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Part 114: Hinge

114Hinge 1920-222N°10
The Meccano hinge, part 114 (this is a pre-war example)
Loading picture Hinge

The parts

The Meccano hinge is a little-used part, as it was only ever supplied in a pair in the very largest outfits.  Although it appears in the Meccano Magazine of March/April 1921 under "New Meccano Parts", these lists can be a year or more out of date.

The hinge doesn't appear in the December 1919 parts listing (which only goes to part 113), but makes its first appearance in the 1920 manual along with parts up to 122.

1920s, 1951, 60's (larger), 70's (larger), and late 70's (smaller) hinges
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,
William Irwin
Loading picture Hingesizes

Chronological variations

A remarkably unchanged little part, this one.  It appears to have had no change in its form since production started, and has only existed in four different finishes.

But we have stumbled upon yet more variations in our search for photographs.  The picture to the right shows some of the sequence of events.  The first example is a pre-war version, probably from the 1930's, stamped Meccano.  Next to this is the blackened steel "Korean" part, obviously datable to 1951/52.  Both of these have exactly a half-inch spacing between holes when arranged like this.

Comparison of standard and long hinges
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,
John Nuttall
Loading picture Hingestdandlong Unstamped nickel post-war hinges are also mostly this size, but a small number are significantly longer, as with the middle example in the photograph.  The hole spacing is about 9/16'', or about 2mm greater than the 'standard' half-inch spacing.  It's particularly clear in the photographto the left, provided by John Nuttall, where the parts are placed over the holes in a flat plate.  The parts appear to be made from similar or identical stampings, the difference is in the position of the curved section.  The longer variety are generally looser.  Only a small number of these exist in nickel plate, dating this change to the early 60s (perhaps 1962, when many parts changed?).

Pre-war 'standard' sized hinge, and 1990's smaller version
Loading picture Hingelargeandsmall Next to this is the identical zinc plated version, this particular one is from a mint 1972 outfit and thus can be clearly dated.  At the far right of the photograph above is a late 70's smaller version of the hinge – less than half an inch spacing, again by almost 2mm.

These shorter zinc-plated hinges can also be found in the 1985-92 outfits from Meccano SA in France that were supplied to the UK.  The photo to the right shows the comparison between a pre-war half-inch hinge and a post-Binns Road short hinge.  William Irwin believes that this shorter hinge is also of Binns Road production.

We need to measure up some matt brass 1978/79 versions to see whether we can find some variation there.

Possibly a prototype plastic hinge?
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,
George Illingworth
Loading picture Plastichinge

Variations and oddities

To the right is a picture of a plastic version of the Meccano hinge, sent to us by George Illingworth, who explains:

I obtained 10 of these when part of Bert Love's collection was being sold off by his son at a meeting in Birmingham.  I wondered if these were experimental prototypes which Bert had been sent for an opinion at some time.  Hinges must have been costly to make and perhaps a substitute was being sought? The centre is thinned so that they will easily bend but I do wonder how many flexes they will stand before cracking? Of course they may not be Meccano at all, but the hole size and half inch spacing are very familiar.George Illingworth
Six hinges, part 114, in a dealer spare parts box
Loading picture Hingespareparts

Dealer spare parts boxes

The picture to the right shows a box of six hinges in a spare parts box, dating anywhere from the mid-50's through to the early 60's.  The box and label are unchanged during this period for uncoloured (nickel plated) parts.

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, pre-war stamped Meccano, ½'' spacing20.ni1
Nickel plated, post-war stamping (or unstamped)50.ni
Blackened steel † ½'' spacing51-52.bs
Nickel plated, unstamped, >½'' spacing62?.ni2
Zinc plated, >½'' spacing66.zn
Zinc plated, <½'' spacing70?.zn1
Matt brass plated79.mb
Zinc plated, <½'' spacing85?.zn2

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

Richard Payn      (at 6:52am, Mon 8th Oct, 12)

You can usually find hinges for sale on EBAY - there are several on right now. The modern Meccano Sopwith Camel set has four I think.

Jean-Paul Ameur      (at 7:27pm, Sun 7th Oct, 12)

Hi Richard,

would you know where I can buy these hinges, I'm after 10 of these? Thanks.

'Richard Payn (at 5:50pm, Sun 19th Feb, 12)

I have a model on the go which uses over 200 of them!!'

Richard Payn      (at 5:50pm, Sun 19th Feb, 12)

I have a model on the go which uses over 200 of them!!

Old Blue Gold      (at 3:13pm, Sun 19th Feb, 12)

I'm not sure why these should be little used parts. Whenever I have a gear box or such like in a model I try to cover it with a hinged lid fasted either to a hinged flat plate or a pair of hinges. Saves a lot of bother when the works go wrong or need adjustment.

Nick Mascall      (at 12:03pm, Fri 5th Nov, 10)

I have a pair of these in nickel stamped MECCANO on one leaf and FABRIQUE EN ANGLETERRE on the other, with the 1/2" spacing. They appear to come from a set 6a which dates from c.1927.

I don't currently have access to a digital camera, and presumably I'd need a good macro capability to capture the stampings (any advice?), but if you really want to get into the stamping distinctions for this part I'll see what I can do.

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