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Manuals  1962-64
(Earlier Manuals)

 These manuals for the 'New Meccano' of 1962 were in exploded-view format, without instructions. It is commonly thought that the introduction of these manuals coincided with the silver/yellow/black period of 1964, but they were in existence two years before that.  In fact, this type of exploded-view format first appeared in the "More New Models" leaflets, the first of which was published as early as 1960.

Another misconception is that the building instructions were removed because the manuals went multi-lingual.  In fact separate manuals were printed in different languages for the first year, although the new format did pave the way for multi-lingualism.  The first multi-lingual versions came along towards the end of 1962.

Whatever the reason for the change of format, the lack of building instructions was a retrograde step, as it removed much of the educational element from the model building.  The modeller was no longer presented with the correct engineering terms for the various parts of the models, nor any information about the prototypes.

Up until this time an individual manual was produced for every main and every accessory outfit.  This meant a total of over twenty separate manuals to cover a basic range of only 12 sets!  A very extravagant arrangement which must have been a stock controller's nightmare.  With the introduction of the new manuals, not only was it realised that the accessory manuals were unnecessary, but further savings were made by combining the manuals for several sets into a single book.  This allowed the number of manuals to be cut considerably, from over twenty to just five, (plus the set 10 leaflets, which remained as before).

This rationalisation of the manuals meant that most outfits contained surplus instructions for models that were beyond the scope of the outfit.  However, the sight of these models would have been a strong incentive for the owner to upgrade to the next outfit in order to build all the models in the manual, so it provided very effective 'subliminal' advertising.  As four manuals covered sets 0/1, 2/3, 4/5/6, and 7/8, it was not necessary to include any manuals in the accessory outfits except for outfits 1A, 3A, 6A and 8A.  However, evidence shows that the appropriate manual was included in every accessory set, even though this would have provided the buyer with a manual which he already had.  This could have been done for the benefit of people upgrading from the pre-1962 range of outfits, who would not have had the new-style manuals (although they would not have been able to build the new models either!).

Mike Burgess has noticed that the 4/5/6 manual had to be trimmed along the top and bottom edges to enable it to fit into the 4A box!  This probably shows that it wasn't the intention to include a manual in every accessory outfit when the plans for the new outfits were drawn up.

There is strong speculation to suggest that the factory experienced major problems in the production of these new manuals, which led to delays with the introduction of the new outfits.  See here

These new manuals featured in a special motorised dealers' display unit.  See here.


0-1 manual

2-3 manual

4/5/6 manual


7-8 manual

The above 2/3 and 7/8 manuals are 1962 printings in English only.  The two on the left are later multi-lingual versions.  All these manuals were printed on high-quality art paper.  When the silver/yellow/black colour scheme was introduced in 1964, the manuals remained unchanged, but they were then printed on poorer quality paper, and the 'Meccano' name on the front cover was in black rather than blue, (see the example on the right).  There were no accessory manuals, the accessory sets simply contained the appropriate outfit manual.

1964 4/5/6 manual

No.9 leaflets

The ten leaflets for Outfit No. 9 were contained in a special binder, with a similar design to the new outfit lids.  The leaflets were held in place by a plastic slide, which is shown in close up in the right-hand photograph.  The binder was a late (and possibly ill-conceived) idea, as the earliest printing to be found is April 1962, which is after the introduction of the new outfits.  The leaflets themselves were folded into three, so it was impossible to use them without taking them out of the binder, as the pages couldn't be opened!  It looks as though the leaflets were originally intended to be placed in a wallet, similar to the No.10 wallet, otherwise the third page would have been shortened to allow it to be unfolded.  According to the Spanner mailing list, the original clear plastic slider has now become a rarity.  Many owners of the binder didn't even know that there should have been a slider on the spine!

Model 9.6

Model 9.7

 Two models from the No.9 leaflets:  A Bascule Bridge, and the ever-popular Robot Man

Rear of manual


No.9 rear cover

The back cover of all the manuals showed a selection of parts from that particular outfit.

The back of the No. 9 binder showed a selection of parts from the entire Meccano system, rather than just the parts contained in outfit 9.  This included many of the new 1962 parts, including the first illustrations of the new large Road Wheel and Steering Wheel.

Emebo Leaflet

This leaflet was included in the manuals, to suggest ways in which models could be motorised with the new Emebo motor.  The motor was not available to the model-building department when the models were designed.

Motor Codes

In the new manuals, motors were given a code number to identify them:  The codes were first announced as:
M1 - 'Magic' clockwork motor,  M2 - No. 1 clockwork motor
and M3 - Meccano electric motor.
The M3 was soon changed to E15R electric motor, when it was realised that a new electric motor was in the pipeline; then the  M4 - Emebo was added to the list.  The M5 - Power Drive motor did not appear on the list until 1965.

Basic Constructions

Basic constructions

With the introduction of the new manuals came a set of 'Basic Constructions' (BC1 to BC14). These were standard assemblies of parts which were used frequently in models.  Whenever such an assembly was used in a model, the BC number was shown on the model, and the builder had to refer to the illustrations printed at the front or back of the manual.
The list of Basic Constructions was as follows:
BC1 - simple locknut
BC2 - locknuts either side of strip
BC3 - strips butt jointed
BC4 - strips overlapped
BC5 - strips joined by Obtuse Angle Bracket
BC6 - 45 used as bearing extension
BC7 - 11A (new part) used as bearing extension
BC8 - 24 used as bolt-on boss
BC9 - use of Cord Anchoring Spring
BC10 - long set screw to provide brake
BC11 - jib-head pulley construction
BC12 - Double Bracket made out of two 12s
BC13 - 125 used as a bearing extension
BC14 - 12 bolted to boss to form a crank

Elektrikit manual


Rear of Elektrikit manual

The front and back covers of the 1963 Elektrikit manual. The cover showed the same boring picture as the box lid.

Elektrikit motor

Morse telegraph

Two models from the Elektrikit manual:  A Permanent Magnet Motor, and a Morse Telegraph with bell and printer.  The Elektrikit models were generally very nicely designed and worked well, giving a good insight into how electrical mechanisms worked.  The working induction motor made entirely from Meccano parts was particularly impressive.  Some models (such as the induction motor) required a T15 transformer to provide a source of AC power.

Manual Print References

Manual Models  1962-64

This is a list of all the models in the manuals for each outfit:

Outfit 0:
0.1 Acrobat, 0.2 Tricycle, 0.3 Scooter, 0.4 Garage Crane, 0.5 Mobile Light Crane, 0.6 3-Wheel Sports Car, 0.7 Monoplane, 0.8 Electric Truck, 0.9 Monotower Crane, 0.10 Road Digger, 0.11 Fork Lift Truck, 0.12 Merry-Go-Round.

Outfit 1
1.1 Drilling Machine, 1.2 Helicopter, 1.3 Windmill, 1.4 Field Gun, 1.5 Station Truck, 1.6 Mechanical Saw, 1.7 Railway Breakdown Crane, 1.8 Delivery Truck, 1.9 Jeep, 1.10 Lifting Bridge, 1.11 Dockside Crane, 1.12 Tractor.

Outfit 2
2.1 Monoplane, 2.2 3-Wheel Sports Car, 2.3 Sports Car, 2.4 Letter Balance, 2.5 Stamping Mill, 2.6 Fire Escape, 2.7 Mechanical Excavator, 2.8 Bulldozer, 2.9 Racing Car, 2.10 Cement Mixer, 2.11 Shipyard Crane, 2.12 Stage Coach, 2.13 Goods Yard Crane, 2.14 Articulated Lorry, 2.15 Side-Tipping Truck, 2.16 Swing Bridge.

Outfit 3
3.1 Horizontal Steam Engine, 3.2 Tank, 3.3 Gun Boat, 3.4 Sports Car, 3.5 Dumper Truck, 3.6 Observation Coach, 3.7 Saloon Car, 3.8 Motor Lorry, 3.9 Articulated Petrol Tanker, 3.10 Revolving Jet Planes, 3.11 Windmill, 3.12 Blocksetting Crane, 3.13 Pithead Gear, 3.14 Fork Lift Truck, 3.15 Mobile Crane, 3.16 Monotower Crane.

Outfit 4
4.1 Observer Plane, 4.2 Electric Tractor, 4.3 Army Vehicle, 4.4 Lorry, 4.5 Lifting Bridge, 4.6 Diesel Locomotive, 4.7 Railway Service Crane, 4.8 Mobile Crane, 4.9 Loading Shovel, 4.10 Side Fork Lift Truck, 4.11 Car Ferry, 4.12 Forge Crane, 4.13 Hammerhead Crane, 4.14 Extending Mast Vehicle, 4.15 Sports Car, 4.16 Cabin Cruiser.

Outfit 5
5.1 Power Press, 5.2 Shooting Brake, 5.3 Single Deck Bus, 5.4 Glazier’s Lorry, 5.5 Tipping Lorry, 5.6 Tractor, 5.7 Dockyard Locomotive, 5.8 Fire Engine, 5.9 Builder’s Crane, 5.10 Excavator, 5.11 Gantry Crane, 5.12 Lifting Bridge, 5.13 Helicopter, 5.14 Roundabout, 5.15 Big Wheel, 5.16 Car Ferry.

Outfit 6
6.1 Aircraft Carrier, 6.2 Shipyard Crane, 6.3 Mobile Crane, 6.4 Loading Grab, 6.5 Windmill, 6.6 Helicopter, 6.7 Printing Machine, 6.8 Mini-Bus, 6.9 Funicular Railway, 6.10 Fork Lift Truck, 6.11 P.O. Service Van, 6.12 Tractor and Manure Spreader, 6.13 Articulated Low-Loader, 6.14 Locomotive, 6.15 Bascule Bridge, 6.16 Swing Bridge.

Outfit 7
7.1 Lorry Mounted Crane, 7.2 Railway Service Crane, 7.3 Quayside Unloader, 7.4 Mobile Crane, 7.5 Side Tipping Lorry, 7.6 Tug or fire-Fighting boat, 7.7 Penny-In-The-Slot Machine, 7.8 Scales, 7.9 Double Deck Bus, 7.10 Police Patrol Car, 7.11 Tractor and Bottom Dump Truck, 7.12 Cable Car Railway, 7.13 Swing Boats, 7.14 Power Press, 7.15 Shaping Machine, 7.16 Transport Plane.

Outft 8
8.1 Television Camera, 8.2 Meccanograph, 8.3 Lathe, 8.4 Bulldozer, 8.5 Articulated Tipping Lorry, 8.6 Touring Car, 8.7 Car Transporter, 8.8 Conveyancer, 8.9 Articulated Tanker, 8.10 Breakdown Lorry, 8.11 Pull Shovel, 8.12 Elevated Platform Vehicle, 8.13 Dockside Crane, 8.14 Elevated Car Park, 8.15 Travelling Gantry Crane, 8.16 Ferry Boat.

Outfit 9 (leaflets)
9.1 Fire Escape, 9.2 Wharf Crane, 9.3 Fork Lift Truck, 9.4 Giant Walking Dragline Excavator, 9.5 High Speed Press, 9.6 Bascule Bridge, 9.7 Robot Man, 9.8 Freight Plane, 9.9 Car and Caravan, 9.10 Articulated Lorry.

Outfit 10 (leaflets)
Same as 1958-61

Gears Outfit B
Same as 1958-61

Mechanisms Outfit
Same as 1958-61

E.1 Two-Way Switch, E.2 Twin Push-Button Switch, E.3 Two-Pole Reversing Switch, E.4 Compass, E.5 Electromagnetic Grab, E.6 Signal, E.7 Four-Bladed Motor, E.8 Buzzer, E.9 Electric Shock Machine, E.10 Vibratory Motor, E.11 Electric Bell, E.12 Asynchronous Motor, E.13 Transformer, E.14 Two-Way Relay with Pilot Lights, E.15 Eight-Pole Synchronous Motor, E.16 Swing, E.17 Windmill, E.18 Level-Crossing, E.19 Two-Light Signal with Relay, E.20 Two-Pole Relay Switch, E.21 Permanent Magnet Motor with Reducing Pulley, E.22 Single Cylinder Vertical Engine, E.23 Horizontal Electric Engine, E.24 Horizontally Opposed Two-Cylinder Engine, E.25 Beam Engine, E.26 Circuit Breaker with Warning Light, E.27 Universal Dynamometer Voltmeter, E.28 DC Moving Coil Voltmeter, E.29 DC Ammeter, E.30 Polarity Indicator, E.31 Impulse Counter, E.32 Electric Field Gun, E.33 Telegraph Receiver with Bell and Morse Key, E.34 Complete Morse Telegraph, E.35 Windmill with Illuminated Sails, E.36 Crane with Electromagnetic Grab, E.37 Electrically Driven Big Wheel with Lights.

   Collectors' Corner


Outfits with these Manuals

1958-61 Manuals

Manual Print Refs.


Outfit Contents

Spares Packaging

Parts & Changes

Full List of Parts

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