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Part 104: Shuttle

104Shuttle, for loom 19161940110
The Meccano shuttle, only supplied pre-war
Loading picture Shuttle

The parts

The Meccano Shuttle was introduced, along with the other special loom parts, in 1916.  It was the most expensive spare part until the Geared Roller Bearing in 1928, and of course has only one use.  We can probably assume that there was a limited market for this part until it was added to the new largest outfit (number 7) in 1921.  It was also supplied in the 7 outfit's replacement (the Outfit L) in 1934. 

With the new numeric outfits 1 to 10 in 1937 the shuttle and many of these special parts were dropped, although it was still available as a spare part until production stopped in 1941.  It was never reintroduced.

Chronological variations

There are two common varieties of the shuttle.  The difference is fairly obvious – the earlier ones have a groove down each side and a plain rod as a bobbin.  Later versions lose the grooves, but gain flanges on the bobbin to help the thread stay in place.  It is believed that this change dates from around 1930.  Well-dated outfits of 1929 have the earlier type stamped MFEA, and 1933 the later type.

DMS/EMP show an earlier type, from 1916 to 1920, with a much simpler design.  The bobbin is held by two hooks from a much plainer frame.  More information on this would be interesting, if anyone has one.

Three different ends of type 1 shuttles
Loading picture Shuttleends Within the first type, I have noticed at least three clearly different variations.  They are shown in the picture to the right.  On the left is a very sharp-cornered shuttle, stamped Meccano twice in a circle.  In the middle is a similar type, but with all the edges considerably more rounded, including at the transition to the shaped end.  This middle one is stamped MFEA, dating it from between 1921 and around 1929.  The right-hand version is even more rounded, with longer and smoother points at each end, stamped only Meccano.

It would be interesting to research which of these varieties is the most common, and whether we could attach any further dates to them.

Variations and oddities

Dealer spare parts boxes

Very rare boxed pre-war shuttle
This image does not belong to the webmasters and is copyright.
Please do not download or copy it for any purpose. It has been
kindly provided for use on this site by the image owner,
Richard Payn
Loading picture Shuttlespareparts

Well would you believe it? Here's a picture of an extremely rare boxed shuttle, courtesy of Dave Taylor and Richard Payn.  You might as well remember what this looks like as it's unlikely you're going to see another one!

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 plated shuttle, plain rod??.ni
No side grooves, bobbin with flanges and spring30.ni1

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

Fernando      (at 1:41am, Sat 29th Jan, 22)

Do you have some tips to improve the Loom shuttle movement in the model 16a?

bob t      (at 8:13am, Sun 27th Sep, 20)

Vireemplace los corchetes y el punto de la palabra con punto final y copie y peguector


Victor Vuelta      (at 3:28am, Sun 27th Sep, 20)

Alguien me puede proporcionar las medidas de la lanzadera para poder hacerla?

James M. Ogden      (at 9:17am, Thu 11th Oct, 18)

I have a boxed shuttle sourced 40 odd years ago from the UK stamped Meccano and possibly made in France? the printing being hard to read (old eyes)

Jaap Wieman      (at 3:34pm, Tue 31st Jan, 12)

I have the very same as mr. Peirson, as far as I can conclude from the description. Mine was in a approx 1923 6A outfit where it should be and I have no reason to suspect its genuinity. I need stronger proof to take it as a repro.

J.Peirson, Essex, UK.      (at 8:28am, Sun 27th Feb, 11)

Hi, I have a shuttle with sharp edges, side grooves and a plain rod, suggesting it is an early type. It does not have any markings on it at all. The plating is still in good condition so it is unlikly any marks have worn off. Can I be sure it is Meccano?

Reply: It is almost certain that any unstamped shuttle is a reproduction. Many people have made these in the past as they were discontinued during WW2.

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