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Construction Toy

  • Place of origin:

    Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1945 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Gamages (retailer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Moulded and painted

  • Credit Line:

    Given by B A Evans

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Construction set, eighty parts of various sizes and materials, made of paper, bakelite and wood. It consists of the following parts:

1, 2: wooden blocks, rectangular but narrowing towards the top; painted maroon.
3, 4: brown Bakelite bases; one side of each is open, the other sides apart from the base have various holes and perforations.
5-10: black Bakelite hollow cones, with double sets of opposing holes; near the base are larger holes; smaller holes above actually perforate the wall of the cone. There is a screw thread inside.
11: a similar cone to parts 5-10, but with the top cut off.
12-18: topless cones; slightly indented base and one set of opposing holes and one hole perforating the wall; the diameter of the screw threads is narrower than the other cones.
19-33: screws, flat-headed, short, made from black Bakelite (these do not appear to fit any of the cones).
34-37: rings, black Bakelite with a short screw thread inside.
38-41: discs, flat, black Bakelite with two circular holes and eighteen small square holes numbered in white 1-18.
42: disc, black Bakelite with one central hole and six square holes numbered in white 1-6.
43: square, flat, black Bakelite with six holes.
44-47: triangles, wooden right angles.
48: ring, wooden.
49-80: cylinders, small and hollow, made of many layers of rolled paper.

Place of Origin

Britain (made)


1945 (made)


Gamages (retailer)

Materials and Techniques

Moulded and painted

Marks and inscriptions

on screws


Length: 26.7 cm wooden blocks, Width: 4.2 cm wooden blocks

Object history note

Letter from the donor, B.A. Evans, dated 30/01/1987:
"I enclose a bag which seems to contain junk. It is in fact a complete World War II substitute Meccano set as sold by Gamages of Holbon made up of various items from munitions factories and the like. As you are aware, steel was used only for the war effort and these weird and wonderful sets were sold. This was my main Christmas present when I was a child and I was thrilled with it at the time."

From a letter dated 17/02/1987:
"...Toys were given to me Christmas of 1946. You are no doubt aware that the German bombers had a habit of dropping small look-alike toys which were in fact booby traps armed specifically to maim children. At school we were warned not to touch strange objects particularly if they had a parachute attached as they could blow away your hands or eyes or both."

Given to the Museum in 1987 [87/1668].

Descriptive line

A building set of wood, paper and bakelite, English, 1940-45

Production Note

Apparently produced in a munitions factory.


Paper; Bakelite; Wood


Compression moulding; Turning


Christmas presents; Dolls & Toys; Children & Childhood; War; Games; Construction toys

Production Type

Mass produced


Museum of Childhood

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