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Part 59: Collar

59Collar 1912-556324N°6
140yFour-hole collar 1963-n/an/an/aOriginally from 1923
Collars, from left to right: pre-20s, 20s, 30s, post-war,
and to the right, the 4-hole and aero collars
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Loading picture Collars

The parts

The collar was the first part in the Meccano system to have a thread and set-screw.  It is clearly shown in the parts listings of 1912 alongside a worm gear with a tongue key.  Later parts listings in the same year show the worm gear with a boss and set screw.  So although most parts gained set screws by the end of 1912, the collar had one earlier in the year.

To the right of the picture above is the four-hole collar (part 140y), originally introduced in 1923 as part of the universal coupling (and later the swivel bearing).  In 1963 this part gained its own unique number when it was included in the Electrikit (and later 4EL) outfits.  It was never supplied in the main numbered outfits.

To the extreme right is an example of the smaller "Aero collar", which is somtimes given the number 59a, although I understand that this part was in fact only ever referred to as part P52.  Later, when we add the Aero and Car constructor parts to this site, we'll add the aero collar.  It's easily identified as being considerably smaller than the standard collar, and is occasionally handy in tight spaces.

Chronological variations

1912 collar with 5BA set screw, and later standard collar
(the picture shows a standard set screw, although they were not part of the collar)
Loading picture Collarsthreadcomparison The very first collars included a set screw, and this set screw is a completely non-standard size for Meccano – 5BA.  You can see in the picture to the right the small set screw with its collar.  On the right of the picture is the standard threaded collar, from 1913 onwards, with a standard set screw part 69 for comparison.

At the time, the Worm (part 32) had a smaller 6BA threaded boss and set screw, and outfits from 1912 can be found with all three types of bossed threads, as well as tongue keyed parts.  From early in 1913 all parts were standardised with the usual 5/32W thread.

Ed Barclay proposes that the 5/32W thread could have originally been thought too large to tap bosses, and therefore 6BA was used initially (in the first part of 1912) in the worm.  This set screw proved to be too fragile (examples can be found with the head missing, due to overtightening the set screw), and the thread could have been changed to 5BA until it was discovered that it was possible to use the standard Meccano thread.  This would certainly explain the existence of 6BA worms and 5BA collars, and is plausible but entirely hypothetical.

From then on, the main variations that can be identified are from the stamping and tapping of the part.  As usual with Meccano bosses, the collars were originally single-tapped and later double-tapped, sometime around 1927/1928.  It is likely that these were changed fairly early on.  Collars were quite common in outfits of the period (unlike in the post-war numbered outfits), with four supplied in outfit 3 and ten in outfit 4.  The more common the part, generally the earlier the conversion to double-tapped bosses becomes visible.  It is likely that this is because the part would have been manufactured more often than the very rare parts that can be found single-tapped several years later.

Some early Meccano collars are stamped Meccano, changing to Meccano Fabrique en Angleterre in the 20's, and then back to just "Meccano" after this period.  There is sometimes a slight overlap between double-tapping and the demise of the MFEA stamping in some parts   this has not yet been investigated for the collar.  The font changes to a wider lettering, in common with other parts dating from the 30s.  Post-war collars are not stamped.

In addition, through the 20s and 30s the collars became significantly rounded and slightly shorter.  Post-war collars are more like the very first ones   longer and with sharper edges.

1937-40 collar with end stamping
Loading picture Collarendstamped In the late 30s (possibly with the introduction of numbered outfits in 1937?) collars are still rounded, but are also stamped Meccano around one end of the collar, in the wide typeface of the day.  An example of this is shown to the left.

Immediately pre-war (it is assumed), collars were made from a zinc alloy (Mazac?) because of the scarcity of brass. Good examples of these are quite rare, as they were brittle and collapsed easily.

Variations and oddities

It is very common to find 'rogue' collars in Meccano outfits.  Particularly post-war, outfits were not supplied with anywhere near enough of them, and they were not cheap parts.  It is very easy to mill down damaged bosses from other Meccano parts (especially the road wheels when they collapse), and this was often done to increase a builder's stock of collars.  Pay careful attention to collars that have ends not perfectly parallel, or milling marks around the edge or on one face.

Dawn Barry has emailed saying that three-hole collars are known to exist, but they are apparently aftermarket parts and weren't manufactured by Meccano.

Dealer spare parts boxes

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
Single-tapped 5BA with set screw 12.mm 
Single-tapped 5/32W, sharp corners 12.br1 
Rounded, single-tapped, stamped MFEA 21.br2 
Double-tapped, very rounded28.br3 
Double-tapped, end-stamped Meccano37?.br4 
Mazac, double-tapped40?.xx 
Post-war, unstamped, not rounded46.br.br

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: 7.  This is page 1 of 2.   Next

Nick Smith      (at 6:10pm, Thu 13th Mar, 14)

Clicking on the link to the picture of 140y is bringing up a picture of the shouldered screw instead of the 4 hole collar

Ken Weinig      (at 6:37pm, Sat 19th Nov, 11)

Hi, I'm new to Meccano but have several old sets and a dealer box. Some of the collars have TWO holes. True Meccano parts? Thanks for any help.

Nigel Collins      (at 2:38am, Mon 1st Aug, 11)

I have 2 collars from a 1917-21 set 6 which has rounded rather than sharp edges, single tapped and no stampings?

Roelf Valkema      (at 8:18am, Sat 27th Sep, 08)

I have several single-tapped end-stamped MECCANO collars, found in an early nickel collection. This suggests that this stamping existed long before the late 30s. Additionally, I have single-tapped and double-tapped collars with MFEA stamping.

Ed Barclay      (at 3:10pm, Wed 30th Apr, 08)

Greg: A picture of a Collar with Meccano on top is now with Charles. But, my samples are all double tapped! Also I have a single tapped Aeroplane Collar.


Greg Rahn      (at 12:18pm, Wed 30th Apr, 08)


I believe the 1st of the collars were single tapped and SANS any stamping. I have a dozen or so like this. They are quite meccano in form......Some are "rounded" and some are more in the square form. It should be noted that we in Canada did get "contamination" by the USA meccano company for many years prior to the late 20's....they could be from there?

And, to be really anal.....I have some stamped FEA M actually, I have never seen meccano on top.....!

Are we assuming( by the numbering designation) that double tapped meant no stamping? because, that is true for post war but prewar saw double tapping w/single meccano stamp....(as you noted in the description only). As you said, there is a small font, large font stamped around the boss and I have several examples of a smaller font meccano stamped on top( or bottom depending on your point of view...;-) Is the numbering system going to reflect the stamping vs no stamping for double tapped? and with the stamped camp, there are several variations as noted......I guess it would just get complicated.....best to note the differences and maybe show in a picture( I can send a couple if you want.....)

I'm rambling now.......


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