In recent times, Meccano's had lots of sad corporate changes involving big American companies and plastic pieces. It's now owned by a Japanese company who just get it. They're happy to acknowledge the classic metal kits produced solely in Meccano's Calais factory since 1959 and are selling replicas of the traditional set.
Englishman (Land of Hope and Glory playing in the background, visions of Tim Brooke-Taylor standing proud in his Union Jack waistcoat saluting) Frank Hornby named his invention 'Meccano' as a contraction of "make and know". He also invented Hornby trains and Dinky toys. I think Meccano was his finest moment.
Had it not been for Frank there are many young boys now in their 30's - 50's that would not have become Engineers and Architects!
Ummm..... finding out the power of triangles and bracing a structure so that it did not collapse and cut off the tip of your finger!. As a kid playing with tools like screwdrivers and spanners just like your Dad.
If you have young children, hide the Xbox and Wii and give them Meccano and Lego to play with.
Tim Brooke-Taylor the Goodies
The Goodies Songbook ~ Land of Hope and Glory