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Clockwork Motor no. 1A

  • Object:

    Clockwork motor

  • Place of origin:

    Liverpool (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1938 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Meccano Ltd (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Metal, cut, coiled, machined and drilled, then screwed, bolted and riveted into place

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Angela Bristow

  • Museum number:

    B.196:1 to 7-2010

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This clockwork motor was produced in the late 1930s by Meccano Ltd. of Liverpool, England, and was used to power larger models constructed using the Meccano system. Meccano was seen as an educational toy, useful to teach children about mechanics and engineering. The component parts, including those of this motor, were extremely well-made and engineered. Meccano was a relatively high-priced toy, and was therefore most popular with wealthier families. This particular example was bought for the donor's father as a young boy, when he was about eight years old.

Physical description

Metal clockwork motor fixed between two rectangular dark blue base plates with metal key, instructions, price list and test slip all in the original light blue cardboard box.

Place of Origin

Liverpool (manufactured)


1938 (manufactured)


Meccano Ltd (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Metal, cut, coiled, machined and drilled, then screwed, bolted and riveted into place

Object history note

This clockwork motor was produced by Meccano Ltd. at their factory in Binns Road, Liverpool, England, in 1937 or 1938. It was purchased for the donor's father, who played with it as a child in the late 1930s.

Historical context note

Patented in 1901, Meccano was one of the world's most popular construction kit systems, regarded as an educational toy which allowed the child to learn about the principles of engineering and mechanics through play. Motors, which were used to power models made using the system, were first produced in 1914. This particular type would have been used to make larger models move. The kits and accessories, such as this motor, would have been relatively expensive at the time, and bought mostly by more affluent families.

Descriptive line

Clockwork motor, metal, with original packaging, manufactured by Meccano Ltd., Liverpool, England, 1938.


Metal; Cardboard; Paper


Cut; Drilling; Riveting; Screwing; Bolting


Children & Childhood; Dolls & Toys; Games; Construction toys

Production Type

Mass produced


Museum of Childhood

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