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Meccano

In 1901 Frank Hornby, a clerk from Liverpool, England, invented and patented a new toy called "Mechanics Made Easy" that was based on the principles of mechanical engineering. It was a model construction kit consisting of perforated metal strips, plates and girders, with wheels, pulleys, gears, shaft collars and axles for mechanisms and motion, and nuts and bolts to connect the pieces. The perforations were at a standard ½ inch (12.7 mm) spacing, the axles were 8-gauge, and the nuts and bolts used 5/32 inchBSW threads. The only tools required to assemble models were a screwdriver and spanners (wrenches). It was more than just a toy: it was educational, teaching basic mechanical principles like levers and gearing.



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