Meccano® in the United States
                           
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1938 no.4Meccano® is a metal construction toy, using perforated metal shapes, nuts and bolts to assemble all sorts of things. Erector® is a similar system which is much better known in the United States. Meccano was invented by Frank Hornby in England in 1901, and spread throughout the world. It was imported into the US by 1909, and a US Meccano Company was formed in 1913. (Erector was invented in the US by A. C. Gilbert in 1912.) A factory to manufacture Meccano was established in Elizabeth, New Jersey in 1922. The US Meccano Company was purchased by A. C. Gilbert In 1928. The Meccano factory was closed about 1930, and production moved to the Erector factory in New Haven, Connecticut. Meccano sets continued in production for a few years, and the name was used on a number of other toys, such as microscopes. Meccano construction sets were made in the US as late as 1938.

This site is to share what I have learned about Meccano in the United States, primarily in the period from 1909 through 1938. I hope that visitors will be able to add to (or correct!) information presented here. Eventually, I hope to publish this and other information in book form.

Why a website just for US Meccano? See the What Distinguishes US Meccano page.

Electrical OutfitThe Outfits area has pictures and other information on US Meccano outfits (sets). A table of US Meccano Outfit Prices is available in this area.

Meccano partsThe Parts area has illustrations of some Meccano parts and variations. Motors and other "hardware" are included in this area.

1929 Meccano Catalog pg. 7Meccano printed many types of items, both in the United Kingdom and in the United States. Examples of items printed in the United States will be found in the Meccano Paper area. Included are a table of US Meccano Magazines, some manuals (including a listing of all US manuals identified so far), and catalogs.

Many websites have a "FAQ" (Frequently Asked Questions) area. I will add such a page if there is interest, but instead, I have a Questions page. Here, you will find the questions I have about Meccano in the US. If you can answer any of these questions, preferably WITH DOCUMENTATION, PLEASE let me know!

For those who want to know more about Meccano in general, follow the links to other websites by using the Meccano Webring icon at the bottom of this page, or for a few personal sites, click here.

Several people have asked where Meccano can be found. It has been sold in the United States, and the change from Brio to Nikko as the distributor seems to have left a temporary gap. I have found that HobbyTown USA carries Meccano under the Erector name. HobbyTown is a chain; the store in Louisville has some sets in stock. Check their website, www.hobbytown.com.

This site is NOT associated with the manufacturer of Meccano; I am an individual interested in the history of Meccano, primarily in the United States from 1909 through the Second World War. My name is Kendrick Bisset; I may be reached at kendrick [at] usmeccano [dot] com (but you must replace the brackets with the proper symbols, and delete the spaces!). I live in Mountainhome, Pennsylvania. Copyright © 2002/2011 Kendrick Bisset.

The names "Meccano" and "Erector" are trademarks, presently owned by Meccano S.N. of France (which is in turn owned by Nikko Toys), and are used here to identify the products. Nikko has a website, and Meccano is mentioned, but there is no indication of where Meccano (or Erector) can be purchased in the United States. The US distributor was Brio, but that arrangement apparently ended sometime in 2005 or 2006.

 

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