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Saturday 14 Oct - Sunday 15 Oct 2017

Frank Hornby, Inventor of Meccano

Frank Hornby (1863-1936) obtained the first patent for his invention in 1901. That year the first elementary sets were marketed under the name Mechanics Made Easy in partnership with D H Elliott.

The world famous trademark, Meccano, was registered in 1907. Meccano Limited was formed as a production and marketing vehicle for Hornby's invention in 1908.

The original Meccano factory was in Liverpool, England and in the decades that followed Meccano Ltd went from strength to strength, establishing factories in France and the United States. During 1914, production was moved to a much larger purpose-built factory in Binns Road, Liverpool.

Following World War II, Meccano declined in popularity in the face of many competing interests. Unable to pay its way, that icon of the UK toy industry, the Meccano factory at Binns Road, closed in 1979. Fortunately, the French factory continued in production and the Meccano in shops today is manufactured in France and China.

Melbourne Meccano Club was formed in 1984. It is one of four such clubs in Australia and more than thirty worldwide. Today Meccano is very much a hobby for adults, though there are plenty of children who take an active interest. There is no sign that the hobby is dying!

The question most asked by visitors to our exhibition is, "Where can you buy Meccano?" New Meccano sets are available in stores throughout Melbourne, for example, Brunel Hobbies. You will see examples of models from the new sets at the exhibition.

Each year, we provide a variety of exhibits including Meccano models and mechanisms ranging from the small to the very large and from simple to complex.