'Other' Constructional and Allied Systems Info & Downloads

Gilbert era American Meccano Construction Sets

In 1930 A.C. Gilbert owner of the Erector company bought out the American Meccano factory from Frank Hornby. Gilbert continued to use the Meccano brand name in America for a while, but over time the sets became increasing different from British Meccano. There are two identifiable phases:-

Meccano-Gilbert(a) - The 1930 to 1932 sets were a combination of Meccano and Erector parts. Sets were 1, 3, 5, 110, 115, 125 & 150. Set 115 was the Ship Building set. In 1932 sets 110, 115, 125 & 150 were renumbered as 10, 15, 25 & 50. Also in 1932 Meccano-Brik was added to sets 5 and above. In 1933 these sets were replaced with the introduction of 'Wide Beam' parts. It should also be noted that the previous 0 to 70 range of sets continued to be advertised and sold during 1930 (perhaps to use up stocks). For manuals for these sets see here.

Meccano-Gilbert(b) - In 1933 sets 1, 3 & 5 were replaced by sets using 'Wide Beam' parts. Initially these used the normal nuts and bolts. However in 1934 these were replaced by 'Snap Rivets' apart from where swivel joints were needed. Sets 10 & 15 continued with standard parts, however their contents were changed, to also include the 'Wide Beam' parts of the smaller sets. Normal nuts and bolts were used for the set 10 & 15 set models. In general, the larger sets could also build all the models from the smaller sets. In 1936 this entire range of sets were withdrawn.

1936 onwards - In 1936 the only metal construction system produced by Gilbert under the Meccano brand name was 'Meccano-Morecraft'. See here. This had been introduced in 1935. However in late 1936 or early 1937 it was sold to another company who marketed in under the name 'Modern Morecraft'. During 1937 and 1938 Meccano-Gilbert sold Liverpool type blue/gold Meccano sets 1 to 7 (except 5). It wasn't just a case of importing UK sets as many of the parts in these sets were actually manufactured in America, although the manuals were printed in England. See here for manuals for these sets.

For further info on American Meccano see Kendrick Bisset's website - https://www.usmeccano.com/.

Meccano-Gilbert(a) - (1930 to 1932)


Info from the Metal Constructional Systems Database for MECCANO - GILBERT [a]

Maker
Meccano USA
System Type
Meccano principle but sig. differences
Country
USA
Dates
1930 to 1933
Material
Steel
Thread
8-32
Boss Type
single-tapped
Boss Thread
6-32 (see comment *1)
Diametrical Pitch of Gears
24
No. of Parts in System
196 (see comment *2)
Hole Pitch (Spacing) (mm)
12.7
Diameter of holes in Strips(mm)
4.3
Diameter of the Bore in Bosses(mm)
4.1
Diameter of Axle Rods(mm)
 
Types of Nuts and Bolts
Nuts: square
Bolts: round (slotted)
Material/Finish of Nuts and Bolts
 
Size of the Nuts across Flats (mm)
Bolt diameter (mm)
 

Comments
Mix of standard MECCANO/ERECTOR parts. *1 8-32 also reported. *2 Including 16 Ship parts & 42 ERECTOR parts.

The MCS document for this system is shown below. It can also be downloaded to your computer if desired here

NOTE : If the MCS document does not appear in the window below, then refresh the page.

The report can be zoomed into, made full screen or downloaded as a pdf document by using the controls provided


Below there are manuals/instructions which can be downloaded by clicking on the appropriate image.

NOTE - The manuals came in sections and then the appropriate sections were then bound up to make the manual. Below the various manual sections are shown separately with a note as to which sets they relevant to.


The Covers for the 1930/1 Gilbert Meccano set manuals
Used for all manuals except for set 1 which is thought not to have had covers.
(Added 08/11/2020)

The Covers for the 1932 Gilbert Meccano set manuals (after the set renumbering)
Used for all manuals except for set 1 which is thought not to have had covers.
(Added 08/11/2020)

Section 1 (containing set 1 models) for the 1930/2 Gilbert Meccano manuals.
Used in all set manuals (1, 3, 5, 110, 115, 125 & 150)
(Added 08/11/2020)

Section 2 (containing set 3 models) for the 1930/2 Gilbert Meccano manuals.
Used in set manuals 3, 5, 110, 115, 125 & 150
(Added 08/11/2020)

Section 3 (containing set 5 models and gearing / electric motor info) for the 1930/2 Gilbert Meccano manuals.
Used in set manuals 5, 110, 115, 125 & 150
(Added 08/11/2020)

Section 3a (containing set 5 models utilising Meccano Brik) for the 1932 Gilbert Meccano manuals.
Only 1932 sets 5, 110 & 115 contained Meccano Brik
(Added 08/11/2020)

Section 4 (containing set 110 models - set 10 after the set renumbering) for the 1930/2 Gilbert Meccano manuals.
Used in set manuals 110, 115, 125 & 150
(Added 08/11/2020)

Section 5 (containing Ship Building set 115 models - set 15 after the set renumbering) for the 1930/2 Gilbert Meccano manuals.
Used in set manuals 115, 125 & 150
(Added 08/11/2020)

The Spare Parts Price List for the 1934/5 Gilbert Meccano manuals.
Used at the end of all set manuals (1, 3, 5, 10 & 15)
(Added 08/11/2020)

A dealers advertising brochure for the new 1930 Gilbert era Meccano sets.
NB. Also includes the 1929 range of sets (0 to 70) which continued for sale for a while during 1930.

Meccano-Gilbert(b) - (1933 to 1936)


Info from the Metal Constructional Systems Database for MECCANO - GILBERT [b]

Maker
Meccano USA
System Type
Meccano principle but sig. differences and as TRIX (inc MCX)()
Country
USA
Dates
1934 to circa 1936
Material
Steel
Thread
8-32
Boss Type
single-tapped
Boss Thread
6-32
Diametrical Pitch of Gears
24
No. of Parts in System
80 (estimated)
Hole Pitch (Spacing) (mm)
12.7 (multiples of value shown, including half.)
Diameter of holes in Strips(mm)
4.4 (see comment *1)
Diameter of the Bore in Bosses(mm)
4.1
Diameter of Axle Rods(mm)
3.9
Types of Nuts and Bolts
Nuts: square
Bolts: round (slotted)
(see comment *2)
Material/Finish of Nuts and Bolts
Steel with a Nickel plated finish
Size of the Nuts across Flats (mm)
6.4
Bolt diameter (mm)
6.5

Comments
Mix of standard MECCANO, ERECTOR, & Wide Beam parts (some not in MECCANO 'WIDE BEAM'). Data from a LITTLE JIM set. *1 In Wide Beam parts; otherwise 4.3. *2 Also Snap Rivets.

The MCS document for this system is shown below. It can also be downloaded to your computer if desired here

NOTE : If the MCS document does not appear in the window below, then refresh the page.

The report can be zoomed into, made full screen or downloaded as a pdf document by using the controls provided


Below there are manuals/instructions which can be downloaded by clicking on the appropriate image.

NOTE - The manuals came in sections and then the appropriate sections were then bound up to make the manual. Below the various manual sections are shown separately with a note as to which sets they relevant to. So far no 1933 manuals have been seen (Using Wide Beam parts with normal nuts and bolts).


The Covers for the 1933-5 Gilbert Meccano set manuals
Used for all manuals except for set 1 which is thought not to have had covers.
(Added 08/11/2020)

Section 1 (containing set 1 models) for the 1934/5 Gilbert Meccano manuals.
Used in all set manuals (1, 3, 5, 10 & 15)
(Added 08/11/2020)

Section 2 (containing set 3 models) for the 1934/5 Gilbert Meccano manuals.
Used in set manuals (3, 5, 10 & 15)
(Added 08/11/2020)

Section 3 (containing gearing / electric motor info) for the 1934/5 Gilbert Meccano manuals.
Used in set manuals (5, 10 & 15)
(Added 08/11/2020)

Section 4 (containing set 5 models) for the 1934/5 Gilbert Meccano manuals.
Used in set manuals (5, 10 & 15)
(Added 08/11/2020)

Section 5 (containing set 10 models) for the 1934/5 Gilbert Meccano manuals.
Used in set manuals (10 & 15)
(Added 08/11/2020)

The Spare Parts Price List for the 1934/5 Gilbert Meccano manuals. (contains split rivets)
Used at the end of all set manuals (1, 3, 5, 10 & 15)
(Added 08/11/2020)