Analysis of Meccano Manuals

1916-1921

Changes to the manuals during the era

There was an enormous increase in the number of models in the 1916 manual. Many of these had previously appeared in the 1914/15 Meccano Prize Models booklet. Most of these had small design changes - either to improve a model or to allow it to be built by a particular outfit.

Most of the additional 1916 models had been initially published in the 14S manual. This is thought to have been published in early 1916 to be used with the remaining stock of No.14 manuals (see the 1908-16 era) for use with the revised 1916 outfits. The main 1916 manual was then published shortly afterwards.

1 - Liverpool Manuals

Changes to the manuals during the era - General.

The new outfit 0 manual and Book 1 for outfits 1-6 were published in 1916

Seven different editions of the No.16 Book 1 manuals have so far have been identified. These were published over the period 1916-18. Unfortunately these manuals are not dated and they all have virtually identical front covers which makes identification difficult. However these No.16 Book 1 manuals can be identified and dated approximately as follows:-

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  • No.16 Book 1 - Edition 1 - Early to mid 1916
    Manual price 1/3.
    Illustrated Parts List - No part 56A - Meccanograph Manual.
    Due to typo error models 321-324 are actually numbered as 322-325.
    Model on page 130 : 326 (Clock operated by C/W motor).
    Price of outfit 0 : 3/9.
  • No.16 Book 1 - Edition 2 - Mid to late 1916
    Manual price 1/3.
    Illustrated Parts List - No part 56A - Meccanograph Manual.
    Some of these are seen with a revised prices sticker dated Jan 1st 1917.
    Model on page 130 : 325 (Stiff Leg Derrick).
    Price of outfit 0 : 3/9.
  • No.16 Book 1 - Edition 3 - Early 1917
    Manual price 1/6.
    Illustrated Parts List - Includes part 56A - Meccanograph Manual.
    Some of these are seen with a revised prices sticker dated Jan 1st 1917.
    Model on page 130 : 325 (Stiff Leg Derrick)
    Price of outfit 0 : 3/9.
  • No.16 Book 1 - Edition 4 - Mid 1917
    Manual price 1/3.
    Illustrated Parts List - Includes part 56A - Meccanograph Manual.
    Model on page 130 : 324 (Stiff Leg Derrick) (This is a typo error on page 130 - it is correctly numbered as 323 on page 129).
    Price of outfit 0 : 4/6.
  • No.16 Book 1 - Edition 5 - Late 1917 or Early 1918
    Manual price 1/3.
    Illustrated Parts List - Includes part 56A - Meccanograph Manual.
    Some of these are seen with a revised prices sticker dated Mar 1st 1918.
    Model on page 130 : 323 (Stiff Leg Derrick).
    Price of outfit 0 : 4/6.
  • No.16 Book 1 - Edition 6 - mid 1918
    Manual price 1/6 - This is stuck over the original price.
    Illustrated Parts List - Includes part 56A - Meccanograph Manual.
    Some of these are seen with a revised prices sticker dated July 10th 1918.
    Model on page 130 : 323 (Stiff Leg Derrick).
    Price of outfit 0 : 5/0.
  • No.16 Book 1 - Edition 7 - mid 1918
    Manual price 1/6 - This is stuck over the original price (has also been seen with the sticker having fallen off).
    Illustrated Parts List - No part 56A - Meccanograph Manual.
    Model on page 130 : 323 (Stiff Leg Derrick).
    Price of outfit 0 : 5/0.
    Some of these are seen with a revised prices sticker dated July 10th 1918.
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In 1918 a manual just for outfits 1-3 (Book A) and also a Book 2 manual with additional models for all outfits were introduced. These were the first manuals with print codes, which enables them to be dated. Book 1 manuals followed with print codes in 1919. In 1921 a Book 3 was introduced. However only one edition of this manual is known.

There were a number of changes in models during this era. Click here for an overview of the outfit models and changes during the era. It also shows the relationship between the models of this era and the previous and following eras.

Details of differences for Outfit 0 manuals over the era

(Note - Manuals ref 1021/15 has not yet been examined. Also a manual missing its covers, but assumed to be the 1220/50 edition has been examined and details are included below)

The Canadian No.160 manual refers to the 'Supplementary manual', so is obviously earlier than the Colonial & UK No.160 manual which refers to the complete Meccano manual. There may well be more No.160 manual editions not yet examined.

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  • Page 3
    • No.160 (Canada)
      At bottom of page refers to the 'New Supplementary Manual'
    • No.160 (UK and Colonial)
      Identical except that at the bottom of the page it refers to the 'New Full Meccano Manual'
    • No.180 - 2/18/25
      Same as No.160 (UK & Colonial)
  • Page 4
    • No.160 (UK, Canada & Colonial)
      Model picture is of the Eiffel Tower.
      Sections are : Money and fame for Clever Boys / Meccano is Easy / Boys! Build Bigger Models
      Competition Prize money : Canada - $1000 / UK & Colonial - £200
    • No.180 - 2/18/25
      The section 'Money and Fame for Meccano Boys' in the No.160 manuals was replaced by 'The Meccano Magazine'.
      The model picture of the Eiffel Tower was replaced by a Tank.
      No prize competition mentioned.
    • No.190 - 819/150
      The prices of the subscriptions to the Meccano Magazine are overwritten by hand - Now 4d for a single subscription and 8d for a double subscription.
    • No.210 - 921/50
      The page was completely reformatted. Picture is now of a boy looking at a display of Meccano models.
  • Spendid New Models (Page 5)
    • No.160 (Canada)
      Refers to the 'Supplementary Manual'
      Models shown are - Pit Head Gear / Meccano Field Gun / Meccano Crane
    • No.160 (Colonial)
      Page is missing from copy examined
    • No.160 (UK 1916 version)
      Refers to the 'Complete Meccano Manual'
      Models shown are - Pit Head Gear / Meccano Field Gun / Meccano Loom (Model 319 in No.16 book 1 editions 1-3)
    • No.160 (UK 1917 version)
      Model of the Meccano Loom changed (Model 318 in No.16 book 1 edition 4).
    • No.210 - 921/50
      The picture of the Field Gun was replaced by the Girder Crane.
  • The More Meccano You Have etc. (Page 6)
    • No.160 (Canada)
      Refers to the 'Supplementary Manual'
      Models shown are - Touring Tram Car / Armoured Motor Tricycle / Ladies Needlework Basket / Meccano Elevator
    • No.160 (Colonial)
      Page is missing from copy examined
    • No.160 (UK)
      Refers to the 'Big Manual of Instructions'
      Models changed to - Automatic Bagatelle Player / Meccano Crane / Ladies Needlework Basket / Weighing Machine.
  • First page of models (Page 7)
    In No.210 (921/50) an important notice was added to the bottom of the page regarding the Braced Girders and Large Wheels that were used in some models.
  • Model pages
    In No.210 (921/50) the following models had a note added referring to the important notice on page 7:-
    3, 13, 19, 33, 52.
  • Patents (Page 17)
    In No.210 (921/50), the number of patents increased from 10 to 24.
  • Meccano Accessory Parts (Page 18)
    • No.160 (Canada)
      Includes part 47A (Dynamometer), 56A (Meccanograph Manual), 56B (Supplementary Manual).
      Last part 101.
      Spring Motor $2.00 / E1 motor $1.50 / E2 motor $3.00.
    • No.160 (Colonial)
      Does not include Parts 47A, 56A & 56B.
      Last part 107 (includes 102).
      Spring Motor 11/6 / E1 motor 13/6 / E2 motor 22/-.
    • No.160 (UK 1916 edition)
      Includes part 47A but not 56A & 56B.
      Last part 107.
      Spring Motor 7/6 / E1 motor 7/6 / E2 motor 12/6.
    • No.160 (UK 1917 edition)
      Part 102 deleted.
      Spring Motor 7/6 / E1 motor 7/6 / E2 motor 12/6.
    • No.180 - 2/18/25
      Part 56 : Both Instruction Books 1 and 2 now included under this part.
      Part 103 : Flat Girder Strips 5 1/2" Part 103 : Flat Girders 5 1/2".
      Last part 107.
      Spring Motor 7/6 / E1 motor 7/6 / E2 motor 12/6.
    • No.190 - 519/50
      Parts 19B, 36A, 68, 69, 69A, 97, 98 & 102 added to the list.
      Price of some parts were increased. Last part 107.
      Spring Motor 12/6 / E1 motor 7/6 / E2 motor 12/6.
    • No.190 - 819/150
      Price of the electric motors were increased:-
      Spring Motor 12/6 / E1 motor 10/- / E2 motor 15/-.
    • No.200 - 320/50
      Parts 7, 7A, 12A,, 31, 37B, 52A, 53A, 57A, 60A60C, 62A, 63A, 63B, 64, 66, 67, 70, 72, 76, 80, 81, 90, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113 were added.
      Part 47A was deleted.
      Motors are removed from the list.
      In order to make room for all these extra parts, the Contents of 0 Outfit are now spread over three columns instead of two.
    • No.200 - 420/50
      Parts 30, 77, 89, 114, 115, 120 & 121 were added.
    • No.200 - 1220/50
      Parts 1A, 8A & 122 were added.
    • No.210 - 921/50
      Parts 2A, 9A9F, 33A, 55, 60D, 63C, 78,79, 79A, 80A, 80B, 82, 95A, 96A, 99A, 103A, 103B, 111A, 112A, 123, 124, 126, 126A, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133 & 134 were added.
      The Sand Roller now given part No. 106A.
  • Contents of Outfit 0 (Page 18)
    • No.160 (UK, Canada & Colonial)
      Part 22 : 1" Pulley Wheels (Fast).
      Part 23 : 1/2" Pulley Wheels.
      Part 36 : Combined Screwdriver.
      Part 56 : Manual of Instruction.
    • No.180 - 2/18/25
      There were some changes to the names of parts in the oufit contents list:-
      Part 22 : 1" Pulley Wheels with Set Screw.
      Part 23 : 1/2" Pulley Wheels without Set Screw.
      Part 36 : Combined Screwdriver and Spanner.
      Part 56 deleted and replaced with 'Manual of Instruction No.0' which had no part number.
  • Outfit Prices (Page 19)
    • No.160 (Canada)
      Price of No.6 outfit - $36.00.
      No motorised outfits.
    • No.160 (Colonial)
      Price of No.6 outfit - 200/-.
      The motorised outfits 1X, 2X & 3X are included.
    • No.160 (UK 1916 edition)
      Price of No.0 outfit - 3/9.
      Price of No.6 outfit - 115/-.
      The motorised outfits 1X, 2X & 3X are included.
    • No.160 (UK 1917 edition)
      Price of the smaller outfits - 0, 1, 2, 0A, 1X & 2X increased
      Price of No.0 outfit - 4/6.
      Price of No.6 outfit - 115/-.
      The large outfits changed from a having a "well made walnut stained box" to "superior oak cabinet".
      The printers name and address was deleted from the bottom right corner.
    • No.180 - 2/18/25
      The price of all outfits increased . E.g. Outfit 6 now 145/-.
      The motorised outfits 1X, 2X & 3X were deleted.
    • No.190 - 519/50
      The price of outfits increased. E.g. Outfit 6 now 180/-.
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Details of differences for Books A & 1 over the era

(Note - 1020/10 Book A and 1021/10 Book 1 not yet been examined)

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  • Patents and Designs (page 1)
    • No.16 book 1 manuals
      There are a total of 10 patents and designs listed.
    • From 11/1918 Book A manual
      Patent 103,537-17 added, bringing up the total to 11.
    • In 5/1921 Book A manual
      Number of patents/designs increased from 11 to 21.
      A manual exists - unfortunately without covers - that appears to be identical to the 521/100 Book A with the exception of the number of patents on page 1. Patents 103,370 and 2,085/11 are omitted. Is this manual just a varient of the 5/21 manual - affecting a small part of the print run, or is it a currently unknown edition?
    • From 9/1921 manuals
      Number of patents/designs increased from 21 to 24.
  • To Meccano Boys (Book A and Book 1)
    • No.16 book 1 (Edition 4)
      Last paragraph amended to refer to the Meccano Magazine
    • From 5/1921
      Text on page 3 now under two sub headings - 'Meccano Magazine' and 'Meccano Guild'
  • Meccano Prize Competitions (Book A and Book 1)
    • From 5/1921
      Text reformatted
  • Important Notice (Book A and Book 1)
    • From 5/1921
      Text reformatted - Also 'Inventor's Accessory Outfit' 'Inventor's Accessory Outfits'
    • In 10/1921
      Text added at end referring to Meccano Motors
  • Changes to the 'Particulars and Prices of Meccano Parts' pages.
    These changed regularly as new parts were added to the Meccano range.
    • No.16 book 1 manual editions 1 & 2
      There were two pages each with three columns:-
      Page 1 part 40
      Page 2 part 107
    • No.16 book 1 manual edition 3
      As No.16 Book 1 edition 2 with the following changes:-
      Part 56 - Instruction Manual - price increased from 1/3 to 1/6
      Part 56A - Meccanograph Manual - was added
    • No.16 book 1 manual edition 4
      As No.16 Book 1 edition 3 with the following change:-
      Part 102 - Single Bent Strip - was deleted (this was an error)
    • No.16 book 1 manual editions 5 & 6
      As No.16 Book 1 edition 4 with the following change:-
      Part 18A 18 (this was an error)
    • No.16 book 1 manual edition 7 and 2/1918 Book A
      As No.16 Book 1 edition 6 with the following changes:-
      The prices of a number of parts were increased
      Part 18 18A (correction of an error)
      Part 56A - Meccanograph Manual - was deleted
      Part 102 - Single Bent Strip - was reinstated (correction of an error)
    • 11/1918 Book A
      As 2/1918 Book A with the following changes:-
      Price of part 40 - Cord - increased to 1½d
      Instruction manual Book 2 added, but without any part No. (56A)
    • 1/1919 Book A
      As 11/1918 Book A except that in this manual is seen in two versions. I.e. this section is seen either at the front (like previous manuals) or at the rear (like later manuals). Obviously a transisional manual
    • 4/1919 Book A
      Like the later 1/1919 Book A manuals with this section at the rear of the manual.
    • 3/1919 Book 1
      As 4/1919 Book A with the following changes:-
      Parts 6A, 19B, 36A, 68, 69, 69A, 97 & 98 added
      Price of part 40 - Cord - changed to 2 off for 3d.
      Price of part 56 - Instruction manual - increased to 2/6
    • 6/1919 & 8/1919 Book 1
      As 3/1919 Book 1 with the following change:-
      Price of part 36A increased to 1/6
    • 07/1919 and 08/1919 Book A
      As 8/1919 Book 1 with the following change:-
      Parts 57A, 66, 67 were added to the list.
      Instruction manual Book 2 was now given part No.56A
    • 11/1919 Book 1
      As 08/1919 Book A with the following changes:-
      Parts 7, 7A, 12A, 52A, 53A, 60A, 60B, 60C, 62A, 63A, 63B, 64, 70, 72, 80, 81, 90, 106A, 108, 109, 110, 111 & 112 were added to the list.
      Part 18 18A (Error corrected)
      Parts 57A, 66 & 67 deleted (this was done in error)
      There were two pages each with three columns:-
      Page 1 part 40
      Page 2 part 112
      NB. identical to No.19 book 2 (919/10) except differently formatted
    • 1/1920 Book 1 (print code 119/10)
      As 11/1919 Book 1 with the following changes:-
      Parts 31, 37B, 57A, 63B, 66, 67, 76 & 113 added
      Part 47A - Dynomemeter - deleted
      There were two pages each with three columns:-
      Page 1 part 40
      Page 2 part 113
    • 2/1920 Book A
      As 1/1920 Book 1 with the following changes:-
      List was reformatted into four columns over two pages.
      Parts 30, 77, 89, 114, 115, 120 & 121 were added to the list.
      Page 1 part 50
      Page 2 part 121
    • 4/1920 Book A & 7/1920 Book 1
      As 2/1920 Book A with the following changes:-
      List was reformatted into four columns over three pages.
      No change to parts listed
      Page 1 part 35
      Page 2 part 69A
      Page 3 part 121
    • 11/1920 Book A (Note - 10/1920 Book A not yet examined)
      As 7/1920 Book 1 with the following changes:-
      Parts 1A, 8A & 122 added
      Page 1 part 35
      Page 2 part 69A
      Page 3 part 122
    • 5/1921 Book A
      As 11/1920 Book A with the following changes:-
      Parts 2A, 33A, 80A, 95A, 96A, 99A, 103A, 103B, 112A, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 126A, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134 & 135 were added to the list.
      Part 33 (Pawl) changed to the new type
      Page 1 part 35
      Page 2 part 53A
      Page 3 part 135
    • 10/1921 Book A
      As 5/1921 Book A with the following changes:-
      Parts 9A→9F, 55, 56B, 60D, 63C, 78, 79, 79A, 80B, 82 & 111A were added to the list.
      Part 27A changed from 56 to 57 teeth.
      Page 1 part 35
      Page 2 part 90
      Page 3 part 135
    • 10/1921 Book 1
      Similar to 10/1921 Book A except that the parts are differently arranged:-
      Page 1 part 41
      Page 2 part 94
      Page 3 part 135
  • Changes to the model pages.
    There are a number of changes to the models, pictures, text and parts required lists etc. over the era.
    Details of the changes to Book 1 and Book A can be seen by clicking here.
  • Changes to the 'Standard Details for use in Construction' pages.
    • No.16 Book 1 Edition 4
      Detail N - Text added at end of text - '(See detail 10)'
    • No.16 Book 1 Edition 5
      Detail N - Text amended - '(See detail 10)' '(See detail D)'- NB. This corrects a typographical error
      Note that '(See detail D)' was omitted from 11/18 Book A. Earlier 1918 Book A manuals not yet seen
  • Meccano Motors etc. page
    • No.16 Book 1 manuals and Book A up to 4/1919
      The three motors displayed were:-
      The Spring Motor (7/6)
      The Electric Motor without reversing gear (7/6)
      The Electric Motor with reversing gear (12/6)
    • 03/1919 to 09/1919 Book 1
    • The price of the spring motor was increased as follows:-
      The Spring Motor (12/6)
      The Electric Motor without reversing gear (7/6
      The Electric Motor with reversing gear (12/6)
    • 07/1919 and 08/1919 Book A
    • The price of the electric motors was increased as follows:-
      The Spring Motor (12/6)
      The Electric Motor without reversing gear (10/-)
      The Electric Motor with reversing gear (15/-)
    • 11/19
    • The Block Accumulator - was added
      No change to the price of motors
    • 1/1920 to 7/1920
      Prices deleted for the electric motors
    • 11/1920 Book A
      Now only gives one price for the electric motor - 17/6
    • 5/21 - 9/21
      The page was changed to also include the Electrical Outfits and Inventor's Accessory Outfits with prices
    • 10/21
      The prices were deleted and instead referred to the 'Prices' page
  • Prices page
    • No.16 Book 1 manual edition 1
      Outfit 0 priced at 3/9
      Outfit 6 priced at 115/-
    • No.16 Book 1 manual editions 2 & 3
      Outfit 1X, 2X & 3X were added
    • No.16 Book 1 manual editions 4 & 5
      Smaller outfit prices increased
      Outfit 0 priced at 4/6
      Outfit 6 priced at 115/-
    • No.16 Book 1 manual editions 6 & 7
      Outfit prices increased
      Outfit 0 priced at 5/-
      Outfit 6 priced at 130/-
    • Book A 2/1918
      Outfit 1X, 2X & 3X were deleted
      Outfit 0 priced at 5/-
      Outfit 6 priced at 130/-
    • 6/1918 1/1919 plus 4/1919 Book A
      Outfit 0 priced at 5/6
      Outfit 6 priced at 145/-
    • 3/1919 Book 1 plus 7/1919 11/1919
      Outfit 0 priced at 6/-
      Outfit 6 priced at 180/-
    • 2/1920 - 9/1921 (Book A - 1020/10) not yet examined)
      Inventor's Accessory Outfit B now included
    • 10/1921 (Book 1 - 10/1921 not yet examined)
      Electrical Outfits and Motors now included
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Details of differences for Book 2 over the era

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  • Patents and Designs (page 1)
    • No.18 - No.20
      There are a total of 11 patents and designs listed.
    • No.21
      There are a total of 24 patents and designs listed.
  • Page 3
    • No.20 - 220/10 & 1220/10
      The cost of sending for the Meccano Magazine was hand amended to 8d.
    • No.21 - 1021/5
      Page was reformatted
      New section 'The New Meccano Manual of Instruction No.3' was added
      Meccano Magazine section - text was amended
      Important Notice - Now includes mention of Meccano motors
  • Changes to the 'Particulars and Prices of Meccano Parts' pages.
    These changed with each edition as new parts were added to the Meccano range.
    • No.18 - 0618/25
      Lists were at the front of the manual
      There were two pages each with three columns:-
      Page 1 part 40
      Page 2 part 108
    • No.19 - 919/10
      As 0618/25 Book 2 with the following changes:-
      Pages moved to the rear of the manual
      As No.18 book 2 (0618/25) with the following changes:-
      Parts 36A, 52A, 53A, 60A, 60B, 60C, 62A, 63A, 63B, 64, 109, 110, 111 & 112 were added to the list. Part 82 was deleted
      There were two pages each with three columns:-
      Page 1 part 40
      Page 2 part 112
      NB. identical to 11/1919 Book 1 except differently formatted
    • No.20 - 220/10
      As 919/10 Book 2 with the following changes:-
      Parts 30. 31, 37B, 76, 77, 113, 114, 115, 120 & 121 were added to the list.
      Part 47A was deleted
      Instruction Book 2 was now given a part number - 56A
      There were two pages each with four columns:-
      Page 1 part 50
      Page 2 part 121
    • No.20 - 1220/10
      As 220/10 Book 2 with the following changes:-
      Parts 8A & 122 were added to the list.
      There were three pages each with four columns:-
      Page 1 part 35
      Page 2 part 69A
      Page 3 part 122
    • No.21 - 1021/5
      As 1220/10 Book 2 with the following changes:-
      Parts 2A, 9A→9F, 16A, 33A, 56B, 60D, 63C, 78, 79, 79A, 80A, 80B, 82, 95A, 95B, 96A, 99A, 103A→103H, 111A, 112A, 123, 124, 125, 126, 126A, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134 & 135 were added to the list.
      Part 27A now has 56 teeth
      The Sand Roller is now given part No.106A
      All part pictures were replaced and page reformatted.
      There were three pages each with four columns:-
      Page 1 part 35
      Page 2 part 90
      Page 3 part 135
  • Changes to the model pages.
    There are a number of changes to the page layout, text and parts required lists etc. over the era.
    Details of the changes to Book 2 can be seen by clicking here.
  • Meccano Motors etc. page
    • No.18 - 0618/25
      The three motors displayed were:-
      The Spring Motor (7/6)
      The Electric Motor without reversing gear (7/6)
      The Electric Motor with reversing gear (12/6)
    • No.19 - 919/10
      Prices of electric motors increased
      The Electric Motor without reversing gear (10/-)
      The Electric Motor with reversing gear (15/-)
    • No.20 - 220/10
      Prices deleted for the electric motors
    • No.20 - 1220/10
      Now only gives one price for the electric motor - 17/6
    • No.21 - 1021/5
      The page was changed to also include the Electrical Outfits and Inventor's Accessory Outfits
  • Prices page
    • No.18 - 0618/25
      Outfit 0 priced at 5/6
      Outfit 6 priced at 145/-
    • No.19 - 919/10
      Outfit 0 priced at 6/-
      Outfit 6 priced at 180/-
    • No.20 - 220/10 & 1220/10
      Now includes Inventors outfits A & B
    • No.21 - 1021/5
      Electrical Outfits and Motors now included
  • Contents of Inventor's Outfits
    In No.21 - 1021/5 - contents of Inventor's Outfits A & B were included
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Colonial/Overseas Editions (Excluding America)

In general the various overseas editions all used standard manuals with stickers or inserts to customise them to the intended market. The only exception to this which has been found so far is for the 1916 Outfit 0 No.160 manual, where both a Colonial and a Canadian edition have been found.

From 1919-20, an insert was stuck in to the rear of the manual over the the Meccano Price List to give prices in local currency. However this has only been seen so far with combined Australia/New Zealand/South Africa stickers. A 1919 Canadian sticker has been seen, but only in a Canadian edition outfit 0 manual. Confirmation/details needed for 1919/20 Canadian Book A and Book 1 inserts.

In 1921 a four page insert for Canada was produced. This was glued in near the back of the manual in place of four pages which were cut out. Was the same thing done for other colonial markets? A similar 'Overseas' insert dated 1922 has also been seen glued into a Book 3.

2 - American Manuals

American Outfit 00 manual (Reference 17.3)

The 1917 American 00 outfit was unique to America. The manual models were all from the outfit 0 manual except for the model of a 'Cot' which used the 'non braced girders' version from the outfit 1 models. The manual was a single folded double sided sheet. The models were not numbered.

American Outfit 0 manuals (References 16.2, 17.2, 17.5, 20.5, 21.3)

The 1916 American outfit 0 manual was more or less the same as the Liverpool edition. There are two significant difference (apart from expected differences of patents and prices).

There are four identified issues of this manual. However these can be split into two main editions. The interesting thing is that the second edition (Refs 20.5 & 21.3) are the only known American manuals of this era, with a Liverpool address instead of an American one.

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  • 1916 (Reference Ref 16.2)
    First edition - has a New York address.
    Front cover has a small dog watching the young boy making a model crane - Unlike Liverpool editions which feature a cat instead.
    Last part listed - 106
  • 1917 (Reference Ref 17.5)
    As reference 16.2 but has 1917 revised prices for outfits and separate parts on a stuck-in sheet. The original priced pages are stamped "See Revised Price List".
    Last part listed - 106
  • 1917 (Reference Ref 17.2)
    Pages 1-16 are identical with reference 16.2.
    However pages 17/18 are cut out. Page 19 (inside rear cover) contains the Meccano patents and outfit 0 contents which were previously on page 17 & 19. The prices of the accessory parts (previously on page 18) are now included on the rear cover along with the outfit prices.
    Last part listed - 106
  • 1920 (Reference Ref 20.5)
    The manual had a major revision as follows.
    • Front Cover
      This manual appears to have published in Liverpool, as it has a Liverpool address on the front cover. The cover is now similar to Liverpool issued manuals with a cat watching the boy.
    • General
      All the fonts were changed, which lead to differences in line formatting.
    • Money and Fame for Meccano Boys etc.
      Moved from page 3 to page 19.
      The Meccano Co Inc address was deleted.
    • Splendid New Meccano Models
      Moved from page 4 to page 17.
      The picture of the Meccano Loom changed from model 319 to the version in the 1920s loom leaflet.
    • How to Build with Meccano
      Paragraph two was amended as follows due to the deletion of braced girders from the outfit:-
      'The large wheels....' changed to 'The braced girder and large wheels....'.
      and '....Meccano wheels may be used.' changed to '....Meccano strips and wheels may be used.'.
    • Meccano Models
      A number of models were repositioned on the page.
      The asterisk referring to a note on page 7 against models 13 & 14 was deleted.
      The following models were named/renamed:-
      Model 14 - Now named as 'Coster's Barrow'.
      Model 16 - Now names as 'Invalid Chair'.
      Model 57 - Was 'Roulette' - Now named as 'Roulette Wheel'.
      Two models had there numbers swapped over:-
      Gong - changed from No.56 to No.58.
      Drop Hammer - changed from No.58 to No.56.
    • Outfit Contents
      The outfit contents were revised:-
      2 of 1 deleted.
      2 of 100 deleted.
    • Meccano Price List
      Moved from the rear cover to pages 3-6.
      Accessory parts are now illustrated.
      Last part listed 112.
  • 1921 (Reference Ref 21.3)
    This edition looks to be identical with the previous edition except that an extra unnumbered page is inserted after page 6. This lists various new accessory parts.
    Last part listed - 129
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American No.16 Book 1 manuals (Reference 16.1, 17.1, 17.6, 20.5)

The American No.16 manual was based on the Liverpool No.16 Book 1 - Editions 1 & 2. I.e. it has the model numbering error of edition 1 (No model no.321 and two no. 325) and other noted differences. An exception is that it has the model 325 (Stiff Leg Derrick) of edition 2.

The non model pages are generally the same apart from the expected differences of American patents and prices. However there are a number of significant differences:-

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  • Front Cover
    The front covers of the Liverpool and American manuals were very similar. However they did have different models featured in the top panel.
    On the American manual the Monoplane from the previous era continued - Model 117 in the 1916 manuals whereas on Liverpool manuals the front cover model was changed in 1916 (including 14S manual) to a Crane - model 240 in the No.16 manuals
  • 'Particulars and Prices of Meccano Parts' pages
    Part 19A was described as 'Pulley Wheel 3" diam with set screw' in the american manual and had no picture. In the Liverpool manual it was 'Wheel 3" diam' with a picture of the spoked wheel.
    Parts 25 & 26 'Pinions' -The number of teeth was also noted. However that against part 25 saif it had 24 teeth, which wrong, it should have been 25 teeth.
    Part 36 'Screwdriver' - In the american manual the picture showed a bent rod type and the Liverpool manual the picture showed one pressed out of metal.
    Part 47A 'Dynamometer (Tension)' was omitted from the American manual and the space used for a picture of part 52.
    Part 103 - This was named 'Perforated Flat Double Strip' in the American manual instead of 'Flat Girder' in the Liverpool manual.
  • Page 134 - Motors
    The American manual also included 'The Meccano Transformer'
  • Page 136 - Contents of Outfits
    The American manuals showed parts 99 & 100 (Braced Girders) to be included in American outfits. These were omitted from Liverpool outfits.
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There are several identified issues of this manual. They all appear to be identical (including the model numbering error) apart from the replaced pages at the end of the manual.

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  • 1916/7 (Reference Ref 16.1, 17.6)
    These are identical apart from the inclusion of an amended prices insert in reference 17.6.
  • 1917 (Reference Ref 17.1)
    Pages 135/6 replaced with new versions.
    The revised Meccano prices page now also includes accessory part prices.
  • 1920 (Reference Ref 20.5)
    Pages 133-136 replaced with new pages 133-140. Note that pages 137-140 (the Meccano prices lists) are not numbered.
    Pages 4/5 are glued together on most copies. These are replaced by the new unnumbered pages at the rear of the manual.
    Last part number 112.
    Outfit contents are amended:-
    Parts 99 & 100 (braced girders) are now deleted.
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American 1921/2 1-3 manual (References 21.2, 21.5, 22.5)

The models in these manuals are the same as the outfit 1-3 models in American No.16 Book 1 manuals, with one exception - Model 194 (Hand Car) is the Liverpool 1921 version using a band instead of sprocket chain. All the manuals have the price of part 126 on page 59 hand amended from 0.05, to 0.15. Note that the outfit contents page no longer include the braced girders (parts 99 & 100) that were included in the No.16 Book 1 manuals.

There are three identified issues of this manual, although they all appear to use the same printing. Identified differences between the manual are.

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  • 1921 (Reference Ref 21.2)
    First edition with no stickers showing revised prices on page 57.
  • 1921 (Reference Ref 21.5)
    As reference 21.2, but with a pink label stuck on page 57 giving revised lower prices for the electric motors. This also affected the outfits that had motors included. Either they were reduced in price or the reversing motor was included instead.
    The text at the top and bottom of the rear cover were in a larger font than either references 21.2 or 22.5.
  • 1922 (Reference Ref 22.5)
    As reference 21.2, but with a green label stuck on page 57 giving revised lower prices for the electric motor and with a date of 1922 on it. Same price changes as in reference 21.5. Also on pages 60 & 61, the prices of the electric motors are hand amended.
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American 1923 4-6 manual (Reference 23.5)

The models in the 1923 Outfit 4-6 manual are a cross between the American No.16 Book 1 and the Liverpool 1919-21 Book 1. The changes from the American Book 1 are as follows:

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  • Model 204 - Model changed to 'Motor Plough'.
  • Model 206 - Model changed to 'Swinging Hot Saw'.
  • Model 212 - Redesigned version of the 'Swivelling and Luffing Jib Crane'.
  • Model 216 - Model renamed as 'Mechanical Cross Bow'.
  • Model 229 - Redesigned version of the 'Hay Elevator'.
  • Model 280 - 'Steam Shovel' - Fig 280A added.
  • Model 301 - 'Escalator' - Reference numbers on the model picture made much smaller.
  • Models 311 (Derrick) to 315 (Funicular Railway) renumbered as 310-314 in error. Now two models numbered 310.
  • Model 311 - 'Electric Loco' - Fig Fig 311B added.
  • There are no models numbered 315 to 318.
  • Model 319 - Redesigned version of the 'Beaming Frame'.
  • The last model is 322 - 'Mono-rail'.
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American Book 2 manuals (References 18.2, 20.4, 22.1, 23.6)

The 1918 American Book 2 was identical to the 1918 Liverpool Book 2 apart from the expected minor differences with patents and prices.

Like the American Book 1 manuals above, the American Book 2 manual also has the model of the Monoplane on the front cover instead of the crane as in the Liverpool manuals.

There are several identified issues of this manual. However they all seem to use unused copies of the initial printing, but with pages 4/5 glued together and replacement pages 79-82 (unnumbered) glued in at the rear in place of pages 79/80. The covers are all identical.

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  • 1918 (Reference Ref 18.2)
    The last part in the parts list is part 108.
    Outfits 00-6 and the Inventors Outfit are in the list of outfits.
  • 1920 (Reference Ref 20.4)
    Pages 4/5 glued together and replacement outfits and parts priced pages glued-in at rear in place of pages 79/80.
    The last part in the parts list is part 112.
    Outfit 0-6 and Inventors Outfits 'A' & 'B' are in the list of outfits.
  • 1922 (Reference Ref 22.1) (Not yet examined)
    As Ref 20.4 above, but with the addition of a paste-in sticker with 1922 prices and Elizabeth address.
  • 1923 (Reference Ref 23.6)
    Pages 4/5 glued together and replacement outfits and parts priced pages glued-in at rear in place of pages 79/80.
    The last part in the parts list is part 412B.
    Radio outfits are now mentioned in the list of outfits.
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Page last updated - 12 November 2013


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