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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 1 (April 1, 1937)

Railway Carriage Inspiration

Railway Carriage Inspiration.

Many brilliant ideas have occurred to persons travelling by train. For instance, the invention of Meccano—that universally popular toy—originated in a railway carriage. Mr. Frank Hornby was travelling from London to Birmingham to spend the Christmas holidays with a relative who had a young family. Whilst looking out of the window and wondering how he could amuse the little ones he saw a crane. He then had the idea of making a miniature replica out of strips of metal. The first lot of Meccano sets which he made were given to his friends for their children. The pleasure they brought inspired him to put them on the market. He chose the name Meccano because it is a word easy to pronounce by people of different nationalities.

All this happened thirty-five years ago. Mr. Hornby died recently at the age of 73. He was the managing director of the firm whose works in Liverpool employ over 2,000 hands in the manufacturing of Meccano sets, model engines and miniature railway equipment.—“Pohutu.”

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