With all the talk of Meccano (NCE 9/16 August) I am surprised that no one has mentioned its competitor Juneero. I had both; the former was given to me by an uncle each birthday but was rejected after initial trials, and the latter bought with my own pocket money at every opportunity.
With Juneero you could buy the materials - strip, rod, angle, corrugated or plain sheet in one shilling packs and cut, bend, punch holes, form screw threads to your own designs.
There were no constraints of using holes at fixed intervals, set angles and no need to dismantle a project to have the right bits for the next model.
Complete with electric motors, gears and assorted springs and with your own, rather dangerous, metal shears for sheet work Juneero was the toy for individual design and experiment.
MR Nevard, The Bath House, 71 Flask Walk, Hampstead, NW3 1ET