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Part 51: Flanged plates

51Flanged plate, 2½'' x 1½'' 1934-12N°4
51aFlanged plate, 1½'' x 1'' 1993-
51bFlanged plate, 1½'' x 1½'' 1993-
52Flanged plate, 5½'' x 2½'' 1911-774N°00
53Flanged plate, 3½'' x 2½'' 1911-1076N°6
The three sizes of flanged plates in UK Meccano
Loading picture Flangedplates

The parts

Flanged plates were the first Meccano part introduced that let models be build in a more solid form, rather than being constructed entirely from strips and angle girders.  Early outfits had a large number of these plates, but once strip plates and flexible plates were added, the numbers of flanged plates needed was reduced.

It was immediately realised that the 5½'' x 2½'' flanged plate (part 52) was ideal for use as a base for small models, and one was provided in all the smallest outfits from then on (even the tiny outfit 000 of the early 30's).  Only the Pocket Meccano missed out, using part 51 as its base instead for cost reasons.

When first introduced, parts 52 and 53 were called "Large rectangular plate" and "Small rectangular plate".  They were renamed to "Flanged plate" in 1913.

Chronological variations

Four styles of part 52: 1911, 1927, 1927, and 1934
Loading picture Flangedplatesprog The most changed part of this group was part 52, the 5½'' x 2½'' flanged plate.  Initially it was provided with two flanges on its long sides (left-hand example in the above picture).  In 1927, along with the colour change to dark red, the part had a slot and saw-cut added. The sole purpose of this was to allow the building of a saw bench using the new part 159, circular saw.

At the very end of 1927, the flanged plate gained extra flanges at the short ends, making it considerably more useful.  The second and third example in the photograph above both come from a December 1927 outfit, indicating that the changeover was almost exactly at this point.  In 1934 the part changed colour, and simultaneously lost the sawcut and slot (right-hand example).  It is thought that all dark red examples have the sawcut and slot, and a small number of the early medium red (1933-on) ones too.  The "New Meccano" parts in early red (also known as pea-red) from 1926 have no sawcut or slot, and two flanges.

EMP also reports and even shows engineering drawings for early dark red and blue/gold part 51's with square corners on the flanges. This seems to be a mistaken transformation from the flexible plates and strip plates of the era. All blue/gold part 51's have the usual round-ended flanges.

One variation we do have, though, is that right at the end of pre-war production the parts lost their cross-hatching and became plain blue.

Part 51 in blue anodised finish
Loading picture Part51anodised

Variations and oddities

Here's a funny one: a part 51 in a blue anodised finish, but it is stamped Meccano Made in England. This was an experimental finish before the change from blue/yellow/zinc to dark blue / dark yellow, in around 1977. Many parts can be found in this smart anodised finish, just enough to make us wish they'd taken up the idea.

Dealer spare parts boxes

Boxes for parts 52 and 53
Loading picture Flangedplatesspareparts The top row shows two examples of boxes for part 53 (a single part in each box), medium red to the left and light red to the right (with the green label).  Note that the box is the same size as that used for part 52, shown below.

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

Neils Gottlob's line drawings (where available) can be viewed by clicking the part number at the top of the table.

Nickel plated, two flanges ¹11.ni.ni.ni
Blackened steel, two flanges †11 .bs.bs
Early red (pea-red), two flanges26 .re.re
Nickel, two flanges, slot and sawcut for part 159 † ²27 .ni1 
Nickel, four flanges, slot and sawcut for part 159 † ²27 .ni2 
Dark red, two flanges, slot and sawcut for part 15927 .dr 
Dark red, four flanges, slot and sawcut for part 15927 .dr1 
Dark red, two flanges, part 51 with sharp corners27  .dr
Medium red33 .mr1.mr1
Medium red, part 52 without slot and sawcut34-41 .mr1a 
Blue with gold crosshatching34.bg.bg.bg
Plain blue (very late pre-war finish)42?.nb.nb.nb
Olive green, fewer holes in plates †39-41.ma.ma 
Medium red, post-war stamping45.mr.mr.mr
Light red58.lr.lr.lr
Olive green (Army multikit) †73.am.am.am
Yellow (Crane/Highway multikit) †73.ye.ye.ye
White (Space) †79.wh .wh
Dark yellow79.dy.dy.dy

Note: ¹ Part 51 didn't appear in nickel plate, being introduced in 1934. 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. Part 51.ni is about as rare as Meccano parts get.
² These parts were special order only.

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: 9.  This is page 1 of 2.   Next

Jeremy Jordan      (at 3:20pm, Mon 12th Jan, 15)

I have a 52ni with the following stamped copy; line 1 reads: NO.577272DRG.M.455057 and line 2 reads: PAT. U.S.A. NOV 18 1913. This is difficult to read due to corrosion.

Nick Smith      (at 5:19pm, Fri 11th Apr, 14)

line 8 of the table says
Dark red, two flanges, part 51 with sharp corners
but the only table entry on that line is for part 53
- 51 being still in the future - typo for 53??

Nick Smith      (at 6:32pm, Sun 9th Mar, 14)

I can take a photo of Part 51b Flanged plate, 1½'' x 1½,Black in 4810 Defender Unit 1997 if required
51 variants have moved on from b to f...
51c Flanged Plate, 1" x ½" x ½",Red in 2950 Collection set 1995
51d Flanged Plate, triangular flange (ie part 1 hole & part 2 hole) 1½" x 1" x 1", Black in 4810 Defender Unit 1997
51e Flanged Plate, partial long edge flange, 2½" x 1½", Red in 2930 Collection set 1995
51f Flanged Plate, long edge flange, 2½" x 1½", Yellow in Evolution Set 2 1995
Are these all too modern to matter?

Don Noble      (at 11:49am, Sat 11th Jun, 11)

The original Blue/Gold plates were Royal Blue with a gold cross hatching. The colour changed, probably just before the war, to a paler, duller blue with a yellow cross hatching. I have examples of this colour change amongst the flexible plates of the era but it is not so obvious on the flanged plates and strip plates. It seems that in the late blue/gold period the flexible plates were a markedly different shade to the others.

John Simean      (at 2:34pm, Mon 30th Aug, 10)

I don't think that the 51/2 flanged plate was missed out of the pocket meccano set for cost reasons as is stated. It is more likely that the smaller, part 51 was included for size reasons! The concept of pocket meccano would be somewhat negated by including a whackig great flanged plate in the set. The box would have been larger for one thing. Then there is the proportions of the pocket meccano models; part 51 fits the bill perfectly. A part 52 flanged plate would have made the models out of proportion, given the tiny wheels created by half inch pulleys with no tyres and the surfeit of narrow strips!

Rijk v H      (at 5:55pm, Sun 29th Aug, 10)

Are indiviable pieces like flange plate # 51,52,53 available, or just in full sets

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