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Part 41: Propeller blade
The partsOne of the first specialised Meccano parts, the propeller blades can't be used for much other than their obvious application. The early propeller blades can be straightened and used in other areas, but the formed shape of the later type of blades is pretty much fixed.
EMP ignores the pea-red single-hole part 41, and mentions a two-hole nickel part from 1923. These were probably to special order only.
Chronological variationsThe early blades were introduced in 1909, in outfits 5 and 6 (the largest at the time). In 1926, they were painted pea-red (along with the "New Meccano" parts), and in 1927 gained a second hole and changed to dark red.
The second and much more common design of part 41 remained all the way through UK production, although later versions are rare as they were dropped from outfits in 1954 (previously they had been supplied in both outfits 9 and 10). Light red and later varieties were therefore only supplied as spare parts, but no manual models used them and therefore they would have rarely been needed.
The first of the type 2 shaped blades (in dark red) are found both left- and right-handed. I believe it can be assumed that the unusual left-handed versions came first, and the much more common right-hand variety soon replaced it and continued through all other colour schemes.
Of course, even after the advent of dark red/green Meccano one could still order nickel-plated parts from the Meccano factory. The propeller blade is one of those parts that changed just after the start of coloured Meccano, so the type 2 blade in nickel (type .ni2 below) would only have been available by special order and as such is a very rare part. The type 1 blade with two holes in nickel finish (normally only available in dark red) also exists, but to special order only.
The Yellow #41 with the black tip was introduced first and changed to black with yellow tip when someone (a member of the public, it is thought) pointed out yellow tip blades were standard aircraft practice at that time.
The date of the change I do not know. Roland Jaggard
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Variations and odditiesApart from the left-handed and right-handed varieties, one obviously strange combination is this pair of all-yellow blades (apologies for the unclear picture). These appear to be late 60's yellow blades that should have had a black tip, but have been 'freed' from Binns Road before they had their second paint colour added.
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Dealer spare parts boxesTo the left in the photo above, post-war medium red/green propeller blades in brown paper. To the right, the light green label on the yellow box identifies the parts as being light red/green, from 1958 to 1963. After the blades were dropped from all outfits, blades such as these light red ones with a light green tip would only have been available as spare parts.
Individual part numbersPart numbers for the parts on this page are as follows: Unique part numbers
For identification, each variation has been given a suffix to the main Meccano part number. These suffixes consist of a two-character code for the colour, and if there are many variations, a further number and sometimes letter code to identify each variation. See the bottom of the 'Parts' page for further details.
You don't need to worry what the codes are, just click on any one for a photograph.
The button above turns on and off the display of DMS numbers (where they are known). The DMS (Development of the Meccano System, Hauton and Hindemarsh) published in 1972 and added to in 75 and 82, suggested part numbers for every variation of every Meccano part. These numbers aren't perfect, but they are recognised and also referenced in the EMP (Encyclopedia of Meccano Parts, Don Blakeborough).
|Nickel plated 3¼'' x 1½''||09||.ni|
|Blackened steel 3¼'' x 1½'' ||15?||.bs|
|Early red (pea-red), 3¼'' x 1½'', one hole||26||.re|
|Early red (pea-red), 3¼'' x 1½'', two holes||??||.re1|
|Nickel plated, 3¼'' x 1½'', two holes (special order) ||26-41||.ni3|
|Dark red 3¼'' x 1½'', two holes||27||.dr|
|Nickel 3½'' x 1'' (approx), left-handed (special order only)||27?||.ni2a|
|Nickel 3½'' x 1'' (approx), right-handed (special order only)||27?||.ni2|
|Dark red 3½'' x 1'' (approx), left-handed||27||.dr1|
|Dark red 3½'' x 1'' (approx), right-handed||27?||.dr2|
|Dark red with dark green tip||33?||.dr3|
|Gold with dark blue tip||34||.go|
|Medium red with medium green tip, pre-war stamping||34||.mr1|
|Medium red with medium green tip||49||.mr|
|Light red with light green tip||58||.lr|
|Yellow with black tip||64||.ye|
|Black with yellow tip||60s?||.bk|
Please send us pictures of missing parts! Hints and tips for pictures
Take a picture of the part in very good light, preferably on a plain yellow background, without a flash but with a tripod.
Ideally, trim the picture to about 150 pixels per inch of the Meccano part (unless the part is particularly big or small), save it as a reasonably good quality jpg file with a filename of exactly the part number, for example 19b.ni1.jpg, and email it to us by clicking on 'Contact us' at the top of the page. Thanks!
- A greyed-out box shows that no part exists for that colour combination.
- Part number codes with a green background have an attached picture of the part, just click once on the code to show a photograph of that part in a separate window.
- Parts marked "" were temporary or economy parts, or existed only within specific themed outfits. The previous part continued throughout or afterwards.
John Hassell (at 1:53am, Sat 30th Jun, 12)
I was cleaning up some old propeller blades for re-painting and found that the mid-red with green tip blades have a line scribed on both sides marking the boundary of the green paint. Only obvious with the paint removed. A line to guide the girl painting the tips?
Stephen Brook (at 7:39am, Tue 6th Apr, 10)
I have four of the early shape of propeller blade, all in Nickel and all with two holes. All four are different, in that one is unstamped, one is stamped "Meccano" (only) and the other two are stamped "Meccano fabrique en Angleterre" but with the stamping reversed relative to each other.
John Ozyer-key (at 5:20am, Sun 29th Mar, 09)
I have four unused part No 41 which are light red with medium green tips in the original dealers yellow box.
Roger Dewey (at 9:38am, Tue 14th Oct, 08)
Correction. Sorry, the bosses are double tapped.
Roger Dewey (at 9:24am, Tue 14th Oct, 08)
I've recently aquired a 'junk' load of meccano most stamped with MFEA in a box with French rail tickets and notes written in French. Many parts are from the Mid 20's. There are no 'modern' parts as far as I know. However, there are 2 double propeller blades, (One smaller than the other). The bosses are single tapped. Both in silver with blue tip, stamped 'Meccano'. They are made opposite handed to each other. Any thoughts? Photo's could be supplied if required.
Keith Burston (at 4:40am, Fri 22nd Aug, 08)
I recently acquired four blades of the earliest broad form, with a single hole in nickel plate, presumably from 1909 to 1915. However, while eitherwise identical, two are stamped "Meccano" and two are stamped "Fabrique en Angleterre" and "Meccano", which would seem to indicate 1921 onwards. I assume this was a special order in nickel between 21 and 26. Any thoughts?