rototiller 5 - the most popular model ever produced." "All mechanical and field experience gained...during the past 16 years has been applied to the latest models" "The Rototiller 50 strikes the happy medium between the Rototiller 10 and the Rototiller 30. It can be used for inter-cultivation in confined spaces where the Rototiller 10 is found to be too large; it has a bigger output and will work to a greater depth than the Rototiller 30."

Unfortunely no dates are found on the literature. But if you add 16 years to the year 1931 mention it could be 1947.
By 1952 Geo. Monro Ltd. was manufacturing the British SIMAR Types 35(5 hp) and 56(8 hp).

A British SIMAR Type 35 number 350870 has the following information on its data tag:

MANUFACTURED AND DISTRIBUTED BY

GEO. MONRO LTD.
MACHINERY SECTION,
WALTHAM CROSS, HERTS.


In New Zealand the firm Ivory Brothers was the "Sole Distributors for New Zealand" for Geo. Monro Ltd.


For more information order my new book:

The Rototiller in America


You can ordered the book directly from me, the author, I also have copies listed on www.ebay.com
or from the publisher, Infinity Publishing, website www.bbotw.com,
a Print On Demand (POD) publisher.




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