This Week End in our travels spotted this old Erector construction set, at first glance it looks like it is mostly complete.
Oh and also picked up a Panel raising plane and another BBM bit.
And yes, there were chocolate involved :-)
When I was growing up in the 60s, Meccano was, bar none, my all time favorite toy. The possibilities were endless and I could powered up my contraptions! For years that was my combined birthday and Christmas present. I was born near Christmas, so I could combine and get a bigger set :-)
Never thought much of Erector, to me they were simply an imitation of the real McCoy, Meccano.
But turns out there is more to that story.
No idea if there are, most likely, missing parts...yet.
One big part is obviously missing, the electric motor.
Researching my new toy, found out that Erector was the most popular construction toy on this side of the pond. Well, in America, here in Canada, Meccano reign supreme, being of British Commonwealth origins.
Both Meccano and Erector are construction set using metal parts and models are assembled with nuts and screws. They both resemble each other at first glance, but there is a patented notable difference.
Meccano (see video) first came out in Liverpool, England in 1898, invented by Frank Hornby.
It uses flat stock, panels, girders frame piece etc are all flat, except a few angle connector and etc.
It uses small 8-32 slot screws and square nuts.
Meccano was also on the US market
Some of the flat panel sheets could be bend around shapes.
They uses thin metal, an early plastic (brittle), Mica and more modern plastic in later years
Erector,(see video) came out in 1913, invented by AC Gilbert in New Haven Conn USA.
It uses similar pieces to Meccano, but the patent difference lays in the girder's construction. For more stiffness, they are stamped with an interlocking depression in the back. It allows to make strong beam structures.
The stamped girders makes for stronger and lighter beams structures than Meccano
Both makes uses of pulley, gears and etc and you could powered your creations by using a steam engine (Meccano) then electrical motors on both Meccano and Erector. Earlier versions used 110 Volts electrical (mains) later used a lower voltage DC motor (18, then 3V battery power).
Both makes had a variety of size kits to makes various models, lets identify my set to find out what it is supposed to contain.
Turns out, my set is the No 8-1/2 (All Electric) and is the first set to have the whistle. Its not really a whistle, it drags on a rotating shaft and makes sounds like a whistle of some sort. Mine is MIA.
Typical of both sets, the so call assembly instructions are very sketchy. Basically a picture of assembled model with perhaps a few close up drawing of sub assemblies. The rest you were supposed to figured it out. And that was half the fun :-)
Empty box and inventory what we have.
Then armed with this guide, figured out what parts are what and we can also dated them.
Found out that I could download hi res copies of the missing sticker on top of the box, and others small characters (parachutist, merry go round horses etc) Also of course a copy of the manual, and interesting enough, even a downloadable template to make my own replacement cut out. Very cool. By now, if you are thinking, these Erectors sets must be collectible? Short answer Hell Yes! :-)
Armed with a pictorial of what the top and bottom layers are lay out and which parts and qty, it was easy to reassemble my parts as they would had been and visualize the missing ones.
The stickers inside the box are in good shape.
First set with the whistle. And I bet mine was not the first one loosing it...
Alright, enough playing, recreation is over kids.
Bob, reminiscing about all the stuff I made with my Meccanos thru the years. Wonder what ever happened to my sets :-(