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Parts 46-48d: Double angle strips

46Double angle strip, 2½''x1'' 1904-444N°7Was Large bent strip
47Double angle strip, 2½''x1½'' 1919-222N°10Part 112 until 1923
47aDouble angle strip, 3''x1½'' 1921-222N°10Part 112a until 1923
48Double angle strip, 1½''x½'' 1919-884N°4Part 60a until 1923
48aDouble angle strip, 2½''x½'' 1912-181812N°0Part 60 until 1923
48bDouble angle strip, 3½''x½'' 1919-12128N°6Part 60b until 1923
48cDouble angle strip, 4½''x½'' 1921-444N°8Part 60d until 1923
48dDouble angle strip, 5½''x½'' 1919-554N°8Part 60c until 1923

The parts

The full range of double angle strips, in 1950's medium green
Loading picture Doubleanglestrips The first of these parts was known as the "Large Bent Strip", included in larger outfits from 1904 to 1906, then dropped and reintroduced in 1910. Well, that's what some listings show, but only on the basis of a single listing supposedly of 1906 which doesn't include it. On the other hand, there is a photograph of a box B in Love & Gamble (p36) with a rolled-edge large bent strip on top of a clearly 1907 outfit, and another picture later on with it easily visible in an outfit 4 of 1909. The large bent strip in rolled-edge tinplate is certainly a very rare part, however.

In 1912 the 2½''x½'' double angle strip was introduced as part number 60, and then in 1919 most of the other sizes were introduced; what is now part 47 was part 112 and the other double angle strips were numbered 60a/b/c. Part 46 was renamed from Large Bent Strip to Double Angle Strip 2½''x1'' at this time. In 1921 the final two versions were introduced, the strange 3''x1½'' as part 112a, and the 4½''x½'' (out of sequence) as part 60d.

The HSMD was introduced in 1909, as three separate outfits A, B, and C. It was not a success and was dropped in 1914.

The chaos of this numbering system was too much. Parts 47 and 48 in the main sequence were available (they had been used for a variety of spring balances and dynometers in the HSMD), and all of the double angle strips were renumbered into the sequence seen above.

The 2½''x½'' double angle strip is one of the most common of all parts, but is very often found bent and misshapen in Meccano collections. Really good examples of early ones are sometimes hard to find.

Longer nickel (left) and shorter painted strips
Loading picture Doubleanglestriplengths

Chronological variations

The most important change from the point of view of the Meccano builder is in the overall length of the parts. Some (EMP included) document that all of the double-angle strips can be found with the principal measurement correct either externally or internally. That is, the 2½''x½'' double angle strip is 2½'' overall or 2½'' inside the faces. I haven't found this to be the case. In my experience, almost all nickel-plated ones are longer, sometimes substantially longer, than later painted varieties. This can be seen clearly in the photo to the right.

The examples shown aren't carefully selected parts -- they are randomly chosen. The first three show nickel-plated parts from 1916, 1919, and mid-1920's. The later ones are all identical in length, and cover a range of eras from early 30's to 70's.

Although the nickel ones aren't consistent in length, they are on average significantly longer than later versions by at least a couple of thicknesses of a strip. Early manual models rely on these lengths, and when rebuilding these models with later parts you need to be aware that your double angle strips are likely to be shorter. John Nuttall takes up the story:

Be careful dating with the Meccano Magazine. We can only be sure that the parts existed by that date, but they may well be several months or even years older.

The January '26 MM has the Motorcycle & Sidecar in it. The 48's on the sidecar are clearly the later short type.

The September '25 MM has instructions for a 4-6-2 tank loco. This has a 48a bolted to a 2½'' square plate forming part of the cylinder block. This is clearly the short version. The earlier, longer version would stick out a bit on each side of the plate and in the pictures of this model it clearly doesn't. In the side view, Fig. B, page 449, the lugs of the DAS are hidden behind the plate, showing that the DAS must be exactly 2½'' (or slightly narrower) overall; i.e. the shorter version. Several 3½'' ones in the same model look like the short version, but it's not 100% certain.

I could find nothing earlier than September '25 showing the shorter version of any DAS. It is possible, indeed likely, that different sizes changed at different times and the changeover was staggered over several months. At least for 48 & 48a we can say with some certainty 1925 for the change to the shorter length. This may be correct for all, but some could be 1926. John Nuttall

The table at the bottom of the page assumes 1925 for the length change in all nickel double angle strips.

Radiused (top) and truncated ends on a part 48.
Loading picture 48truncandround The zinc-plated 1½''x½'' double angle strip part 48 is found in both radiused and truncated end versions. It matches the change in part 5, the 2½'' strip, from which it was made. However, it's not quite as simple as that. Some double-angle strips are obviously made from the equivalent strip part like the 48b (made from a part 2a) and 48c (made from a part 2). Others like the 48a have truncated ends whereas you might have thought they were made from a part 3 with radiused ends.

Interestingly, examples of iridescent (1979) part 48's I've seen have radiused ends, which is the only example of part 48 where the ends don't match the ends of the contemporary part 5. Further research is needed...

Radiused (French) and truncated (UK) part 48a
Loading picture 48atruncandround

Variations and oddities

This leads us to the French part 48a, 2½''x½'' double angle strip. UK versions have truncated ends, which is unexpected as the equivalent unbent strip doesn't. However, double angle strips can be found with radiused ends as seen in this picture, but they turn out to be French ones in the examples I have come across.

Dealer spare parts boxes

Double angle strips in a variety of boxes
Loading picture Doubleanglestripspareparts

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
Tinplate with rolled-over edges04.mm       
Nickel plated07?.ni.ni.ni.ni.ni.ni.ni.ni
Blackened steel †15-16.bk       
Nickel plated, shorter (length is overall)25.ni1.ni1.ni1.ni1.ni1.ni1.ni1.ni1
Dark green27.dg.dg.dg.dg.dg.dg.dg.dg
Medium green (pre-war)33.mg1.mg1.mg1.mg1.mg1.mg1.mg1.mg1
Olive green (Mechanised Army) †39-41    .ma   
Medium green (post-war)45.mg.mg.mg.mg.mg.mg.mg.mg
Light green58.lg.lg.lg.lg.lg.lg.lg.lg
Zinc with truncated ends73   .zn1    
Olive green (Army Multikit) †73    .am   
Yellow (Highway Multikit) †74   .ye.ye   
Dark blue78.db.db.db.db.db.db.db.db
Matt brass78   .mb.mb.mb  
Dark yellow (Highway Multikit) †78   .dy.dy   
White (Space) †79   .wh.wh   
Iridescent79   .ir.ir   

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: 14.  This is page 1 of 3.   Next

Brian Maunder      (at 11:23am, Thu 31st Mar, 22)

The current production Part 47 is in a thicker gauge metal,
as I believe the pre-war nickel plated ones were.

Dick Watson      (at 1:06pm, Fri 15th Oct, 21)

When building a model using nickel plated parts, I found that one of the 3½" DASs needed was made from the thicker material used for the longer ones. The ends are nicely radiused. It is marked MECCANO , FABRIQUE EN ANGLETERRE , above and below the central hole. It looks very like a Binns Road Product. It apears to be an odd variation, like the similar 2" Strips.

Michel LHOMME      (at 5:17am, Sun 27th Jun, 21)

The first part N°47 was the "Spring balance" (Tension) in the HSMD outfits (1909-1914)
The first part N°48 was the "Spring balance" (Compression) in the HSMD outfits.
(List of additional parts 1913)

David Dalton      (at 11:11am, Mon 21st Jun, 21)

I have a 48d stamped with PAT.NO 3869/14 and the more usual MECCANO FABRIQUE EN ANGLETERRE.
Photos available when i can work out where to send them to...

greg share      (at 11:35am, Tue 10th Nov, 20)

Pleas, I need 3 double angle strips part 48d light green

Reply: Whereabouts are you? These are easy parts to find -- if you were in NZ I could send you them. Tell us where you are and we'll find you a source locally

Ronnie Corbett      (at 1:27pm, Fri 23rd Jul, 10)

Nickel plate was perhaps price sensitive at those difficult times. Spraying silver or yellow paint (often over earlier green paint!) probably made more financial sense. Then zinc plating came along and was probably seen as an effective and cheap dipping process. Unfortunately, as history told us, the preparation was often not good and the plating tarnished somewhat. It may also be the case that the nickel parts which you have were unusual, quasi-experimental pieces which were released for a short period and then dropped. Odd colours do tend to turn up from time to time, a fact to which the learned authors will doubtless attest!

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