The development of erector sets dates back to 1898 where Frank Hornby in a small Liverpool shop created a construction game made
of screws and nuts for his children. Due to this, erector sets (Meccano) were born in 1901. Initially, Frank Hornby, after developing
it marketed it under the brand name "Mechanics Made Easy". The name ‘Meccano’ was later registered in 1907.
At around the same time a gentleman by the name of A.C. Gilbert invented the first Erector Set in the United States. A.C Gilbert then
registered the Erector Brand and introduced it in a toy fair that was held in New York City in 1913.
Initially, Liverpool was the first location for the Meccano Erector Set factory; however it was soon replaced so as to meet the rising
demand of erector sets. Later, two additional factories were opened as the success of the Meccano Erector Sets spread across the world.
These factories included one in Berlin in 1912 and another in Belleville, France in 1920. The production plant in Belleville was soon
replaced by one in Bobigny that by 1951 made more than half a million Erector Sets a day! Later in 1959 a new one was built in Calais
which is currently the main Erector sets manufacturing site.
In the 1970’s, General Mills bought Meccano (which at the time owned the rights to Erector Sets). This made the Calais factory become the
sole global manufacturing site. At around this time, even though General Mills owned Meccano, Meccano was really not a priority for the
company. Due to this there was a major slowdown in the development of Erector Sets. In 1985, Meccano ended up being sold again.
In the 1990’s, Meccano bought the Erector brand. Outside the United States, Erector Sets were sold under the brand name Meccano while in
the United States they were sold under the brand name Erector. This still applies today. In 2000 a Japanese company by the name of Nikko
ended up buying Meccano. In 2007 Nikko disassociated itself from Meccano.
Today Erector offers a wide range of Erector Sets that are geared towards children at different ages and a wide range of specific purposes.