Analysis of Meccano Manuals
Changes to the manuals
ELECTRICAL OUTFIT MANUAL
The 1920 Liverpool and both American editions are titled 'Electrical Outfit' whereas the 1921 Liverpool edition is titled 'Electrical Accessory Outfit'. The outfit was probably renamed to emphasise that it was an Accessory outfit - i.e. it had to be used in conjunction with a main outfit and could not be used on its own.
A photocopy of a manual assumed to be the 1921 (521/5) Liverpool edition has been examined for contents changes noted below. Confirmation of this would be appreciated.
The following changes have been identified between the two Liverpool editions:-
- Pages 1 & 2
The section "The Block Accumulator" was deleted from page 2 in the 1921 edition. The contents of pages 1 & 2 were consequently adjusted to take up the spare space created. The sections 'Short Circuit', 'B.A.' and 'S.C.C.' were therefore moved to page 2. The picture of the Meccano electric motor was also changed.
- Pages 5 & 6
The accumulator shown in the model pictures had the text on its label removed in 1921 and now just showed a blank label.
- Page 13
The sentence at the bottom of the page "Connect the terminal.......the iron will be warm" changed from ordinary text to all CAPITALS.
- Page 23
In the 1920 edition the picture and instructions face inwards, whereas in the 1921 edition, they face outwards
- Page 26
Page heading "Electrical Accessory Parts" added in 1921
The bottom line describing the X2 outfit has the words 'Meccano BLOCK' removed
- Prices of outfits (1920 edition)
X1 : 15/-
X2 : £2/15/0.
- Prices of outfits (1920 edition overprinted for 1921/2 -->)
X1 : 15/- which is scored out and replaced with 12/6.
X2 : £2/15/0 which is scored out and replaced with 42/-.
- Prices of outfits (1920 edition for overseas)
X1 : 15/- which is scored out and replaced with 18/6.
X2 : £2/15/0 which is scored out and replaced with 65/-.
- Prices of outfits (1921 edition)
X1 : 12/-
X2 : 50/- which is scored out and replaced with 42/-.
- Prices of outfits (1920 edition)
The model pages of both American editions are identical to the Liverpool 720/10 edition - however the non model pages do have significant differences - see pagination details on the 'Manual Data' page.
The American version is known in two editions, both have the same print code. The first has 32 pages and the other is the same apart from pages 27-32 being omitted/cut out. (Omitted or cut out?? - an original of the second version has not yet been examined to determine which.)
The Gears 'A' outfit was introduced in 1949. In 1956 this was replaced by the Gears 'B' outfit which was the same as the Gears 'A' but with the addition of the Rod with Keyway, Key Bolts and associated parts. The set was renamed as the Gears set in 1968. It should be noted that virtually every model was replaced/redesigned at least once during the existance of the Gears Outfit/Set.
Changes during the era.
- 1950 - Changes to Gears 'A' Manual
- The figure associated with model A.9 was rotated slightly.
- 1951 - Changes to Gears 'A' Manual
- The manual was revised with the following models being redesigned:-
A.1, A.5, A.11 & A.12
- 1954 - Changes to Gears 'A' Manual
- Page 2 - 'What are Gears' etc. - Para. 4 reformatted
- Page 4 - 'How to Use Gearing' - Para 6 amended
- Model A.4 - The last para was amended
- 1955 - Changes to Gears 'A' Manual
- The following models were redesigned - A.3, A.4, A.6, A.7, A.8, A.9, A.10
- 1956 - Change from Gears 'A' to Gears 'B' Manual
- Page 2 - Introduction - Adds in mention of the rod with keyway
- Page 2 - 'What are Gears' etc. - Paras 1-3 & 5 amended
- Page 3/4 - 'How to Use Gearing' - Para 2, reformatted - Para 3 amended
- Page 5 - 'How to Use Meccano Chain' reformatted to make room for a new section 'Rod with Keyway and Bolt'
- Model A.2/B.2 - text amended and Title slightly changed from 'E020' to 'Eo20(S)'
- Models A.3/B.3, A.6/B.7, A.12/B/13 - These were redesigned
- Model A.4/B.4, - the mechanism was virtually unchanged but the was redrawn - Text refortmatted and amendment in the last para
- Model A.5/B.6, - the mechanism was virtually unchanged but the was redrawn - Small text changes
- Models A.2, A.4a, A.13, A.14 were deleted
- Models A.1/B.1, A.7/B.8, A.8/B.9, A.9/B.10, A.10/B.11, A.11/B.12 were unchanged
- Models B.5, B.14 & B.15 added - These were new mechanisms
- The rear page was now used for the model descriptions - previously it pictured the range of Meccano gears
- 1963 - Change to Gears 'B' Manual
- Page 2 - 'What are gear' etc - Para 2 - Text amend
- Page 3 - 'What are gear' etc - Last para - Text amend
- Page 4 - 'How to Use Gearing' - Para 2 - Text amend
- Page 6 - Model B.2 replaced. (Because motor EO20 is now obsolete)
- Pages 7/8 - The text for models B.3, B.4 & B.5 reformatted to make room for the new B.2 mechanism text
- 1968 - Change from Gears 'B' Outfit to Gears Set Manual
- Manual Title - 'Gears 'B' Outfit' changes to 'Gears Set'
- 1969 - Change to Gears Set Manual
- Front cover changed to a plain two tone blue cover
- Text in various parts - 'Outfit' changes to 'Set' (note - not every appearance of 'Outfit' was amended)
- Page 2 - Introduction - Reformatted
- Page 2 - 'Why Gears' etc - Para 2 - amend - addition of part 31
- Page 3 - 'Why Gears' etc - Last para - Text amended
- Page 4 - 'How to Use Gearing' - Para 2 & 3 reformatted
- Page 5 - 'Rod with Keyway' etc - Text amended
- Page 10 - Model B.8 - Para 2 - 'outfit' -> 'set'
- Page 14 - Model B12 - Para 2 - text amended - also plastic road wheels substituted for the old metal ones
- Page 16 - Model B.15 - Para 2 text reformatted
- Page 16 - Model B.16 - Para 2 & 3 - text reformatted
- 1970 - Change to Gears Set Manual
- The front cover changed to a two tone black/grey cover
The Mechanism set was introduced in 1959 and lasted till after 1975. There were no alterations to the set during its existence. The rear cover changed periodically to reflect the latest Meccano Magazines. Like the Gears outfit, the Mechanisms outfit was renamed the Mechanisms set in the late 1960s.
Changes during the era.
- Manual changes (1965)
- Page 4 - Para 2 - Text amended
- Page 14 - 'Prizes for New Model' box - Text amended
- Page 19 - Model No.27 - An error crept into the parts list - 1 of 126 -> 1 of 126a (i.e. there are two entries for part 126a)
- Page 20 (Rear Cover) - Text amended and Meccano Magazines changed
- Manual changes (Meccano (Tri-ang) 2nd Imp)
- The front cover changed to a plain yellow and black cover like the main set manuals.
- The models and pictures in the manual no longer have a yellow background
- In Manual Title, page headings and text in various parts - 'Outfit' changes to 'Set' (note - not every appearance of 'Outfit' was amended)
- Page 2 - 2nd column, para 2 - text amended
- Page 7 - Text in box changed from offering written advice to advertising the Meccano Magazine
- Page 18 - Mechanism No.27 - Text amended
- Page 20 (Rear Cover) - Advert for Meccano Magazine completely changed
- Manual changes (Meccano (1971) Ltd - 1974)
Page 20 (Rear Cover) - Advert for Meccano Magazine changed to show Meccano Magazine Quarterly
Only one version of this manual has been seen
Page last updated - 9 August 2013
© 2010-2017 Timothy Edwards