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Toy Planner

TOY PLANNER is a very simple system, and was made by The Hadley Smith Manufacturing Co. of Moodus, Connecticut, USA. The company name appears in the Toy listing of the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers from 1916 through 1920. This does not necessarily imply the dates of the system, but it does give some idea of the era.

The parts are brass plated steel. The system appears to have only six parts: nut, bolt, angle, wheel (or large washer), a 5 hole strip, and a 3 x 9 hole plate. Hole spacing is a nominal 12.7 mm, but averages a bit less with a fairly wide range. The strips have unusual (perhaps unique?) diamond shaped holes where the second and fourth holes would be; these are about 10.0 x 6.9 mm. The strips also have a slight bend along the strip; this may be a result of the punching, perhaps of the diamond holes. It appears that there are no strips longer than these; the larger models illustrated seem to use the 5 hole strips bolted together for longer members. The printing of the one-sheet 'manual' is not good quality, however, so it is hard to tell for sure. In several cases, though, the long members are clearly several 5 hole strips bolted together. The holes in the plate, especially, are rather rough and have very apparent burrs, and the hole spacing is a little irregular.

The small cardboard box, 240 x 130 x 16 mm, has a rather attractive label nearly filling the space on the lid. It is printed in yellow, red, and black (colours which should be familiar; they have been used by many toy producers). The box contains the following:
1 - 3 x 9 hole plate (0.026” thick)
3 - 23.2 mm wheels (0.050” thick)
13 - 5 hole strips (0.026” thick)
5 - 1 hole x 1 hole angles (0.026” thick)
10 - nuts, one untapped (0.116” - 0.121” thick)
11 - bolts 9.5mm long under head
Some parts certainly appear to be missing, one wheel, for example. I didn’t find any models shown for this set on the sheet that need more than 13 strips, 5 angles (I think), and 16 nuts and bolts. It is interesting to note that one of the more 'complex' models, the Trolley Car, leaves out two nuts and bolts which would hold the bottom of the 'side' pieces together - did they run out? Note also that double nutting does not appear anywhere, even though the wheels run on the bolts.

The models are all quite simple, as would be expected of a system with so few parts. The box lid mentions 'Seventy toys', but lists only the nine illustrated on the instruction sheet for 'One Set'. It is not clear whether there are more sets than the one examined. The box lid has a space for the set number, with a rubber stamped (?) “100”. It is not clear what this means - the set seems too small to have cost $1.00 when compared with other systems such as MODELIT and MASTERBUILDER. The instructions mention 'one set', 'two set', and so forth, but it is not clear if they mean 'two sets', and it is expected that multiple sets would be purchased. The larger models do not seem to show any additional types of parts, just larger quantities of the same parts. Some other US sets were marketed in this manner: STEEL WORKER, for example, was sold in boxes containing 'three sets'.

Moodus, Connecticut, is about 7 miles from East Hampton, where MODEL IT (The Watrous Mfg. Co.) and STERLING TOY BUILDER (The N. N. Hill Brass Co.) were made. The latter, incidentally, was available in nickel or copper finish, and MCS mentions brass as well.

Thanks to Kendrick Bisset for the above information on the system.

Manufacturer / Distributor

The Hadley Smith Manufacturing Co., Moodus, Connecticut, USA

Info from the Metal Constructional Systems Database for TOY PLANNER

System Type
Meccano principle but sig. differences
1916 (some significant doubt) to 1920 (some significant doubt)
Boss Type
no boss
Boss Thread
Diametrical Pitch of Gears
No. of Parts in System
Hole Pitch (Spacing) (mm)
Diameter of holes in Strips(mm)
Diameter of the Bore in Bosses(mm)
Diameter of Axle Rods(mm)
Types of Nuts and Bolts
Nuts: square
Bolts: round (slotted)
Material/Finish of Nuts and Bolts
Steel with a Steel finish
Size of the Nuts across Flats (mm)
Bolt diameter (mm)

Main parts are brass plated and include: '5h' Strip with 3 holes & 2 large diamonds, 3x9h Perforated Plate, 23mm diameter Disc. Boy, girl & large skeletal House on lid.

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

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

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

Photos of the a Toy Planner set.
Added 05/07/21

The Toy Planner instruction leaflet.
Added 05/07/21