Home | Links | Contact |

Printed from www.nzmeccano.com

Top Home Bottom

Part 52a-74: Flat plates

52aFlat plate, 5½'' x 3½'' 1919-8116N°9
53aFlat plate, 4½'' x 2½'' 1919-364N°9
70Flat plate, 5½'' x 2½'' 1918-674N°9
72Flat plate, 2½'' x 2½'' 1918-442N°10
73Flat plate, 3'' x 1½'' 1931-n/a02N°10
74Flat plate, 1½'' x 1½'' 1962-n/an/an/an/a

The parts

The full range of flat plates, in mid and light red
Loading picture Flatplates

A strange set of numbers, but there is some logic. The first flat plates were introduced in early 1918 (according to Vol.6), as parts 70 and 72. They could have existed in 1917, but there was no manual printing or mention of them during that year. There was no part 71, but Meccano had started to use blocks of ten part numbers for each type of part. At the same time, the 80's were reserved for screwed rods. Perhaps a blank was left for a future size?

In 1919, perhaps after having realised how useful the new flat plates were, the top two in the table above were introduced. This was of course a very easy job, as they were already being made as the flanged plates part 52 and 53. The parts were simply removed from the production line before bending and marketed as parts 52a and 53a, introduced into the Inventor's Outfit B of 1919. You can see from the picture above that part 53a has elongated holes at each end (matching the holes in the flanges of part 53), and part 52a is just an unfolded part 52 (which of course had only two long flanges at the time).

These parts were only available in the Inventor's Outfit, until the large-scale redesign of the outfits in 1922. Even so, they were only supplied in the largest of outfits, which continued as you can see from the last column in the table. Post-war outfits contained no flat plates at all until outfit 9. In 1962, part 53a (4½'' x 2½'' flat plate) found its way down as far as outfit 4, but the other parts remained only in 9's and 10's.

Chronological variations

One of the very rare sets of parts that have remained completely unchanged from their introduction during WW1 through to the end of UK production, and even later in French outfits. Nothing more to tell, I don't think!

Dark blue flat plate part 73
This image does not belong to the webmasters and is copyright.
Please do not download or copy it for any purpose. It has been
kindly provided for use on this site by the image owner,
Richard Payn
Loading picture Dbdypart73

Variations and oddities

Here's an unusual one. A dark blue flat plate, stamped as expected, provided by Richard Payn. He has a number of these, but they're considered to be specials from the model room at Binns Road, or perhaps experimental parts. The dark blue is the normal 78/79 dark blue colour.

Spare parts boxes for parts 71 and 73
Loading picture Flatplatesspareparts

Dealer spare parts boxes

In the same way as the flanged plates, 1950's boxes for these parts didn't match the size of the parts inside. Boxes generally contained 6 of each part, but you can see from the picture to the right that the mid-50's part 72s are only half the size of the box itself. The later light red part 74s (only introduced in 1962), are in a box that fits them exactly.

Individual part numbers

Part 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).

More about bosses More about stampings More about paint colours
Nickel plated, 20swg plate ¹18.ni.ni.ni.ni.ni 
Early red (pea-red)26.re.re.re.re  
Dark red27.dr.dr.dr.dr.dr 
Blue with gold crosshatching34.bg.bg.bg.bg.bg 
Medium red37.mr1.mr1.mr1.mr1.mr1 
Medium red with post-war markings45.mr.mr.mr.mr.mr 
Light red58.lr.lr.lr.lr.lr.lr
Olive green (Army Multikit) †73-79  .am   
Dark yellow79.dy.dy.dy.dy.dy.dy

Note: ¹ Part 73 didn't appear in nickel plate, being introduced in 1931. However, outfits and parts could be special-ordered in a nickel finish up to 1941, and for this reason there are a tiny number of nickel plated ones even though it was only supplied in outfit 10s of the period. Part 73.ni is about as rare as Meccano parts get.

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!

Further information

Total number of messages on this page: 13.  This is page 2 of 3.   Previous  Next

Jason      (at 8:00am, Sun 4th Oct, 09)

Malcolm, thank you very much for your message. You have cleared up a mystery for me! The value of this site and contributors like yourself is beyond doubt.

Apart from anything else, I have now learnt that part 195 was not confined to a 71/2 inch length. Am I correct in assuming that the 71/2 version {which I recall seemed to reappear in the 1970s) superceded the 51/2 inch one which is now identified?

Malcolm Hanson      (at 2:54pm, Sat 3rd Oct, 09)

Jason, the cross-hatched part you describe is a 5.5" by 2.5" strip plate, part 195. These were supplied in the lettered outfits of the time to complement the flexible plates by providing rigid alternatives. They were the same thickness as the surviving 9.5" and 12." strip plates of post war years but less thick than flat plates.

Jason      (at 12:11pm, Sat 3rd Oct, 09)

Part 53a was found in sets 4 and upwards [sets 5 and upwards after 1970]. It also appeared in the mechanisms department.

Jason      (at 12:08pm, Sat 3rd Oct, 09)

I don't know if this message is premature [because the site has not covered part 192 yet] but I am sure that I have, somewhere in my collection, a dark blue cross hatched plate of blue/gold vintage which is drilled as a part 192 but is of heavy gauge metal like a part 70. It most certainly is not at all flexible, although it does resemble a part 192. It has sharp corners.

I recall that the job lot in which it came contained a number of smaller flexible plates in cardboard-like fibre. The question is, is this part an underdrilled part 70 or a heavy gauge part 192 made before the larger flexible plates got into their stride?

Jan Andreasen      (at 3:40am, Mon 22nd Dec, 08)

I have recently bought some Meccano on eBay in witch were 2 blue no. 53a without crosshatching. I don´t know if You knew theese. I´ll sent You a picture of this

Reply: Thank you very much for that. I've not seen plain royal blue flat plates, but since the flanged plates lost their cross-hatching at the very end of pre-war production (around 1941) it seems logical that the flat plates would have too.

Dick Watson      (at 8:32am, Sun 5th Aug, 07)

I have seen part 52a with the slot and saw-cut of part 52, dark red I think. You may have difficulty with Early Red parts, there is hardly any paint left on mine.

Your name:
Your message:
Security check: (Please type in the text to prove you're a person!)

On this page...

Recent stuff going on: