Meccano Manuals 1908 - 1981
1908 - 1981
Site last updated - 25th March 2019 - Click here for details
Welcome to the part of my website giving comprehensive information on all English language Meccano Manuals published by Meccano Ltd in Liverpool and America from 1908 to 1981. Note that because from 1962 all manuals were multi-lingual, it covers all Liverpool manuals from that date.
It is logically split up into the various eras/sections, denoting when there were major changes to the Meccano Outfits and/or Manuals.
The following information is given for the manuals for each era/section:-
- Overview of the manuals.
- Data on the manuals, including dates, print codes and details of the pagination.
- List of all changes to the manuals.
- Pictures of the front and rear covers of the manuals.
- List of all the models in the manuals together with pictures of every manual model and the page numbers on which they appear.
- Approximate quantities of manuals printed from 1918-69 taken from the manual Print Codes.
- Information on copyright dates for many of the American manuals is now included. (See 'USA © Info' page)
Whilst researching and documenting all the pre 1981 Meccano manuals in order to produce this website, I borrowed and scanned an enormous number of manuals. Now that I have more room on my website, I have decided to make this reference collection of manual scans available to other Meccano enthusiasts. They are in pdf format and are available from the Manual Details page in the relevant eras as noted below.
The Manuals are split into the following eras/sections:-
- 1908 to 1915
- 1916 to 1921
- 1922 to 1927
- 1928 to 1935
- 1934 to 1937
- 1937 to Early 1941
- Mid - Late 1941
- 1945 to 1947
- 1948 to 1953
- 1954 to 1961
- 1962 to 1969
- 1970 to 1977
- 1978 to 1981
- 'Add-On' or 'Ancillary' Sets (e.g. Electrical, Elektrikit, Gears, Mechanisms)
- Themed Sets (e.g. HSMD, Army, Crane, Highway etc.)
- Other - Pre-war non outfit manuals (e.g. Prize Models, SML's, Standard Mechanisms, Books of New Models, Steam Engine etc.)
- Plastic Meccano 1965 to 1993
- Meccano Motors
There is also a comprehensive search facility on all the manual models (except Plastic Meccano)
NOTE - For scans of the other Meccano system manuals (i.e. Dinky Builder, Aeroplane Constructor, Motor Car Constructor, Elektron, Kemex, Speed Boats, System X etc.) see the 'Other Constructional Systems' section of the website.
Confirmation of Existence of Manuals
There are a number of manuals for which I require confirmation of their existence:-
These are identified in red in the manual lists if you could inform me so that I can update the information. If possible it would also be appreciated if you could let me have a scan of the manual.
If you have genuine copies of any manual for which I do not have a download, I would appreciate scans of it.
It is my intention to try and make this website as accurate and comprehensive as possible. Therefore please inform me of any errors or omissions that you discover. In particular information on manuals or changes during an era not included will be gratefully received.
Print Codes / References
From 1918 until 1929 all manuals (and other literature) had a Print Code in the following format:-
In 1930 the print code was amended to also include a printer's reference. This lasted until the late 1960`s. These manuals (and other literature) had a Print Code in the following format:-
'pp' - Reference number of the printer's who printed the manual - This is '13' for most manuals except 'Gears'.
'mmyy' - The month and year of the printing.
'nn' - The number of copies printed in thousands.
Note that some 1962-9 manuals omit the printer's reference number and just show the printing date and print quantity like the pre 1930 manuals.
From the late 1960`s all manuals instead had a Print Reference, which was same for all the printings of a particular manual. Note that many 1960`s manuals had both a print Code and a Print Reference. The first manuals known with only a Print Reference are the No.9 outfit leaflets issued in 1962. The last manuals with a Print Code were issued during 1969.
As the Print Reference did not show the printing date, dating these manuals can be very difficult. However in the period 1970-2, Meccano Ltd changed their name several times. In addition, from 1973 the manuals also had a copyright date. Both these things help to determine the year of printing. The biggest problem is in dating those 1960`s manuals which only have a Print Reference - e.g. Play-Set manuals.
I have tried to make the website as printer friendly as possible.
The comprehensive lists of manual print codes that are on this website are included by kind permission of Clive Weston.
Grateful thanks also go to Clive Weston who loaned many manuals for inclusion in this analysis and to Oscar Felgueiras who has provided some of the manual and model scans. Also to Kendrick Bisset who has given invaluable assistance on the American editions. In addition can I thank all the other people who have provided additional information and scans to add missing manuals and to correct errors