January 1946 Steam Engine header

Vertical Steam engine 01

January 1946 MM Engine

Crank shaft

The International Meccanoman journal of the ISM has a feature entitled Birthday Models , in which members are asked to build a model from the Meccano Magazine of the month and year of their birth in my case Jan 1946 and submit a picture. My model was shown in the December 2013 journal this is an extended version of that article.

The vertical steam engine described in the Meccano magazine (shown on the left) is a simple model but to be able to build it from a set it would needed to have been the number ten, parts required included: 4 x 19 hole girders, 2 x hub discs, 2 x boilers, 3 x 52 flange plates, 2 x 19 hole strip plates and a cone pulley outside any set. It would have been a lucky lad who had a pre-war number 10 set; it was not available in January 1946 nor were any spare parts!

The illustrations show the model in blue and gold parts but these colours were not produced after the war. I built my model from a mid-fifties number 10 set.

Close up Vertical Steam engine 

I followed the illustrations and parts list without any changes apart from correcting the many errors in the parts list and description. A strange thing, when looking at the illustrations is that there appeared to be no bolts shown fixing the expansion cylinder (boiler on its side). In fact it looks suspended in mid-air! A simple matter perhaps the uprights are 5 holes apart but when the girders are fitted on the inside of the trunnions the holes do not align with the boiler holes, however there is shown just one bolt (I think) so the boiler must have been fitted in that way and that is what I did. The fitting of this is not mentioned in the text.

I was very pleased with the result and with everything lined up and a drop of oil here and there the engine runs very well.

The model requires the diminutive, clockwork Magic Motor I believe at the time this was the only Meccano motor readily available.

The model itself has a long lineage and various versions were published by meccano since the nineteen twenties. An earlier version can be found here Vertical Marine Engine

Page created January 11 2014 revised February 15 2014