Category:Meccano Worldwide

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Frank Hornby's background working as a clerk at Liverpool docks for a meat importer gave him a strongly international outlook, and meant that he was already familiar with import/export procedeures that might have mystified most inventors.

His interest in international markets ws apparent quite early, with some of the "Mechanics Made Easy" promotional literature being bilingual (in English and French), and even shows up as a brief flirtation with the idea of making the system in metric sizes.

Family tree

  • Meccao Ltd.
  • Meccano (France) Ltd
  • Meccano Germany
  • Meccano Corp. Inc.
  • Meccano Argentina

Hornby's two sons, Roland Godefroy Hornby (1889-1965) and Douglas Egerton Hornby (b.1890), were respectively educated in France and Germany, and groomed to run the future French and German offshoot businesses. This begs the question of whether Frank's international masterplan might have included his daughter, Patricia Elliott Hornby (1905-1919) perhaps eventually being in charge of the US offshoot company ... but since Patricia died in her early teens in 1919, we'll probably never know.

In Argentina, Exacto S.R.L. was started by a local Meccano enthusiast to make copies of Meccano parts to bypass import restrictions that prevented the real thing being available. After it had been agreed that these parts were at least as high quality as the Liverpool output (the Argentinians reckoned that theirs were better!) the resulting "Meccano - Industria Argentina" parts and sets were officially sanctioned as licensed products.

Final acts

  • Meccano Ltd. went bust and became part of Lines Brothers (Tri-ang) in around ~1965.
  • Roland Hornby seems to have been enthusiastic about running the French operation, and Meccano France Ltd. (or Meccano-Paris) became a thriving business that outlasted all the other branches of Hornby's empire, and and is still operating today.
  • Douglas Hornby seems to have been less enthusiastic about working for the family firm ... but since ownership of Meccano Germany was "lost" with the outbreak of WW1 (with the assets ending up being owned by Märklin), these plans became rather academic.
  • Meccano Corporation Inc.'s business became part of A.C. Gilbert in ~1929, the year that an interstate extension was built cutting through the site of the US factory.


This category has the following 10 subcategories, out of 10 total.





Media in category ‘Meccano Worldwide’

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