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99/4/2 Construction toys with containers and documents (5), 'Ezy-Bilt', metal / paper / rubber, made by Colton, Palmer and Preston Ltd / Ezy-Bilt Ltd, Adelaide, South Australia, 1948-1960. Click to enlarge.

'Ezy-Bilt' construction toy

Made
The Australian-made Ezy-Bilt metal construction toy is almost a direct copy of the famous Meccano pieces devised in England by Frank Hornby and first produced there in 1908 as Mechanics Made Easy. Many of the part numbers are identical. Its distinguishing feature is the metal strips with equidistant holes enabling them to be assembled with tiny screws into a variety of items. Over the years there have been many imitators of Meccano including Marklin Metall in Germany, Erector and Structo in …

Summary

Object No.

99/4/2

Object Statement

Construction toys with containers and documents (5), 'Ezy-Bilt', metal / paper / rubber, made by Colton, Palmer and Preston Ltd / Ezy-Bilt Ltd, Adelaide, South Australia, 1948-1960

Physical Description

The toy set is comprising two boxes of Ezy-Bilt construction toys with contents, three separate manuals and a completed model of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The first container is rectangular and made from metal, with a soldered base and a hinged lid. The box has a picture of two boys looking at a model sailing ship. Text reads; ''EZY-BILT / THE MASTER TOY/CREATIVE* INSTRUCTIVE* CONSTRUCTIVE,* 1001 TOYS FROM ONE'. A map of Australia is accompanied by the words; 'MANUFACTURED IN AUSTRALIA / COLTON PALMER / ADELAIDE / S. AUSTRALIA / PRESTON LTD'. On each side of the box there is 'EZY-BILT / THE MASTER TOY / SET 8'. The box is coloured orange, green, black and white and contains many construction toy pieces such as perforated metal strips, brackets and wheels.

The second container is also rectangular and made of metal with a soldered base and a hinged lid. The box has the same text on the lid as Box 8 as well as a lead-free alert. It has the same diagram as the above box but the text reads "MANUFACTURED IN AUSTRALIA / EZY-BILT/ ADELAIDE / S. AUSTRALIA / LIMITED. The sides have the same text but instead of an 8, there is a '6' which indicates that this is set number 6. Inside there are parts of an incomplete construction set consisting of perforated metal strips and many wheels with some non-original objects.

The assembled model is of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This is a simplified model of the Harbour Bridge made from red and green perforated metal panels and strips screwed together. One silver panel in the centre of the bridge is a Meccano piece.

Accompanying the toy sets are three Ezy-Bilt instruction manuals. They contain pictures and line drawing of models that can be constructed with the sets but no actual instructions on how to assemble the models.

The first manual has black and white photos of models built with Ezy-bilt for sets 4 & 5. The text, in black,'BOOK OF MODELS 4 & 5 / THE WONDER TOY / FOR BOYS' next to this is'EZY-BILT / REGISTERED' There is a picture of a boy assembling a model of the Sydney Harbour Brigde in front of a drawing of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The back page contains a list of parts and photos. Text reads,'List of EZY-BILT PARTS'.

The second manual is coloured red, green and black on a cream background, and is for sets 1 to 5. The text on the front cover reads;(in red) 'EZY-BILT / ( in black) THE MASTER TOY / INSTRUCTION BOOK FOR SETS 1 TO 5 / COPYWRIGHT by Ezy-Bilt Ltd Kilkenny S.A.' on the back cover ' (in black) Manufactured by / (in red) EZY-BILT LTD / 630 PORT ROAD KILKENNY SOUTH AUSTRALIA'. The picture shows two boys assembling a model of the Sydney Harbour Bridge which curiously does not appear in the manual. Inside the front cover is the inscription 'Master Peter Brown, 143 Bradshaw St, Essendon.' At the back is a 'Diary of models built' which shows models completed in 1960. Another inscription reads; Got for birthday 3 / 1 / 60'.

The third manual is for sets 6,7,8. Text on the cover reads;(In red) 'EZY-BILT / (in black) THE MASTER TOY/ INSTRUCTION BOOK FOR SETS 6,7 and 8 / Copywright by Colton, Palmer and Preston Ltd, Southwark, S.A.'. The picture shows two boys assembling a model of a sailing ship. The back cover has a line drawing of a factory and black text 'THE HOME OF EZY-BILT'. The inside the cover is the inscription; 'Master Alan Ross Batey 17 Station St, Waratah Newcastle. At the back is a 'Diary of models built' which shows the owner's progress in 1947 and 1948.

Production

Notes

Ezy-Bilt was an Australian made variant of the famous British Meccano construction kits invented by Frank Hornby in 1901. Several other Meccano like construction kits such as Erector from the United States and Structator from Germany appeared from the 1920s.

This date range is based upon the Ezy-Bilt model diaries.

History

Notes

These toys were donated to the National Trust's Museum of Australian Childhood by the Thyne Reid Foundation.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of the National Trust of Australia, NSW, 1999

Acquisition Date

12 January 1999

Cite this Object

Harvard

'Ezy-Bilt' construction toy 2022, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 25 September 2022, <https://ma.as/166937>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/166937 |title='Ezy-Bilt' construction toy |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=25 September 2022 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}