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Part 102: Single bent strip

102Single bent strip 1916-444N°9Originally 'for loom'
Single bent strip, in medium green from 1950s
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Loading picture Singlebentstrip

The parts

This is a very strange part indeed.  It was originally named "Single bent strip for Looms", introduced in 1916 along with the other parts from 101 to 106 designed specificially for the loom.  It would appear that the original loom model built for one of the early Meccano prize competitions used the early version of the bent strip, part 44.

In 1913, part 44 was enlarged and became the cranked bent strip, to allow the new 1'' pulleys with boss to fit in it.  For the loom, it appears that this new part 102 was created as a copy of the previous single bent strip.

Stranger still, when the Loom instruction leaflet became supermodel number 16 dated September 1928), the single bent strips aren't even used! The two brackets at the back of the slay are part 44, the cranked bent strip.  The model calls for all the other special loom parts from 101 to 106a, but not part 102.  The "New Meccano Loom", dating from 1930, uses parts 102 for these brackets, although there is really no significant reason to use these over part 44.

As such, the single bent strip part 102 appears to me to be one of the most useless parts in the Meccano system, very rarely called for when no other part will do.  However, it is made from one of the most common parts, the 2½'' perforated strip part 5, and so presumably continued in existence because of the ease of manufacture.

Dick Watson speaks up on behalf of the defence:

I think that you are a bit hard on this part.  Now that there are very few bossed wheels in sets, it will be used more often for its original HSMD purpose – to make a pulley block using a 1" pulley without boss. The centreline of the securing bolt passes though the groove of the pulley as it should.

The use in the first loom is interesting.  It was used to make a Swivel Bearing (165 not being available).  It required 2 couplings to be pushed into it and this could not be done with the standard 102.  It would have been easy enough to bend 2½'' strips round a coupling to make the prototype.  This was only shown in the first version of Manual 16, the later version (and later Manuals) show a better design using 2 couplings, a 1'' rod and a collar.

Dick Watson
Single bent strip in original loom drawing
Loading picture Singlebentstripinloom The diagram in question is shown to the right.  You can see two single bent strips in the loom as originally built for the 1915/16 prize model competition, with two couplings.  The motion of these parts is that the horizontal rods oscillate (causing the vertical rods to swing "into" and "out of" the page), but the vertical rods are still free to swing left and right as we view them (by the movement of the slay below).

There is a problem, as Dick points out above.  Part 102 as we now know it can't be used for this.  Of course, the part used by the modeller was in fact the earlier pre-1913 version of part 44, which was wider than part 102 and could accept the couplings.  The model couldn't be built with the (then current) part 44, and the resulting "Single bent strip for looms" was introduced.

Unusual wide 'single bent strip' from 1911, part 44
Loading picture Singlebentstripwide To the left is shown the answer.  A pair of these were supplied in a 1911 outfit 5, which are actually part 44, the single bent strip of the time, before it became the cranked bent strip.  You can see from this photo that (in 1911 at least) it is the perfect size to take a coupling as in the diagram above.  By the time the loom model was published, this part had been cranked and the single bent strip was made to take its place, but incorrectly with a much thinner profile.  How many Meccano boys were confused by this?

Either way, this top arrangement was removed in later versions of the loom, and (as stated above) part 102 was not required for the original loom supermodel 16.  It is used for the slay movement in the later supermodel 16a, but the replacement of part 44 for 102 there is unneccessary.

Dick Watson's point about part 102's use with ½'' and 1'' loose pulleys is certainly valid, though.

Chronological variations

This part hasn't changed in design since its introduction, only the finish and colour varies.

One strange thing about part 102 – in the 1930's almost all the small brackets can be found in both gold and red finish, except for this part.  Why did part 102 never appear in red?

Variations and oddities

None known
Brown paper wrapped part 102, from early 50s
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webmasters, and you may copy it for your personal use, or for a non-
commercial website - if you credit the source. All other rights reserved.
Loading picture Singlebentstripspareparts

Dealer spare parts boxes

The picture to the right shows a pack of six single bent strips, part 102.  The brown paper wrapping is typical of early post-war parts, and I believe that the diamond with pointed corners is from 1950 or earlier.  Part 102 is not included in outfits lower than number 9, and so it's possible that these parts weren't manufactured until 1948 when that outfit was reintroduced.

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
Nickel plated16.ni1
Dark green27.dg
Medium green33.mg1
Medium green (post-war stamped)48.mg
Light green58.lg
Nickel plated (post-war stamped)62.ni
Zinc plated66.zn
Matt brass78.mb
Matt brass with truncated ends ¹78.mb1
Note: ¹ Surprisingly rare, only one example found to date, although the part is obviously made from a 2½'' strip we haven't found a truncated-ends zinc plated one yet.

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

Anon      (at 5:50pm, Thu 22nd Dec, 16)

White 102's were included in the Space Base set

Richard Payn      (at 4:07am, Thu 24th Apr, 08)

I have just come across a dull brass 1978 single bent strip with truncated ends. I will email a picture.

Reply: Now installed, thank you Richard! I've still never seen a truncated zinc one...

Ed Barclay      (at 5:31pm, Fri 15th Feb, 08)

Hi Charles: Just looking at the list and it occurred to me that as this part is formed from a 5-hole Strip there should be some in zinc and/or matt brass finish with truncated ends. I don't have any - anyone have one?

Reply: Good point. I have only one of this era, the zinc plated one shown in the photo above with rounded ends. Anyone?

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