Monday, February 25, 2013

Meccano Engineering Toy

Meccano Toys were popular among the young boys in the 1960s and those who had a set of this were looked up in awe.  It was a set meant to stimulate the technical intelligence in young boys.  These toys were classified as "boys toys" in those days.  My friend Ashok in the opposite house used to play with his uncle's original Meccano set which seemed to be an advanced model as it had many parts which I used to curiously pick up and see in amazement how they were!  They were from the late 1950s I reckon.  That uncle of his had left to settle in Canada in the early 60s. This Ashok used to come to his grandparents' house esp. during summer vacation.  Everything was so leisurely and homely in those times and we could just walk in to any house in the street anytime of the day as doors were seldom closed.  

Knowing my toy-spoiling skills my grandfather had got me a junior set of a basic model available locally.  I remember there was the offer: 'If you study well the Meccano Set will be bought'.  But I had probably got it by pestering!

 I really enjoyed making various models with Meccano.   At a young age itself, I had been taught by my father how to loosen or tighten the screws and nuts.  I had made many of the models shown in the booklet that came with the set.  Out of the book, I tried to make a bus, but failed as I did not have the material resources!   In my high school days, I tried to adapt an electric motor to make a moving vehicle but the metal was too heavy for the tiny motor's low power. I had also took from Ashok two parts [gears] needed for this project for trying and never returned.  They too were heavy for the motor.  I now see that the set was "Made in England". Here, they are safe! 

I still cherish this set, many pieces are fortunately in tact, though some may be missing.  Screws are missing, but some are carefully salvaged in a box. 

This model must be 'Plano', as we can see on each page of the instruction booklet.

This is all I have managed to salvage. 

This box has little screws.

I looked up Wiki for more information on 'Meccano'. [click].  It was invented by Frank Hornby in 1901. The link also revealed some clue about an old picture in our album.  This is about some Meccano Club. There is mention about this club in the link.  I had been wondering about it.  Both my uncle as well as Ashok's I mentioned above are in this among some noted personalities of the city.  

My uncle and Ashok's uncle Kittani are seated front row with garlands towards the left.  In the centre with garlands are three noted personalities of the city. Sirdar K.Basavaraj  Urs [who was also a founder member of Rotary Club along with my grandfather], M.Madhava Shenoy [of Mangalore Ganesh Beedi fame] and Dr.P.R.Sitaram [Seetaraghava Vaidyashala - Ayurvedic medicines].  There is also another man with folded hands behind Shenoy. He is K.V.Venkatesh Murthy who was our tenant in the out house during 1960 and thereabouts.  So going by this clue, I must put the year of this picture, the same as his tenancy.  

So now I know something about why Ashok was playing with an advanced set of Meccano.    

1 comment:

kasturi said...

I had a similar Meccano set and I used to build crain, car, horse when I was a kid.