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Part 21: 1½'' pulley wheel
|21||Pulley wheel, 1½''||1901||-||4||4||2||N°8||Part 11 until 1909|
pre-war above and post-war below
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The partsThe 1½'' pulley has been a part of the Meccano system from the very beginning, but often sadly ignored. It was originally part number 11, renumbered to 21 in 1909. The flanged wheel (initially 9, then 20), and the 1'' pulley (initially 10, later 22) were always used far more in models and outfits.
Although it gained a tyre at the same time as the other pulleys, the tyre was never included in any outfits and thus remains scarce. Not until 1978 did it gain equal footing in outfits with the 1'' pulley, which explains why they are so common in the very late finishes.
Chronological variationsThere were three main developments in the 1½'' pulley design. The very first MME and Meccano parts went through a bewildering sequence of styles with various numbers of holes. These were cast or milled solid brass, with a groove cut in the rim. Most have milled recesses in each side, making them recognisable as pulleys.
With the advent of the "Meccano patent" boss in 1911, the pulley along with several other parts changed to a two-part pressing with separate boss. The two sides are held together by (normally four) smaller holes opened out in the style of an eyelet through larger holes in the opposite face. Again, many varieties are known, as can be seen from the table below. The finish is most often brass although there are nickel variants.
Somewhere around 1920, the 'normal' design appeared, where the part was made from two identical pressings, each with two eyelets fitting into the other face. Both faces also have four plain holes, making a total of eight standard Meccano-sized holes round the pulley. This design subsequently went through all the usual phases: single and double-tapped brass, enamelled blue and red, blackened steel during the brass shortage of the Korean war, and then matt brass, light and dark yellow (rare), dark blue in 1978, and iridescent in 1979.
Variations and odditiesJohn Bader has pointed out a variation on the standard 1½'' pulley, shown as 23.br3b below, which appears the same as the single-tapped eight-hole version. In fact the four holes that are peened over are the same, but the four additional drilled holes are closer to the edge of the pulley, and so aren't at standard half-inch spacing from the boss. Is this a mistake or a common variant?
Dealer spare parts boxes
Individual part numbersPart 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).
|Cast brass, four holes, feather key slot, U-shaped groove||01||.mm|
|Cast brass, six holes, feather and tongue key slot||07||.mm1|
|Cast brass, six holes, tongue key slot||07||.mm1a|
|Milled brass, five large holes, tongue key slot||09||.mm2|
|Milled brass, five smaller holes, tongue key slot||??||.mm2a|
|Milled brass, four large holes, tongue key slot||??||.mm2b|
|Milled brass, four large and four small holes, solid face, tongue key slot||??||.mm2c|
|Brass two-part pressed wheel, 'Meccano patent' boss, 4 holes, tongue key slot||11||.mm3|
|Brass, '1911 patent' boss, 4 holes, tongue key slot||11||.mm4|
|Brass, '1911 patent' boss single tapped, 6 holes||11||.br1b|
|Brass, 2 holes, standard boss single-tapped||12||.br1|
|Brass, as above but 4 holes, V-shaped groove from now on||12||.br2|
|Nickel plated steel discs, 4 holes||15||.ni|
|Nickel plated steel discs, 6 holes||??||.ni1|
|Brass with 6 holes, as above||??||.br2a|
|Brass, four standard holes, four small holes||18||.br2b|
|Brass, eight standard holes, single tapped||??||.br3|
|Brass, eight standard holes (four further out), single tapped||??||.br3b|
|Brass, eight standard holes, as above but double tapped||27||.br4|
|Brass, eight standard holes, two sides symmetrical||30s?||.br5|
|Zinc plated, otherwise as above with steel faces||??||.zn|
|Blue, otherwise as above with steel faces||34||.nb|
|Red, otherwise as above||37||.re|
|Brass, post-war stamping||48||.br|
|Blackened steel 'economy' version of above ||51||.bs|
|Matt brass finished||71||.mb|
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!
- A greyed-out box shows that no part exists for that colour combination.
- Part number codes with a green background have an attached picture of the part, just click once on the code to show a photograph of that part in a separate window.
- Parts marked "" were temporary or economy parts, or existed only within specific themed outfits. The previous part continued throughout or afterwards.
kbisset (at 10:55pm, Mon 13th Jan, 20)
In the text, it is mentioned that the design changed "Somewhere around 1920", but in the listing of pictures, the "symmetrical" design is attributed to "30s?". Does anyone have an idea of when this happened?
Adzeneth (at 12:29pm, Wed 18th Mar, 15)
I've got one of the 21.br3b and it is smaller in diameter (1 7/16") with the preened holes being set further in than the drilled holes. The preened holes are 7/16" from the centre hole rather than 1/2".
Pauli (at 8:30pm, Fri 11th Jan, 13)
I've just picked up one of the 21.br3b types -- noticed it because it is smaller diameter than normal and came here to check. I can't compare against .br2a or .br2b never having seen these.
Bert Hutchings (at 2:48pm, Mon 2nd Mar, 09)
I have three pulleys of the 21.br3b type reported by John Bader, and I know that John Martin of Kirby Moorside has several, too. Their four drilled holes are actually at the correct half-inch radius. However, they are only 1 13/32 inch in diameter, and it is the four riveted holes which are further in, not the drilled holes which are further out. They look exactly as though they have been made from surplus pulley halves from part 20.br2a or .br2b, because the diameters match, and the 21.br3b riveted holes are at the same radius as the 20.br2a/b drilled holes.
Jason (at 8:42am, Thu 2nd Oct, 08)
Pictures of parts 21 and 22 in 1960s silver have now been sent.
Jason (at 10:41am, Fri 18th Jul, 08)
Thanks. I will try and get some pictures. So far, the flash and the zoom quality have precluded decent images. In the meantime, I can tell you that the parts are stamped "Meccano made in England" and that they are magnetic. The respective bosses are silver in colour and are non-magnetic. I remember seeing these parts coming out of new sets; one set purchased in 1969 and one new old stock in 1973.Meccano has been in the family for as long as I can remember! The latter set must have been a very late silver/yellow/black outfit because the half-inch pulleys were red plastic.