Frank Hornby – Google Doodle


Frank Hornby – UK Inventor and Businessman

Today Google UK is celebrating the life and legacy of Frank Hornby, from the Google Doodle of Frank Hornby it may look like he was the inventor of trains or public transport or perhaps had something to do with the railways in London and the United Kingdom public Transport. However if you were guessing that he was the above, you would of course have guessed wrong.

Frank Hornby

Frank Hornby was an inventor of 3 of the most well-known toys in the world that are based on engineering principles. He invented Dinky Toys, Meccano and Model Trains. Although Frank Hornby was British his invention and toys have been popular all across the world, even here in South Africa. I remember owning at least one of each of his inventions and cannot remember one friend that did not own a Meccano set, Model Train Set made by Frank Hornby and Dinky Toys.

Who was Frank Hornby?

He was born in Copperas Hill, Liverpool in England on the 15th May 1863. On the 15th of May 2013, 150 years after his birth Google celebrated his birthday with a Google Doodle on their UK Google Search Engine. Honoring his life, legacy and Toy inventions. Frank Hornby passed away on the 21 September 1836 at the age of 73 in Maghull, Liverpool, England.

Frank Hornby Dinky Toys

Dinky Toys

Today Dinky Toys are still very popular especially in the automotive industry. Most of the vehicle dealerships that we deal with on a regular bases as part of the nature of the 3D Car Shows business we see these Dinky Toys (or Die-Cast Toy Cars based on Dinky Toys) being collected and displayed by many vehicle dealerships.

It has been said that the famous ‘Dinky’ name came from a friend of one of Frank Hornby’s daughters, and was likely derived from the Scottish “dink” meaning neat or fine.

Frank Hornby Train Sets

Frank Hornby Trains

Hornby Railways is a British model railway brand. Its roots date back to 1901, when founder Frank Hornby received a patent for his Meccano construction toy. The first clockwork train was produced in 1920. In 1938, Hornby launched its first 00 gauge train.

The Frank Hornby Train Sets were made of high quality metal, and the trains di-casted in metal.

Frank Hornby Meccano

Frank Hornby Meccano

Possibly the greatest toy engineering invention ever was invented by Frank Hornby – The Meccano Toy sets, which consists of casted metal plates, screws, washers and bolts. These Meccano sets allowed you to build cars, trains, airplanes, machines or almost anything mechanical that you could think off. if you had enough Meccano building blocks.

For me personally the Frank Hornby Google Doodle is spot on today, and Frank Hornby deserved it to be honored in this great way today! He had a direct impact on my understanding of mechanics from a very early age, and his Toys have helped me and thousands of kids around the world with their early education and understanding of mechanics!

I must say that I am however surprised that this Google Doodle is on the United Kingdom search engine only and not an International Google Doodle. I believe he had so profound impact on mechanical education that he should have been honored with an International Google Doodle!