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Part 43: Tension Spring

43Tension spring, 2'' 1906-1594N°7

The parts

Tension spring in black
Loading picture Tension One of the very few Meccano parts that has been almost entirely unchanged since its introduction, it is very difficult if not impossible to distinguish between a pre-1920's and post-1960's spring. The original outfit 7 contained as many as 15 of these springs, substantially reduced in later years with only four in the 10-outfit.

Chronological variations

The one common variation on the tension spring was supplied in the clock kit 2 of the 1970's, where three tension springs were provided in a bronzed finish. Look carefully, as these are very similar and are only easy to spot when they're next to black ones. identify this

Variations and oddities

Thicker (top) and normal (below) tension springs
Loading picture Springvariance There are a number of different finishes from the French factory, including nickel and chrome tension springs and a reported instance of a shorter 1½'' version. However, it is not thought that any of these were supplied from Binns Road.

One other variation has been noticed, a tension spring with wire around 10-15% thicker than normal, and hence fewer turns per inch than a standard spring. It is not known where this version comes from – does anyone know? Is this a very early version? Standard springs are around 37 turns per inch, the one in the picture to the left has 33 turns per inch.

1938 pack of six tension springs
Loading picture Tensionspareparts

Dealer spare parts boxes

Many smaller parts were supplied in small paper envelopes, both before and immediately after the war. Helpfully for us, Meccano has printed the date code on this particular pack of six tension springs, you can see the code 1/1038/3 signifying October 1938, and a print run of 3000.

Post-war box of tension springs
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 Tensionspringspareparts2 Later parts were supplied in yellow boxes as this example. The yellow label and product code show that this box dates from after 1954, but could be any time up to the early 60's as the parts are not coloured.

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
Tension spring, 2''06.bk
Tension spring, 2'' bronzed (clock kit) †72-77.xx

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

Tony Brown      (at 3:53pm, Sun 4th Apr, 10)

The tension spring with the thicker wire is almost certainly Marklin and not Meccano. The spring from a 1956 Marklin set is pretty much identical with the one illustrated.

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