Meccano Manuals


Changes to the manuals during the era

1 - Liverpool Manual Changes

In 1922, outfits 0-6 were significantly revised and a new No.7 outfit was introduced. New manuals were introduced which combined the previous three books of instructions in a single volume. Because of the significant revision of the outfit contents there was a considerable shuffling of models between outfits. An outfit 00 was introduced in 1923. Click here for more details.

There was considerable changes to the manuals during the era, both to model and the non-model pages. It is therefore possible to identify virtually any manual, that is missing its covers.

Overseas editions (for more information - see below) - In 1922, standard UK manuals were used. These frequently had the priced pages removed and country specific pages glued in, in their place. From 1924, proper overseas editions were printed. These were essentially identical to UK editions, with the following exceptions:-
Either the prices of parts, motors and outfits etc. were amended to suit or no prices were given (or even omitted altogether) and a note said that prices were available from the local dealer.

Changes to the Outfit 00 manual leaflet (1923 and 1924 English editions have not yet been examined)

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  • 1923 (11/23)
    The leaflet was printed with brown ink. (Note that only a Canadian edition has so far been seen. However it is assumed that the English edition was the same).
    On the front cover, the top rectangle panel shows two boys facing inwards towards a Meccano crane (model 239 from the 1919-21 manuals).
    Both Hornby Trains and Zulu Trains are advertised.
    The 'A Few Choice Meccano Models' page shows five models including the Meccano Motor Chassis.
  • 1924 (11/24)
    The leaflet changed to using green ink. (Note that only an Overseas edition has so far been seen. However it is assumed that the English edition was the same).
    Also note that the copy I have examined of the Overseas manual is missing the page advertising Hornby/Zulu Trains, so it is not certain whether the page was the same as the 1923 edition or not.
  • Mid 1925 (06/25)
    There was a major revision of the manual in 1925
    On the front cover, the top rectangle panel changed to a girder crane (model 707 from the 1923-7 manuals).
    Model 34 (Hoisting Block) was deleted. This resulted in a number of models being rearranged on the page and consequent model renumbering.
    Zulu Trains were deleted and pictures shown of the Hornby Trains No.1 Passenger Set and No.2 Tank Goods Set together with a selection of goods wagons.
    The 'A Few Choice Meccano Models' page was amended - Now shows 12 models incluing the Hammerhead Crane in the top right.
  • Late 1925 (10/25)
    The fonts used on the front page changed to a less bold font.
    The fonts throughout the leaflet all changed. Some significantly, and some hardly noticeably.
  • 1926/7 (06/26, 07/26, 01/27)
    The 00 outfit's contents were changed with the introduction of part 111C:-
    20 of part 37 changed to 20 of part 37A + 14 of part 37B + 6 of part 111C.
    However the parts lists required for each model did not change to reflect this change.
    In the section advertising Hornby Trains, the No.1 Tank Goods Set was replaced by the Riviera 'blue' train set.
    The selection of the goods wagons shown also changed.
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Changes to the Book 0 (Outfit 0), Book A (0-3) and Book 1 manuals

Note that two page numbers are given below against some Book 1 manual pages. This is because in 1925 the models took an extra two pages, and so the non-model pages at the rear were all moved back two pages to compensate. At this time a model index was added to Book 1 which utilised the additional extra two spare pages which had to be included as the Book 1 pages have to be a multiple of four.

Overseas/Colonial Editions

2 - American Manual Changes

The American manuals were based on the 1922/3 Liverpool manuals. There were four manuals. 00, 0, 0-3 and 4-6. Outfit 7 was not available in the America. The new 0 manual was issued in 1922 and the 00 and 0-3 manuals were issued in 1923, but the new 4-6 manual was not issued until 1924. (Note - The American 1922 1-3 manual and the 1923 4-6 manual were reissues using the previous era's models - see the previous era for more details). Outfit 4 & 5 models were based on the Liverpool 1923 manual, whereas the Outfit 6 models were based on the 1922 Liverpool manual models. Click here for more details of the American manual models and their relationship with the Liverpool manuals.

Differences between the Liverpool and American outfit 00 manual
The American edition was completely different from the Liverpool edition. Note that all the 1923-5 editions of the American manual appear to be identical:-

Differences between the Liverpool and American outfit 0 manuals
In general the American manual was very similar to the 1922 Liverpool edition. The main difference was that the American edition did not have a page advertising Hornby Trains and instead spread the "Particulars and Prices of Meccano Parts" over three pages instead of two.

Differences between the Liverpool and American main manual models

Changes to the Outfit 0 American manuals
Three minor variations have been identified in the first edition - Refs (22.3/23.3/23.7). These are all associated with the prices of outfits 0 and 0a on page 18. (Note that these variations have all been assumed from a copy of Ref (23.3). The others have not yet been seen for confirmation)

Whilst the models are identical between the two main editions - Refs (22.3/23.3/23.7) and (23.1) there are a number of other significant changes between these editions:-

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  • Introduction page (IFC)
    This page was completely revised in the later edition.
  • Particulars and Prices of Meccano Parts
    The first edition (22.3/23.3/23.7) listed parts up to 128.
    The second edition (23.1) listed parts up to 135 plus radio parts up to 412.
  • Model Pages
    The first edition (22.3/23.3/23.7) had no parts required lists for models.
    The second edition (23.1) did have parts required lists for each model.
  • Page 16
    The first edition (22.3/23.3/23.7) showed some 'Choice Meccano Models'.
    The second edition (23.1) showed the Meccano Auto Chassis.
  • Page 17
    This page was also revised with the later edition also including the Meccano Transformer.
  • Page 16
    The first edition (22.3/23.3/23.7) listed patent numbers.
    The second edition (23.1) just lists the patent dates with no numbers.
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Changes to the Outfit 0-3 and 4-6 American manuals
Unlike Liverpool manuals there was no change at all to the model pages during the era. Even a misnumbering error for outfit 3 models was not corrected (see above). The only exception to this was the greatly expanded 00 manual that was issued in 1927, when the outfit was revised (See the next era). The number of 0 outfit models was reduced in the 1927 0-3 manual to compensate.

There were however a number of other changes between the manuals:-