I have repaired many of the antique B&S and Wisconsin's that had kick starts as well as lever starts on them. Most of them were very simple spring bendix systems or had ratchet pawls. Google has some of the original patent drawings for the starters if you can find the proper part numbers for the assemblies as a whole.
You all might want to look through some of these classic engine images for brain food:
Antique Small Engine Collectors Club
I think I have a Model Y (bottom of the page about 1 or 2 up) somewhere in a shed with the lever start still on it.