Meccano is one of the best known British construction toys. It was the invention of Frank Hornby (1863-1936) and has been around for over 100 years. Hornby, who was a shipping clerk with no formal engineering training, wanted his two sons to learn the basics of engineering, so he invented a construction toy which he called 'Mechanics Made Easy'. The toy consisted of metal strips and plates with nuts and bolts to fasten them together. Rods, wheels, pulleys and gears were later added to the sets. The only tools needed were a spanner and a screwdriver. Hornby was very interested in architecture and got the idea for the toy from the contemporary design and construction of bridges.