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Putting a date on your Mamod

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A guide to some of the major points to look for when putting a date to your Mamod.

The question which is the most often asked! How old is my engine?, followed by Is it worth much? The date and possible worth of an engine are dependant on a lot of factors such as rarity, production run, demand by collectors as well as condition. To start with we need to establish the age of the machine. The following section will help give some pointers to help you. There are always exceptions and anomalies, and I will try to deal with some at the end of this item.
 
Unlike a lot of other toy steam engines, Mamod engines are very easy to date. To to do this I have put together a table below which shows some of the key features which will date your engine. Mamod engines were constantly updated and modified over the years so there are sometimes features which changeover from one period to the next. Some of the major changes in design are the move from flat to raised bases in 1954, the move from wick-type spirit lamps to vapourising spirit lamps in 1958, the move from screw to pop rivet construction in 1965 and the changeover to solid fuel and sight glasses in 1976 and 1978.
 
Hopefully this will help you! The images below are indicative of the specific design characteristic(s), the form of say a Mazak flywheel can vary in design from engine to engine. 
Please email me if you have a specific query about your engine.

Mamod feature comparison table

Screw construction

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A 1961 Mamod SR1 constructed using screw fixings, stationaries and tools used this type of fixing too until 1965.

Pop rivet construction

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A 1967 SR1a constructed using amongst other processes, pop rivets. Pop rivets were used on all engines from 1965 onwards. Apart from the reverse gear, compare to the 1961 roller.

Brass flywheels

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A hot brass stamped flywheel used on a flatbase lineshaft. This type of flywheel was also used on the press, hammer and SE1/2 engines from 1948 to 1953. Early mazak flywheels used the same brass casting style for a limited period.

Mazak flywheels

p9210017.jpg

A mazak flywheel on a raised base lineshaft dating form the 1970s. Mazak is an alloy of zinc and has a characteristic blue colour. There are several designs of mazak flywheel and road wheels (for mobiles). Mazak was introduced into the Mamod range in 1953.

Flat bases

se27180101.jpg

The term flatbase only applies to stationaries! All Mamod engines were flatbase until 1954. The tools (apart from the lineshaft) and the MM1 had raised bases from post war period circa 1949. Some early post-war engines had base mounted chimneys on the flat base circa 1946.

Raised bases

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A raised base stationary (1954 SE1). All Mamod stationaries have raised bases. The design has altered slightly over the years. Sizes vary from engine to engine.

Boiler over flow plugs

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A boiler overflow plug from a 1958 ME1. All engines in the Mamod range had these unitl 1978 (Minors: 1975-78), when sight glasses were introduced. There are many designs of overflow plug.

Sight glasses

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A sight glass on a 2002 SP2D. Sight glasses replaced all overflow plugs from 1978, except the MM1/SP1. They can either be screwed or pop rivetted to the boiler.

Vapourising burners

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A vapourising burner from a 1969 G & G SE3. The SE3 burners along with the early SE1, ME1 and SE2 burners were made of soldered brass. Later lamps on the range (except the SE3) were made from steel of a slightly different design. All were replaced in 1977 (1976 for export models) with the solid fuel variety.

Solid fuel burners

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Solid fuel burners appeared in the UK market around 1977. They vary in size depending on the engine. MM1/SP1 burners are much narrower to take 1 fuel tablet broken in half.

Wick burners

1954se1lamp.jpg

Wick burners date back to the beginning of Mamod. The number of wicks varied depending on the boiler size. SE4 engines had a 5-wick affair, whilst an SE2 and MM1 had 3 and 1 wick burners respectively. Reservoir design and dimentions varied from engine to engine. All were replaced in 1958, bar the MM1, by the vapourising type lamp.

Burner variations

sr1burner.jpg

The brass 'folded' type burner from a 1961 SR1. This type of burner was also found on early SE1, MM2, ME1, ME2 and SE2 models (1958). The early SR1 is unique in having its burner rivetted to the scuttle. It has no 'tow hook'.

Old style safety
valves

oldtypevalves.jpg

Old 3/8" safety valves from SE4, SE2 and SE3. This size of valve finally disappeared with the passing of the SE3 in 1979. Varying designs were available.

Modern safety
valves

svmodern.jpg

Apart from the SE3, all safety valves from 1967 were smaller in thread size. Stem length varies.

'Barrell cylinders'

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A 'barrell' type cylinder from a 1948 SE2. These cylinders were used on all Mamods up to around the early 1960s. They are characterized by the one piece brass body.

'Soldered' cylinders

bluesw1detail.jpg

The 'soldered' type cylinder used from the early 1960s right up until recently. Characterized by the two piece construction - the 'cylinder' part being soldered to the face/port plate. Recent Mamod models seem to have reverted to the 'barrell' type once more. This example is from a 1988 SW1.

Turned whistles

p2140096.jpg

This style of whistle was made from around 1958 (with the introduction of the SE3), up until 1972. They tend to get very hot and can be, at the very least, painful to operate! This is from a 1967 SR1a roller.

Spring whistles

p7250022.jpg

The 'spring' or 'reset whistle' was introduced from 1972. it is still in production to this day.

Whistle variations

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A brass 'tube' type whistle from a 1954 SE2. The design was used on post-war SE2 engines.The actuating arm varied in length as well as the design of the whistle body.

Pre-war decals

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A pre-war Mamod decal on a 1948 Lineshaft. This decal was the original Mamod logotype. Old stock was never wasted at Mamod!

Post war decal

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A 'blue oval type' decal from the post war period to the mid 1950s. This example is on a 1948 power press. Note the very flat nature of the 'gold'.

1950s decal

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A 'red oval' type decal used during the 1950s, possibly up until 1958. This one is on the firebox of a 1954 MM1.

Rectangular decal

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The short lived 'large rectangular' type' decal. In use from 1958 (with the introduction of the SE3) until around the mid 1960s. This example is from the cowling of a 1958 ME1 marine engine. Again note the 'flat' nature of the gold used. In some case they are almost a flat tan colour - never metallic gold.

1970s decals

oilcan.jpg

The 'scalloped edge' decal used ffrom the mid 1960s until the late 1970s. A more compact version was also available, and could be found on MM1s as well as SE3s. This one survives on a 1979 oil can, which was made for a short time until the early 1980s.

Brass engine frames

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Beautiful and expensive hot brass stamped engines frames were made from aound 1946 until 1949. Pre-war engines used cast brass frames which were then machined. This one is from a 1948 SE2.

Steel engine frames

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Pressed steel engine frames for stationaries were introduced in 1949. TE, SR, SP engines and SW1 frames are brass to this day.

'Eyelet' type
con-rods

p7180096.jpg

The flattened end/eyelet type connecting rod. There were many variations to the rods, some even incorporated a small bush too. Gradually disappeared from the early 1960s. There is a variation of this type whereby the con-rod end is wider when viewed from above, the same width as the rod itself.

Brass end cap type con-rods

sr1crank.jpg

This type of con rod is still around today, appeared on the Mamod range from early 1960s. Made in two parts.

For more information about the age of your Mamod, with more background detail, Click Here!