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Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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AustraliaDTCA Member
Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 22:38

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Right-o chaps - it seems that we are all on the same page.  The executives of both the DTCA and the HRCA should unite their forces and make a joint submission on behalf of both associations to the Council of the City of Liverpool, keeping all the local newspapers informed of what is being proposed and the benefits that would accrue for all concerned. The benefits for the city is in attracting more visitors and for residents to being reminded of what was once a wonderful “Factory of Dreams” in their midst,. For the Associations and the collecting fraternity, possibly valuable contacts with those who once worked in this factory or their descendants with the acquisition of memorabilia including photographs and hopefully, something that “was borrowed”! 

Another final outcome is the longterm establishment of a decent, proper and recognised institution into which both associations can deposit historical items associated with Meccano and maybe even a small collection of what Meccano produced. Such a depository would eliminate the concerns of many who would like to donate material for fear that "someone" may pilfer any valuable items.

A win-win for all concerned.

Now an approach should be made to the executives of the DTCA and what better person to do this but our very own Jan Werner  who not only is an Honorary Life Vice-President of the Association but one who contributes greatly to the improvement of this website  by his frequent contributions..

Sorry Jan – I am passing my baton over to you, having done my job by sowing the seed!

Regards to all

Bruce   (150)

20181502/1130/1182


Jan Oldenhuis's picture
Jan Oldenhuis
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DTCA MemberNetherlands
Joined: Thu, 07/30/2015 - 16:47

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

The history of Meccano Limited continues to fascinate me. So I have 2 Meccano catalogues UK:

1938 A Wonder Book of Toys ref. 13/737 / 1.150 Eng with shop stamp: Meccano Limited, Binns Road, Liverpool 13

1938-1939 The Stars send their Message ref. 13/638/1150 U.K. with shop stamp Meccano Limited, 175 Regent Street, London, W.1, Telephone: Regent 3345.

The Meccano Binns Road Liverpool factory is of course known to me. A lot of information has been provided on this subject, but what role did Meccano Limited, 175 Regent Street, London play in this whole? Was this just a kind of showroom, like Hudson Dobson on 200 Fifth Avenue New York?

Jan Oldenhuis, 30 May 2018.


dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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DTCA MemberUSA
Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 23:27

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Jan—-That is most interesting......I don’t remember hearing about Regents Road before. Maybe someone else can weigh in with some information about that address......
Best regards, Terry


johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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DTCA Member
Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 14:04

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Regent Street is a fancy shopping district, home of the Hamley’s toy store, Liberty’s, and other stores, so this would have been only a showroom. Would that we had photos of it!!


fodenway's picture
fodenway
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DTCA MemberUK
Joined: Sat, 07/11/2015 - 01:44

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

For the purposes of perceived prestige, lots of companies around Britain had a London address on their letterheads, often no more than a rented office. The modern-day occupants of 175 Regent Street (the worlds' most exclusive shopping street, managed by Crown Estates) are T.M. Lewin, high-class shirt makers. They are sandwiched between Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors, both high-profile brands. Meccano Limited, as a company known around the world, would almost certainly have had a display widow, with the office above. Images of today's Regent Street can be found on the internet, or Google Earth Street View.


SiVoll's picture
SiVoll
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DTCA Member
Joined: Tue, 07/07/2015 - 16:57

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

I’ve found it....


fodenway's picture
fodenway
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DTCA MemberUK
Joined: Sat, 07/11/2015 - 01:44

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

A wonderful find! I'm guessing by the tape on the windows of both Meccano and Etam that this photograph dates from the war years, when tape was applied to many windows as an anti-blast protection.


johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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DTCA Member
Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 14:04

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Yes, that picture of the Meccano showroom is a wonderful find.

Here is another — the only colour picture I have ever seen of Dinky Toys being painted.


john45
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DTCA MemberNetherlands
Joined: Tue, 04/07/2015 - 14:07

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Well at least untill 1935, Meccano had a office and warehouse at Kennington road, wallnut tree walk. The street can be seen at the picture in the letter from Meccano.

John.


dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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DTCA MemberUSA
Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 23:27

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

John--The image you posted of the Meccano letter from 1935 was thought provoking, to both me and fellow member Jonathan Angel.  We both noticed the lack of a U.S. or New York presence, in the listings shown at the top of the letter.  Jonathan then reminded me of my earlier paper written about H. Hudson Dobson, the man, and the fact that I discovered that he was not shown working for Meccano Ltd. in the 1930 U.S. Census records, but for the Fleuron Pottery Company.  He is also not listed as a passenger on any ship crossings from 1930 through around 1937.  In my paper, I theorized that HHD was not employeed by Meccano, soon after Meccano sold off and abandoned their US manufacturing operations, around 1928, and did not return to their employ until sometime later, likely around the time that Meccano introduced the new Dinky Toys line.

   Do you or any others have similar copies of older Meccano correspondance, that would show a US operation listed?


dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance
Joined: Fri, 06/26/2015 - 16:49

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

And the picture at the top left is that of the Paris Meccano factory.


Jan Oldenhuis's picture
Jan Oldenhuis
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DTCA MemberNetherlands
Joined: Thu, 07/30/2015 - 16:47

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Terry. I have this Meccano manual of 1929 Meccano Standard Mechanisms with an image of a depot in Elizabeth New Jersey USA

 Jan O


dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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DTCA MemberUSA
Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 23:27

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Jan——Thanks for posting that. Interesting, as I thought I had read that Meccano Ltd. had already sold their US operation around 1928.....must have been a little later, as that catalog clearly shows the facility in 1929. In any event, the plant was gone by 1930, and Henry Hudson Dobson was apparently out of a job with Meccano, for several years, and in the employ of the Fleuron Pottery Company.
Best regards, Terry


johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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DTCA Member
Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 14:04

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Meccano historians have apparently been uncertain as to whether the U.S. plant in New Jersey was sold to A.C. GIlbert in 1928 or 1929, but thanks to Jan's find, we now know it was the latter. The plant had been making Meccano in the U.S. since 1922, and catalogues (on Kendrick Bisset's usmeccano.com website) show that a couple of clockwork Hornby sets were imported, with generic engines and cars that could pass for American.

Gilbert moved production to its own plant and continued producing "American Meccano" until 1938. No one seems to know now why they stopped; it may simply have been rationalization of product lines, combined with war looming, or perhaps Gilbert had acquired only a limited license (ten years?) to the Meccano name.

Meantime it must have been a disappointing period for Mr. H.H.D. -- I've been able to determine only that the Fleuron Pottery Company (of Tonawanda, New York) existed only from the late 20s until the early 30s and was never any kind of major player in its field.

Then by the mid to late 1930s, we have Dinky Toys being imported into the U.S. by the "Meccano Company of America," which changes to "H. Hudson Dobson Inc." in 1938. (If GIlbert's "American Meccano" was still in the shops at that time, the potential for confusion sheds additional light on the name change.)

Does anyone have any Meccano Company of America catalogs earlier than 1938?

 


dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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DTCA MemberUSA
Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 23:27

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Jonathan——Interesting that you found Fleuron did not exist past early 1930’s. That would likely explain why I found a newspaper clipping, saying that HHD’s Family was moving back to New Jersey, from New York, in 1933. That also makes one wonder just exactly when he went back to work for Meccano, but I would guess it coincided with them opening up Meccano Company of America sometime in the mid-1930’s.
Best regards,
Terry


Jan Oldenhuis's picture
Jan Oldenhuis
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DTCA MemberNetherlands
Joined: Thu, 07/30/2015 - 16:47

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Jonathan. I found this picture of a USA Meccano catalogue 1929 on Vectis. According to the accompanying description, it is a Meccano 1929 USA Products Catalog 24-page dated coded 9/28 and includes a number of Meccano and Meccano Sets, with the last page devoted to the American Meccano M1, M2 and M3 sets with all prices quoted in US Dollars. An interesting catalog and printed Meccano Co. Incorporated Elizabeth New Jersey.

Jan O


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