Toy steam locomotive, Hornby No.1 locomotive ‘2710’ type 0-4-0, clockwork operated, 0-gauge, metal, made by Meccano Ltd, Liverpool, England, 1921

Made in Liverpool, Merseyside, England, United Kingdom, Europe, 1921.

This toy steam locomotive, made in 1921, is one of the first toy trains built by Meccano Ltd for their 0-gauge range of Hornby toy trains. The Hornby toy trains and accessories are a microcosm of railway social and technological history in Britain during the first half of the twentieth century.

Trains were the first form of modern transport to be reproduced as toys. Wooden pull-along trains were available in Britain from the 1840s, not long after the commercial introduction of full-size railwa...

Summary

85/2582-57
Toy steam locomotive, Hornby No.1 locomotive '2710' type 0-4-0, clockwork operated, 0-gauge, metal, made by Meccano Ltd, Liverpool, England, 1921

This Hornby No.1 toy steam locomotive has a simple green livery with no company lettering. The engine features red valances, and black smoke box, wheel spokes, cylinders and cast chimney. The steam dome, buffers and drop link couplings are brass, together with the rectangular embossed number plates '2710' which are clipped to the cab sides. (Up to 1926 almost all Hornby locomotives were given either the number '2710' or '2711'.) The boiler hand rails pass around in front of the boiler and are secured to knobs with small grubscrews. A reversing rod is located in the cab.

This toy locomotive is one of the earliest made by Meccano and is made on the Meccano construction principal.

Dimensions

70 mm
90 mm
165 mm

Production

After the First World War Meccano undertook considerable extensions to their Liverpool factory to accommodate the production of their new clockwork toy trains which had been designed between 1915 and 1920. Toy train production began in early 1920 with the engine, tender and trucks put together on the Meccano construction toy principal. It was considered that the whole toy train system could be made up by the boy from standard units and if one of the parts was lost or damaged it could be replaced.

The locomotives were supplied ready made up and for instant use and it was thought that the enjoyment would be in being able to take apart the pieces and rebuild them. In reality few locomotives, tenders and trucks were taken apart and the whole idea had limitations due to the fact that there was only one possible design available in the rebuilding thereby differing from the creative Meccano construction toy where a huge variety of items could be made. During this early period, before the formation of the four big railway companies in Britain in 1923, the Hornby No.1 locomotives came in LNER black, GN green and MR red.

By 1923 all references to taking trains apart disappeared from the advertising literature and Meccano got down to the real business of making toy trains and accessories. The firm went on to update this locomotive and it is said to have produced literally hundreds of versions of the No.1 Locomotive.

Graebe, Chris and Julie, "The Hornby Gauge 0 System", New Cavendish Books, London, 2002
1921

Cite this Object

Toy steam locomotive, Hornby No.1 locomotive '2710' type 0-4-0, clockwork operated, 0-gauge, metal, made by Meccano Ltd, Liverpool, England, 1921 2016, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 23 June 2017, <https://ma.as/43741>
{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/43741 |title=Toy steam locomotive, Hornby No.1 locomotive '2710' type 0-4-0, clockwork operated, 0-gauge, metal, made by Meccano Ltd, Liverpool, England, 1921 |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=23 June 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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