Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Kenner Sky Rail Project Part 10 - Anchor Stone Blocks, Stanlo, et al.

The Kenner Sky Rail Restoration Project is technically over. the Capital Miniature Auto Collectors Club held their July meeting. The program featuring building sets used with toy cars was well-researched -- and well-received. For those who are interested, below are the sets that were presented and discussed. Parts 7 and 8 feature the sets my dad, er, volunteered me to bring in, assemble, and give a brief history of. Parts 9 and 10 feature sets other members brought in. It was quite a night! (click on images to enlarge)

Read all the posts about this project here.

Other members brought vintage building sets to the meeting. (click on images to enlarge)

Anchor Stone Blocks

Anchor Stone Blocks were introduced in the 1880's and are still in production today. The blocks were made from limestone, sand, and linseed oil and made very convincing-looking brick, marble, and concrete blocks. A variety of sets have been offered through the years (centuries?) with a limited range of block shapes and colors. The set brought to the meeting was made around the turn of the century, and included metal parts for the bridge construction.

Bilt EZ
In the 1920's, the Scott Manufacturing Company of Chicago, Il. came out with the Bilt EZ metal construction sets. The sets consisted of metal wall panels connected by tabbed metal floor plates. In theory, one could build impressive-looking Art Deco skyscrapers. In practice, the metal was a little thin and tended to bend when forcing the tabs together. Nevertheless, the finished models built for the meeting looked pretty impressive.

In the 1920's, the Stanley Tool Company had an idea. They were making a variety of hinges. Would it be possible to make a building toy with them. Thus Stanlo was born. The sets were basically triangular hinges joined by pins. The pins were difficult to insert without hammering, and even harder to remove. In the end, Stanley returned to their forte, and still make tools (and hinges) to this day.

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