Meccano Manuals 1908 - 1981
Changes to the manuals during the era
A complete new series of manuals were produced, each manual covered a range of outfits, with individual model leaflets for outfit 9. All model building instructions were by picture, and there were no written building instructions. For each model there was a black and white photograph together with additional line drawings showing various aspects of the model. Part numbers were printed in red on the photos/drawings and on the parts list. Each model had a parts list (note that the model parts lists did not include the motors where used). There were no accessory outfit manuals. This meant that excluding outfits 9 & 10 which had individual model leaflets, the Meccano range only needed 3 manuals. Unlike earlier manuals where the set contents lists and illustrated lists of Meccano parts covered the whole Meccano range, these manuals only listed the specific outfit contents and parts for the relevant manual. A separate combined set contents sheet was issued and included in some sets (which?).
Main Outfit Manuals:-
- 0-1 (to 1965), 1 (from 1965)
The 1965 No.1 manual was the same as the previous 0-1 manual but with all the old 0 outfit models (0.1 - 0.12), now labelled as No.1 outfit models (1.1 - 1.12). Existing No.1 models renumbered as 1.13 - 1.24.
A No.1 manual has been seen which is identified as a No.2 on the front page - suspect this is a printer's error.
- 2-3, 4-5-6, 7-8
- Set of ten outfit 9 leaflets in a folder
There is no date code on these manuals and only one printing has been identified although there may have been reprints.
- Set of 20 outfit 10 leaflets
These were unchanged from the 1954-61 era except for a few minor amendments and the replacement of the E20R motor with the E15R in all models except 10.2 (N.B. leaflet 10.2 remained as a E20R right up to the final printing by Meccano France in 1986):-
These manuals were divided into three sub eras - no change of models. The quality of paper used deteriorated badly during the era.
Manuals in English only. - Gloss covers with semi-gloss paper inside.
The manuals were numbered as follows with text "Bok of models for outfits : 0-1, 2-3, 4-5-6, 7-8
Initially separate manuals were printed for each language. It was then realised that as there were no constructional descriptions in these manuals, that costs and printing could be saved by having multilingual manuals.
- 1962 -> 1964
The manuals were numbered as follows with no other text : 0-1, 2/3, 4/5/6, 7-8
Two different versions of manuals were then produced to cover all the required languages. English was the only common language between the two versions. This allowed either manual to be used in the main (English speaking) markets. The language combinations were as follows:-
English/Francias/Hollands/Deutsch/Italiano (E/F/H/D/I) - These are identified on the spine as the No.1 version
English/Espanol/Portugues/Svensk/Norsk (E/E/P/S/N) - These are identified on the spine as the No.2 version
The Word 'MECCANO' on the front cover in both versions was blue -
1962/3 manuals used semi-gloss paper inside and out.
Early 1964 manuals had a slightly shiny but non-gloss cover and non-gloss paper inside
- 1964 -> 1969
Two different language versions as above - Word 'MECCANO' on the front cover is black -
Covers were slightly shiny. Inside paper is very poor (newsprint) quality which has discoloured badly over the years. Interestingly some of the final (969) print run reverted back to decent paper with no discolouration
Initially the No.10 leaflets were supplied in the same green folder with gold printing with 'MECCANO' in a wide font as used in 1954-61. This changed (thought to be around the early to mid 1960s?) - the word 'MECCANO' changing to a narrow font and the lines of text above and below increasing in height from 6mm to 9mm. In addition what is thought could be an intermediate version has also been seen with 'MECCANO' in the early wide font, but the other text in later larger size. Some of the later 'MECCANO' narrow font folders have been seen in portrait format instead of the usual landscape - was this deliberate or was it due to errors in the printing process? As previously the green colouring is very susceptable to colour fading / oxidation.
Changes to the manuals during the era.
There were no changes to the models or figures during the period. The only change to the model parts lists was due to the replacement of the 3 1/2in. crank handle with grip (19g) with the version without a grip (19s).
Model 8.2 (Meccanograph) originally had no accompanying text in the UK only version. Multi-language text giving hints on adjustment was included in all the multi-language versions - The only model with accompanying text
In 1964 the old style 'ball' hooks were replaced. There was some confusion as to which of the new style hooks was which as they were both pictured in the illustrated list of Meccano parts as part 57c as follows:-
12/64 -> in all manuals, part 57c was shown as the large new type hook-
01/67 -> in all manuals, 57c was shown as the small new type hook (dinky type) - (except 4-5-6 manuals dated 3/68 & 6/69 which showed the large new type hook)
The model pictures/figures were not changed and continued to show the old style hook (ball type).-
Suspect that initially only the large new type hook was available, and that when the small new type hook (dinky type) was introduced that the manual picture was updated but the actual part number was left unchanged.-
In the early 1 manuals (06/65 & 01/66) when the contents of the old 0 outfit was deleted from the set contents list, the wire hook (part 57d) which was not included in the 1 outfit was still shown in the set contents list with a quantity of 0. (N.B. the wire hook was still shown on rear cover). The set contents list was corrected in 01/66.
From 01/67 the wire hook (part 57d) was deleted from the illustrated list of Meccano parts in the No.1 manual. Model part lists were unchanged and the old 0 outfit models (now 1.1 - 1.12) still included part 57d.
- Crank Handles
The crank handles with grip (part 19g & 19h) were withdrawn in 1965 and subsequently only the crank handle without grips (part 19s & 19h) were available. The models pictures were not amended to show this. The manuals were affected as follows:-
- 2-3 manuals:-
6/65 - Illustrated part lists - 19g & 19s -> 19s only - Outfit contents and model pictures unchanged
1/66 - Illustrated part lists show both 19g & 19s again
1/67 -> (English/French etc) - Illustrated part lists shows 19s only. 19g removed from contents list, however outfit 3 contents not amended and it shows no part 19s.
1/67 -> (English/Spanish etc) - Illustrated part lists shows 19s only. 19g removed from contents list. Outfit 3 contents correctly shows 1 of 19s
1/67 -> (All) - the model parts lists were amended for 19g->19s for the following models - 3.1, 3.5, 3.10, 3.11, 3.12, 3.14, 3.15, 3.16. Model 3.13 was not amended.
- 4-5-6 manuals:-
- Illustrated Parts List
6/65 - Illustrated parts list shows the crank without a handle, and correctly gives it number 19s.
1/66 - Illustrated parts list shows the crank without a handle, but gives it number 19g.
1/67 - Illustrated parts list shows the crank without a handle, and correctly gives it number 19s.
3/68 - There appear to be two versions of the same edition - both show in the illustrated parts list, the crank without a handle, one gives it number 19g, the other 19s.
6/69 - Illustrated parts list shows the crank without a handle, but gives it number 19g.
- Model parts List
1/67 - The following models had 19g replaced with 19s in their parts lists - 4.5, 4.7, 4.8, 4.9, 4.10, 4.12, 4.13, 4.14, 5.1, 5.5, 5.6, 5.8, 5.9, 5.10, 5.11, 5.14, 5.15, 6.3, 6.4, 6.7, 6.11, 6.15.
3/68 - Only the following models had 19g replaced with 19s in their parts lists - 4.5, 4.7, 4.8, 4.9, 4.10, 4.12, 4.13, 4.14, 5.6, 5.8, 5.9, 6.3, 6.4, 6.11.
6/69 - Only the following models had 19g replaced with 19s in their parts lists - 5.6, 5.8, 5.9, 5.10, 5.11, 5.14, 5.15, 6.3, 6.4.
Crank handle missing from model 5.12 parts list in all manuals.
- The set contents lists shows part 19g in all editions
- 7-8 manuals:-
10/64 - In the set contents parts no's 1-34 (normally in red) are missing. (may be a printer's error).
1/66 - Illustrated part lists show picture of crank handle without grip - 19g -> 19s (set contents list unchanged)
1/67 - Contents list - 19g -> 19s
/67 - The following models now list 19s in their parts lists - 7.1, 7.4, 7.5, 7.11, 8.10, 8.15
- Plastic Plates
From 12/64 manuals on the illustrated list of Meccano parts, the plastic plates changed from red -> black. The detailed set contents list was not changed till 06/65 (& 01/66). In an error in the No.7-8 1/67 manual, they are described as red.
Set 10 Leaflets:-
There were a number of minor amendments to the leaflets in 1962/3. Thereafter no more amendments have been identified. Any errors that existed in the 1962/3 leaflets remained right to the final printing in 1986.
- Change of motor
All the models which used the E20R electric motor had all references to it changed to E15R, except for model 10.2 which remained unchanged. Leaflet 10.18 and 10.19 ??? (the 1961 10.19 leaflet not yet examined) had been previously been updated in 1961. As the new motor was physically identical to the old motor no changes to the model instructions were required.
On page 1, paragraph 1. Text change - "...large locomotive depots..." -> "...steam locomotive depots...".
On page 1, paragraph 1. Text change - "...modern rear entry..." -> "...rear entry...".
On page 2, "Engine Unit and Clutch", paragraph 1. Text change - "...bolted at the front of a 3½" angle girder..." -> "...bolted to a 3½" angle girder...".
In the Parts Required List - 2 of 96a -> 2 of 96. (**Error introduced**)
On page 1, paragraph 1. Text change - "...locomotive in operation in Great Britain...and is used to haul..." -> "...locomotives once popular in Great Britain...and was used to haul...".
In the Parts Required List - 684 of 37b -> 680 of 37b.
In the Parts Required List - 1 of 199 added.
In the Parts Required List - The order of parts 20b and 19b in the Parts Required List was corrected.
Power Drive Manual:-
As in the main manuals there is confusion with the new style hooks. The front cover and model P.9 show the small new type hook, used in a way that is impossible. The Illustrated lists of Meccano parts show the large new type hook, which can be used in the way shown.
The only changes found in this manual is to the Illustrated 'Catalogue of Meccano Parts' of the Powerdrive manual. The following changes have been identified which were all corrected in the 6/66 manual. There were no further changes:-
- Originally some of the part numbers were a good distance from the relevant part - often closer to other parts, which could lead to confusion as to part numbering. This was corrected.
- Picture of crank handle (19h) changed from the grip type to the no grip type
- Originally part 20a was associated with part 19b - corrected to be associated with 21
- Originally part 27b was associated with part 27a and part 27d with 27c. Corrected so that part 27b was associated with 27d and 27b with 27c
- The picture of the Double Angle Strip was changed
- The picture for the hub disk (part 118) originally showed the 6in. pulley in error. Changed to show a hub disk
- The 71/2in. Circular Strip (145) was labelled as Part 146 - 6in. dia and Part 146a 4in. dia shown under the picture of a 6in. circular plate.
- Picture for Parts 211a/b changed
- Picture for part 230 changed