Although his close friends who saw this little model were dubious as to its success, nevertheless Frank Hornby consulted a patent attorney, or "agent" as they are called in England, and got him to make a very diligent search to ascertain if any patent for anything of a similar kind had ever been granted before.
In Great Britain, at the present time the application for a patent is made, and then the government posts a bulletin of the application for four months. This is in reality a notice to all contenders to file their prior claim to the right to such a patent if they have such claims, otherwise the patent will be granted at the end of the probation period.

As the probation time for Frank Hornby's patent drew to a close it was evident that nobody else had ever applied for or been granted a patent similar to this one for Meccano. The British Government granted Frank his patent in January of 1901. In the United States also, the government patent office makes a very thorough and diligent search to see whether other inventors have been granted a patent or filed an application for a patent before they grant any patent to an inventor. At the present time Frank Hornby has patents on Meccano-which is no longer looked on merely as a toy-in Great Britain and its Colonies, the United States, Germany, Italy and many other countries. All bright boys know that a patent is a very valuable thing for an inventor to acquire if after he has gotten it he knows how to get some manufacturing concern to manufacture this article, or is able to organize a company to do his own manufacturing.

The civilized countries of the world say that an inventor is entitled to protection for a term of years for any valuable invention, particularly if it is useful to mankind, and grant him a patent protecting him against infringement. This is because all governments recognize that an inventor may spend years and years of his life, working for the good of humanity, with-out getting very much pay unless his invention is protected for a number of years while he is getting it started. If the governments of the world are so fair to inventors, then every boy who believes in fair play, and believes that a boy or man who has worked for years to invent something should enjoy the right to that invention and the profits which it might bring to him, should ask for Frank Hornby's Meccano, whenever he wants to buy a Meccano outfit.

He should not merely ask for a constructional toy or a builder, or an erecting toy, but should ask for Meccano. There is only one Meccano, although there are some careless and unscrupulous people who call any constructional toy a Meccano toy, just as there are some people who will call any camera a "Kodak" or any flashlight an "Eveready" or any dollar watch an "Ingersoll." However, if you look for the word "Meccano" and be sure that it is made by the company of which Frank Hornby is now President, then there will be no way of fooling you, no infringers can get your money for an imitation of Meccano.

You can get what you want-one original, constructional toy, which is founded on absolutely correct mechanical principles, and which has greater interchangeability of parts, and which, therefore, requires far fewer parts to build the greatest number of different things, and which will make an unlimited variety of models.

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