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Part 54: Flanged sector plate

 
54Flanged sector plate, 4''/4½'' 1911-422N°4Part 54a 1934/35
Nickel, dark red, and longer 1935-on flanged sector plates
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The parts

One of the very few Meccano parts with an odd angle, the flanged sector plate has become a little too well-supplied in most collections. At its launch in 1911 it was supplied in every outfit, and even after the war there was a pair in every outfit from number 4 upwards.

One of the few interesting things that can be done with the flanged sector plate is to make a large circular platform out of 24 of them. If you do this, make sure you are using 24 of the same sized versions -- the pre-1934 version of the flanged plate is half an inch shorter.

Chronological variations

Nickel-plated flanged sector plates have a single row of holes, and are only 4'' long. They can be dated to some extent, by checking the stampings on them.
A typical stamping of a 1920s flanged sector plate
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Sector plate stamped with Swiss patent number
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Loading picture Sectorplateswiss A small number of early nickel-plated sector plates are found with the stamping shown to the right, consisting of an outlined cross and the Swiss patent number 22385. This is the "Federal Cross", required at the time by Swiss patent law to protect the parts in that country.  This stamping is uncommon &ndash perhaps only parts intended for sale in Switzerland were so marked?  You can see that the part is also stamped FEA, which is only required for parts sold in France.

As described above, part number 54 was originally only 4'' long.  In 1934, with the start of the new lettered outfits, a new longer version was introduced as part number 54a.  In the 1935 catalogues, outfits up to H were shown with the longer 4½'' version, but outfits K and L still had photographs with the older variety.  In 1935, part 54 was dropped and part 54a renamed back to part 54, effectively making the part increase in length by half an inch.  It was a rather strange way of doing it though.  4'' versions in blue and gold are rare -- most of this colour scheme are longer.

Small (left) and large (right) elongated side holes
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From 1935 onwards, the only change to the flanged sector plates was that the elongated holes in the side flanges increased slightly, during the time they were black (1964 to 1969).  Martin Hanson has studied a range of mid-60's outfits and suggests that this change was quite early on in the period, certainly before zinc plating replaced the silver painted strips.  He has an outfit in a vacuum formed tray with silver painted strips and the small holes in the sector plate, and a slightly later one in an expanded polystyrene tray with silver painted strips and the longer holes.  This would date the change to late 1965 or certainly no later than 1966.

Although the flanged sector plate is an extremely common part, it is interesting that it is one of the rarest of all parts in the dark blue (1978/79) colour scheme.  Only supplied in outfits 9 and 10 of this era, all examples studied so far appear to be 1970's blue ones oversprayed in dark blue.

Variations and oddities

None known

Dealer spare parts boxes

Flanged sector plate in light red
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Loading picture Sectorplatesparepart

The box above contains a light red flanged sector plate.  The light green label tells us it's a part from 1958 to 1964, after the change from medium green to light green.  Since sector plates are red this obviously means light red.  Note that the box is the same as that used for the 5½''x2½'' flanged plate, part 52.

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
Descriptionfrom54
Nickel plate, one row of holes, 4'' long11.ni
Tinned steel, one row of holes, 4'' long †11.st
Blackened steel, one row of holes, 4'' long †15.bs
Early 'pea-red', one row of holes, 4'' long26.re
Dark red, one row of holes, 4'' long27.dr1
Dark red, three rows of holes, 4'' long27.dr
Nickel, three rows of holes, 4'' long (special order)27.ni1
Red, three rows of holes, 4'' long33?.re1
Blue with gold crosshatching, three rows of holes, 4'' long34.bg
Blue with gold crosshatching, three rows of holes, 4½'' long34.bg1
Plain blue (very late pre-war finish)42?.nb
Medium red, three rows of holes, 4½'' long37?.mr1
Medium red 45.mr
Light red 58.lr
Black, short flange holes64.bk
Black, longer elongated flange holes65.bk1
Blue, longer elongated flange holes70.bl
Dark blue, longer elongated flange holes79.db
ALL

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: 10.  This is page 1 of 2.   Next

Pete Leach      (at 9:36am, Sat 12th Mar, 16)

A late entry to this thread - I have in front of me 5 pieces of the 4" sector plate, dark red (burgundy), 3 centre rows of holes and with the Swiss Federal Cross stamping (and FEA). I don't no if they are unusual but thought I'd contribute. A couple of the pieces do not appear to have the MECCANO stamp as top line but I think the top centre hole has taken that out ? Might be an explanation for the comments by other contributors about there being no MECCANO stamp on their pieces - only a suggestion.

Michel Berthomier      (at 3:03pm, Thu 20th Sep, 12)

The picture of 54.bg show a 4½" long sector plate, not 4" as described…
Kind regards.

Sheridan      (at 2:20pm, Mon 15th Aug, 11)

I have two presumably early 4" nickel parts with the single centre line of holes stamped with only the middle two lines of your 4 line heading picture. Thus no Meccano stamping or FEA, only the RD/DRGM and US patent information. Looks like somebody forgot to stamp Meccano!

david      (at 8:03am, Mon 17th Jan, 11)

Charles. The single row of holes are in the light red one. The three rows are in the dark red one.

Charles      (at 1:08am, Mon 17th Jan, 11)

Yes, I too have found light red sector plates recently with the cross. Are your red ones dark red? The three-hole would be unusual in light red...

David Hughes      (at 4:37pm, Sun 16th Jan, 11)

I have recently bought some old Meccano. In the box I have found 2 #54 4" long sector plates both marked with the Swiss flag etc as per your photograph. Both are red. One has a single row of holes. The other has 3 rows of holes. This seems odd as your article implies that the Swiss flag marking was only on early Nickel plated pieces. Am I misinterpreting your article? David


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