International concientious Objectors Day

International Conscientious Objectors day takes place annually on 15 May. A conscientious objector is an “individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service” on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, or religion. In some countries, conscientious objectors are assigned to an alternative civilian service as a substitute for conscription or military service. Some conscientious objectors consider themselves pacifist, non-interventionist, non-resistant, non-aggressionist, or antimilitarist. On March 8, 1995 the United Nations Commission on Human Rights resolution 1995/83 stated that “persons performing military service should not be excluded from the right to have conscientious objections to military service.”This was re-affirmed in 1998, when resolution 1998/77 recognized that “persons performing military service may develop conscientious objections.”A number of organizations around the world celebrate the principle on May 15 as International Conscientious Objectors Day. The term has also been extended to objecting to working for the military–industrial complex due to a crisis of conscience. Many conscientious objectors have been executed, imprisoned, or otherwise penalized when their beliefs led to actions conflicting with their society’s legal system or government. The legal definition and status of conscientious objection has varied over the years and from nation to nation. Religious beliefs were a starting point in many nations for legally granting conscientious objector status.

The first recorded conscientious objector, Maximilianus, was conscripted into the Roman army in the year 295, but “told the Proconsul in Numidia that because of his religious convictions he could not serve in the military.” He was executed for this, and was later canonized as Saint Maximilian. An early recognition of conscientious objection was granted by William the Silent to the Dutch Mennonites in 1575. They could refuse military service in exchange for a monetary payment. Formal legislation to exempt objectors from fighting was first granted in mid-18th century Great Britain following problems with attempting to force Quakers into military service. In 1757, when the first attempt was made to establish a British Militia as a professional national military reserve, a clause in the Militia Ballot Act allowed Quakers exemption from military service. In the United States, conscientious objection was permitted from the country’s founding, although regulation was left to individual states prior to the introduction of conscription. In 1948, the issue of the right to “conscience” was dealt with by the United Nations General Assembly in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It reads:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

The proclamation was ratified during the General Assembly on 10 December 1948 by a vote of 48 in favour, 0 against, with 8 abstentions. In 1974, the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, Sean MacBride said, in his Nobel Lecture, “To the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights one more might, with relevance, be added. It is ‘ The Right to Refuse to Kill.'”In 1976, the United Nations treaty the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights entered into force. It was based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and was originally created in 1966. Nations that have signed this treaty are bound by it. Its Article 18 begins: “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

However, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights left the issue of conscientious objection inexplicit, as we see in this quote from War Resisters International: “Article 18 of the Covenant does put some limits on the right [to freedom of thought, conscience and religion], stating that its manifestations must not infringe on public safety, order, health or morals. Some states argue that such limitations on the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion would derivatively permit them to make conscientious objection during time of war a threat to public safety, or mass conscientious objection a disruption to public order, Some states even argue that it is a ‘moral’ duty to serve the state in its military.”

On July 30, 1993, explicit clarification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 18 was made in the United Nations Human Rights Committee general comment 22, Paragraph 11: “The Covenant does not explicitly refer to a right to conscientious objection, but the Committee believes that such a right can be derived from article 18, inasmuch as the obligation to use lethal force may seriously conflict with the freedom of conscience and the right to manifest one’s religion or belief. In 2006, the Committee has found for the first time a right to conscientious objection under article 18, although not unanimously. In 1997, an announcement of Amnesty International’s forthcoming campaign and briefing for the UN Commission on Human Rights included this quote: “The right to conscientious objection to military service is not a marginal concern outside the mainstream of international human rights protection and promotion In 1998, the Human Rights Commission reiterated previous statements and added:

“states should . . . refrain from subjecting conscientious objectors . . . to repeated punishment for failure to perform military service.” It also encouraged states “to consider granting asylum to those conscientious objectors compelled to leave their country of origin because they fear persecution owing to their refusal to perform military service . . . .”

Cases of behavior which could be considered as religiously motivated conscientious objection are historically attested long before the modern term appeared. For example, the Medieval Orkneyinga Saga mentions that Magnus Erlendsson, Earl of Orkney – the future Saint Magnus – had a reputation for piety and gentleness, and because of his religious convictions refused to fight in a Viking raid on Anglesey, Wales, instead staying on board his ship singing psalms.

The reasons for refusing to perform military service are varied. Many conscientious objectors cite religious reasons. Unitarian Universalists object to war in their sixth principle “The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all”. Members of the Historic Peace Churches such as Quakers, Mennonites, Amish, Old Order Mennonite, Conservative Mennonites and Church of the Brethren object to war from the conviction that Christian life is incompatible with military action, because Jesus enjoins his followers to love their enemies and to refuse violence. Since the American Civil War, Seventh-day Adventists have been known as non-combatants, and have done work in hospitals or to give medical care rather than combat roles, and the church has upheld the non-combative position.[29]

The following is said of the Seventh-day Adventists (SDA) by a neutral, non-SDA organization: “Many Seventh-day Adventists refuse to enter the army as combatants, but participate as medics, ambulance drivers, etc. During World War II in Germany, many SDA conscientious objectors were sent to concentration camps or mental institutions; some were executed. Some Seventh-day Adventists volunteered for the US Army’s Operation Whitecoat, participating in research to help others. The Church preferred to call them “conscientious participants”, because they were willing to risk their lives as test subjects in potentially life-threatening research. Over 2,200 Seventh-day Adventists volunteered in experiments involving various infectious agents during the 1950s through the 1970s in Fort Detrick, MD. “[30] A schism arose during and after World War I between Seventh-day Adventists in Germany who agreed to serve in the military if conscripted and those who rejected all participation in warfare — the latter group eventually forming a separate church (the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement).Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christadelphians, refuse to participate in the armed services on the grounds that they believe they should be neutral in worldly conflicts. Other objections can stem from a deep sense of responsibility toward humanity as a whole, or from simple denial that any government possesses the moral authority to command warlike behavior from its citizens.

After the Roman Empire officially embraced Christianity, the Just War theology was developed in order to reconcile warfare with Christian belief. After Theodosius I made Christianity an official religion of the Empire, this position slowly developed into the official position of the Western Church. In the 11th century, there was a further shift of opinion in the Latin-Christian tradition with the crusades, strengthening the idea and acceptability of Holy War. Objectors became a minority. Some theologians see the Constantinian shift and the loss of Christian pacifism as a great failing of the Church. Ben Salmon was a Catholic conscientious objector during World War I and outspoken critic of Just War theology. The Catholic Church denounced him and The New York Times described him as a “spy suspect.” The US military (in which he was never inducted) charged him with desertion and spreading propaganda, then sentenced him to death (this was later revised to 25 years hard labour.

Some conscientious objectors are unwilling to serve the military in any capacity, while others accept noncombatant roles. While conscientious objection is usually the refusal to collaborate with military organizations, as a combatant in war or in any supportive role, some advocate compromising forms of conscientious objection. One compromising form is to accept non-combatant roles during conscription or military service. Alternatives to military or civilian service include serving an imprisonment or other punishment for refusing conscription, falsely claiming unfitness for duty by feigning an allergy or a heart condition, delaying conscription until the maximum drafting age, or seeking refuge in a country which does not extradite those wanted for military conscription. Avoiding military service is sometimes labeled draft dodging, particularly if the goal is accomplished through dishonesty or evasive maneuvers. However, many people who support conscription will distinguish between “bona fide” conscientious objection and draft dodging, which they view as evasion of military service without a valid excuse.

Conservative Mennonites do not object to serving their country in peaceful alternatives (alternative service) such as hospital work, farming, forestry, road construction and similar occupations. Their objection is in being part in any military capacity whether noncombatant or regular service. During World War II and the Korean, Vietnam war eras they served in many such capacities in alternative I-W service programs initially through the Mennonite Central Committee and now through their own alternatives.

Despite the fact that international institutions such as the United Nations (UN) and the Council of Europe (CoE) regard and promote conscientious objection as a human right, as of 2004, it still does not have a legal basis in most countries. Among the roughly one-hundred countries that have conscription, only thirty countries have some legal provisions, 25 of them in Europe. In Europe, most countries with conscription more or less fulfill international guidelines on conscientious objection legislation (except for Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Finland and Russia) today. In many countries outside Europe, especially in armed conflict areas (e.g. Democratic Republic of the Congo), conscientious objection is punished severely and conscientious objectors used to be seen as deserters, traitors, cowards, slackers or simply un-patriotic,, however their image has changed drastically in the Western world in past decades. Especially in Europe, where objectors usually serve an alternative civilian service, they are regarded as making an equally important contribution to society as conscripts. Parallel to that, the number of objectors has risen significantly, too e.g., in Germany, where conscientious objection is a constitutional right, from less than one percent of all eligible men to more than fifty percent in 2003. In 1991, The Peace Abbey established the National Registry for Conscientious Objection where people can publicly state their refusal to participate in armed conflict.

Brian Eno/ Mike Oldfield

Innovative English musician, composer, record producer, singer, and visual artist, Brian Eno was born 15 May 1948. Eno was a student of Roy Ascott on his Groundcourse at Ipswich Civic College. He then studied at Colchester Institute art school in Essex, England, taking inspiration from minimalist painting. During his time on the art course at the Institute, he also gained experience in playing and making music through teaching sessions held in the adjacent music school. He joined the band Roxy Music as synthesiser player in the early 1970s. Roxy Music’s success in the glam rock scene came quickly, but Eno soon became tired of touring and of conflicts with lead singer Bryan Ferry.

Eno’s solo music has explored more experimental musical styles and ambient music. It has also been immensely influential, pioneering ambient and generative music,[6] innovating production techniques, and emphasising “theory over practice”.[6] He also introduced the concept of chance music to popular audiences, partially through collaborations with other musicians. Eno has also worked as an influential music and album producer. By the end of the 1970s, Eno had worked with Robert Fripp on the LPs No Pussyfooting and Evening Star, David Bowie on the seminal “Berlin Trilogy” and helped popularise the American band Devo and the punk-influenced “No Wave” genre. He produced and performed on three albums by Talking Heads, including Remain in Light (1980), and produced seven albums for U2, including The Joshua Tree (1987). Eno has also worked on records by James, Laurie Anderson, Coldplay, Paul Simon, Grace Jones, James Blake and Slowdive, among others.

Eno also pursues multimedia ventures in parallel to his music career, including art installations, a regular column on society and innovation in Prospect magazine, and “Oblique Strategies” (written with Peter Schmidt), a deck of cards in which cryptic remarks or random insights are intended to resolve dilemmas. Eno continues to collaborate with other musicians, produce records, release his own music, and write.
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English musician and composer Gordon “Mike” Oldfield was born 15 May 1953 in the Battle Hospital in Reading, Berkshire, and he attended St. Joseph’s Convent School, Highlands Junior School, St. Edward’s preparatory school,and Presentation College in Reading. When he was 13, he moved with his parents to Harold Wood in Essex and attended Hornchurch Grammar School, where, having already begun his career in music, he took just one GCE examination, in English. Oldfield’s career began fairly early, playing acoustic guitar in local folk clubs. At this time, he already had two 15-minute instrumental pieces in which he would “go through all sorts of moods”, precursors to his landmark 1970s compositions.

In his early teens, Oldfield was involved in a beat group playing The Shadows-style music (he has often cited Hank Marvin as a major influence, and would later cover The Shadows’ song “Wonderful Land”). In 1967, Oldfield and his sister formed the folk duo The Sallyangie and, after exposure in the local folk scene, were signed to Transatlantic Records. An album, Children of the Sun, was issued in 1968. After The Sallyangie disbanded, he formed another duo, called Barefoot, with his brother, which took him back to rock music.In 1970, Oldfield joined The Whole World – former Soft Machine vocalist Kevin Ayers’s backing group – playing bass and occasionally lead guitar. He is featured on two Ayers albums, Whatevershebringswesing and Shooting at the Moon. The band also included keyboardist and composer David Bedford, who quickly befriended Oldfield, encouraged him in his composition of an early version of Tubular Bells and later arranged and conducted an orchestral version of the Tubular Bells album. Oldfield was also the reserve guitarist for the musical Hair and played with the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

Having recorded sections of this early version of Tubular Bells as demo pieces, Oldfield attempted to persuade record labels to take on the Tubular Bells project. In 1971, he attended recording sessions at The Manor Studio – owned by young entrepreneur Richard Branson, playing bass for the Arthur Louis Band. Branson already had several business ventures and wanted to start his own record label, Virgin Records. Branson heard some of Oldfield’s demo music and gave him one week’s worth of recording time at The Manor during which, he completed “Part One” of Tubular Bells. Part Two” was then compiled over subsequent months. Tubular Bells is Oldfield’s most famous work, and was released in 1973 as the inaugural album of Richard Branson’s label Virgin Records. This groundbreaking classic album became a huge hit in it Oldfield played more than twenty different instruments in a multi layered recording which included many diverse musical genres. The title track became a top 10 hit single in the US after the opening was used in The Exorcist film.

In 1974, Oldfield played guitar on the critically acclaimed album Rock Bottom by Robert Wyatt. In late 1974, the follow-up LP, Hergest Ridge, was No. 1 in the UK for three weeks before being dethroned by Tubular Bells, despite being released over a year after Tubular Bells, In 1979, Oldfield’s music was used as the musical score for The Space Movie, a Virgin movie that celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.Like Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge is a two-movement instrumental piece, this time evoking scenes from Oldfield’s Herefordshire country retreat. It was followed in 1975 by the pioneering world music piece Ommadawn released after the death of his mother Maureen. In 1978 Oldfield released the album Incantations, which introduced more diverse choral performances from Sally Oldfield, Maddy Prior, and the Queen’s College Girls Choir. In 1975, Oldfield recorded a version of “In Dulci Jubilo” and in 1976 he released “Portsmouth”. In 1975, Oldfield received a Grammy award for Best Instrumental Composition in “Tubular Bells – Theme from The Exorcist”. Oldfield, his sister and band member Pekka Pohjola recorded Oldfield’s next album Mathematician’s Air Display. Oldfield then embarked on a European tour to promote Incantations, spawning the live album “Exposed”, much of which was recorded at the National Exhibition Centre,Birmingham. In 1979, he recorded an updated theme tune for the program Blue Peter and In 1981, Oldfield was asked to compose a piece for the Royal Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer, titled “Royal Wedding Anthem”.

During the1980s Oldfield recorded shorter instrumental tracks and contemporary cover versions on Platinum and QE2 (the latter named after the ocean liner) and began Songwriting collaborating with various vocalists including Maggie Reilly on Moonlight Shadow and also covered Hall and Oates song “Family Man”. Oldfield also turned to film and video, writing the score for The Killing Fields. Oldfield”s next album Islands contained an instrumental piece on one side and rock/pop singles on the other. Including Magic Touch, Pictures in the Dark and The title track “Islands”, which was sung by Bonnie Tyler and “Magic Touch”, with vocals by Max Bacon (in the US version) and Glasgow vocalist Southside Jimmy. Oldfield’s next album Earth Moving was released in July 1989 and contained the songs “Innocent”, “Holy” and “Hostage”. Oldfield’s next album was Amarok, an hour-long work featuring rapidly changing themes (supposedly devised to make cutting a single from the album impossible). Oldfield sang lead vocals on His next album Heaven’s Open. Oldfield signed with Warner Brothers and released Tubular Bells II which was premiered at a live concert at Edinburgh Castle and also composed The Songs of Distant Earth (based on Arthur C. Clarke’s novel of the same name) and also had an asteroid, 5656 Oldfield, named after him. In 1995, Oldfield released the Celtic-themed album Voyager, After meeting Luar na Lubre, a Galician Celtic-folk band (from A Coruña, Spain) in 1992. The band’s popularity grew after Oldfield covered their song “O son do ar” (“The sound of the air”) on his Voyager album.

In 1998, Oldfield produced the third Tubular Bells album which premiered at Horse Guards Parade, London), and drew from Balearic Dance Music and was inspired by themes from Tubular Bells. In 1999 Oldfield released two albums “Guitars”, which used guitars as the source for all the sounds on the album, including percussion and “The Millennium Bell”, which consisted of pastiches of a number of styles of music representing various historical periods and was performed live in Berlin in 1999–2000. Oldfield began the MusicVR project, combining his music with a virtual reality-based computer game. His first work on this project is Tr3s Lunas launched in 2002, a virtual game where the player can interact with a world full of new music. To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Tubular Bells, In 2003, Oldfield released Tubular Bells 2003, a re-recording of the original Tubular Bells, on CD, and DVD-Audio, which fixed many “imperfections” in the original caused by the limited recording technologies of the early 1970s, for which the original voice of the ‘Master of Ceremonies’ (the late Viv Stanshall) was replaced by the voice of John Cleese. In 2004 Oldfield launched his next virtual reality project, Maestro, which contains music from the Tubular Bells 2003 album and also some new chillout melodies. The games have since been made available free of charge on Tubular.net. In 2005 a double album, Light + Shade, was released containing music of contrasting moods, disc one is relaxed (Light) while disc two is more edgy and moody (Shade). In2006 and 2007 Oldfield headlined the pan-European Night of the Proms tour.

Oldfield’s autobiography Changeling was published in May 2007 and in 2008 he released his first classical album, Music of the Spheres, containing the single “Spheres”. The album was nominated for a Classical Brit Award, the NS&I Best Album of 2009. In 2008, Oldfield’s albums were re-released together with outtakes and rarities from the archives. Since then further albums have been reissued plus compilation albums such as Two Sides. In 2008, Oldfield contributed an exclusive song (“Song for Survival”) to a charity album called Songs for Survival, in support of the Survival International. In 2012, Oldfield was featured on Terry Oldfield’s Journey into Space album and on a track called “Islanders” by German producer Torsten Stenzel’s York project. In 2013 Oldfield and York released a remix album titled Tubular Beats. At the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, Oldfield performed renditions of Tubular Bells, “Far Above the Clouds” and “In Dulci Jubilo” during a segment about the National Health Service. This track appears on the Isles of Wonder album. In October 2013, the BBC broadcast Tubular Bells: The Mike Oldfield Story, an hour-long appreciation of Oldfield’s life and musical career. Oldfield has released more than 20 albums with the most recent being Man on the Rocks, in 2014

L. Frank Baum (Wizard of Oz)

American author Lyman “L.” Frank Baum was born May 15, in 1856 in Chittenango, New York, in 1856, and grew up on his parents’ expansive estate, Rose Lawn. As a young child, he was tutored at home with his siblings, but at the age of 12, he was sent to study at Peekskill Military Academy, and after two utterly miserable years he was allowed to return home. Baum started writing at an early age and His father bought him a cheap printing press; which, with the help of his younger brother Henry (Harry) Clay Baum, he used to produce The Rose Lawn Home Journal. The brothers published several issues of the journal, Baum also established a second amateur journal, The Stamp Collector, he also printed “Baum’s Complete Stamp Dealers” Directory, and started a stamp dealership with friends.

At the age of 20, Baum started breeding fancy poultry, and specialized in raising a particular breed of fowl, the Hamburg. In March 1880 he established a monthly trade journal, The Poultry Record, and in 1886, he published his first book: The Book of the Hamburgs: A Brief Treatise upon the Mating, Rearing, and Management of the Different Varieties of Hamburgs. Baum, then became interested in theatre, performing under the stage names of Louis F. Baum and George Brooks. In 1880, his father built him a theatre in Richburg, New York, and he set about writing plays and gathering a company to act in them. The Maid of Arran, a melodrama with songs based on William Black’s novel A Princess of Thule, proved a modest success. Baum not only wrote the play but composed songs for it and also acted in the leading role. His aunt was also the founder of Syracuse Oratory School, and Baum advertised his services in her catalog to teach theatre, including stage business, playwriting, directing, and translating, revision, and operettas.

On November 9, 1882, Baum married Maud Gage, and in July 1888 they moved to Aberdeen, Dakota, where he opened a store, “Baum’s Bazaar” and later editing a local newspaper, The Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer, where he wrote a column, “Our Landlady”. Baum’s description of Kansas in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is based on his experiences in drought-ridden South Dakota. After Baum’s newspaper failed in 1891, he, Maud and their four sons moved to Humboldt Park, Chicago, where Baum took a job reporting for the Evening Post. In 1897 he wrote and published Mother Goose in Prose, a collection of Mother Goose rhymes written as prose stories, which was illustrated by Maxfield Parrish. Then In 1899 Baum partnered with illustrator W. W. Denslow, to publish Father Goose, which was a collection of nonsense poetry, which became the best-selling children’s book of the year.In 1900, Baum and Denslow published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to much critical acclaim and financial success, and this became the best-selling children’s book for two years after its initial publication. Baum went on to write thirteen more novels based on the places and people of the Land of Oz.

Two years after Wizard’s publication, Baum and Denslow teamed up with composer Paul Tietjens and director Julian Mitchell to produce a musical stage version of the book under Fred R. Hamlin, which, opened in Chicago in 1902, then ran on Broadway for 293 stage nights from January to October 1903. It returned to Broadway in 1904 and successfully toured the United States with much of the same cast, until 1911, it differed considerably from the book, and was aimed primarily at adults. Baum then wrote a sequel, The Woggle-Bug,however the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman were omitted from this adaptation. He later worked on a musical version of Ozma of Oz, which eventually became The Tik-Tok Man Of Oz and also began a stage version of The Patchwork Girl of Oz.

Baum also wrote several plays for various celebrations. and In 1914, after moving to Hollywood, Baum started his own film production company, The Oz Film Manufacturing Company. Many times during the development of the Oz series, Baum declared that he had written his last Oz book and devoted himself to other works of fantasy fiction based in other magical lands, However, persuaded by popular demand, letters from children, and the failure of his new books, he returned to the series each time. Sadly though on May 6th 1919 L Frank Baum passed away after having a stroke, nine days short of his 63rd birthday. He was buried in Glendale’s Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery. His final Oz book, Glinda of Oz, was published on July 10, 1920, a year after his death. The Oz series was continued long after his death by other authors, notably Ruth Plumly Thompson, who wrote an additional nineteen Oz books. His other works also remained popular after his death, with The Master Key appearing on St. Nicholas Magazine’s survey of readers’ favorite books well into the 1920s. His novels also predicted such century-later commonplaces as television, laptop computers (The Master Key), wireless telephones (Tik-Tok of Oz), women in high risk, action-heavy occupations (Mary Louise in the Country), and the ubiquity of advertising on clothing (Aunt Jane’s Nieces at Work), and the Wonderful Wizard of Oz series of books remains popular to this day.

Frank Hornby (Hornby, Meccano, Dinky)

Visionary toy manufacturer English inventor, businessman and politician Frank Hornby was born 15 May 1863. although he had no formal engineering training, he was responsible for the invention and production of three of the most popular lines of toys based on engineering principles in the twentieth cntury: Meccano, Hornby Model Railways and Dinky Toys. He also founded the British toy company Meccano Ltd in 1908.At the age of sixteen, Hornby left school and started working as a cashier in his father’s business. On 15 January 1887 he married a schoolteacher Clara Walker Godefroy, the daughter of acustoms officer and they had two sons, Roland and Douglas, and a daughter, Patricia. When his father died in 1899, his father’s business was closed and Hornby became abook keeper in Liverpool.After experimenting with new ideas in his home workshop, Hornby began making toys for his sons in 1899 with pieces he cut from sheet metal. He built models of bridges, trucks and cranes, although the pieces they were made from were not interchangeable. The breakthrough came when Hornby realised that if he could make separate, inter changeable parts that could be bolted together, any model could be built from the same components. The key inventive step was the realisation that regular perforations in the structural pieces could be used, not only to join them together with nuts and bolts, but be used as a bearing for – axles and shafts. This made the construction of complex mechanisms relatively simple. He started making metal strips by hand from copper sheets. The strips were half an inch wide with holes for bolts spaced at half inch intervals these became known as Meccano.

Hornby patented his invention in January 1901 as “Improvements in Toy or Educational Devices for Children and Young People”. Hornby began looking for companies to manufacture his product, but it was poorly finished. Fortunately, his employer saw potential in what Hornby was doing and offered him some vacant premises next to the office where he worked to pursue his ideas. With this move, Elliot and Hornby became partners.Hornby now called his construction oy “Mechanics Made Easy” and after receiving a positive endorsement from professor Henry Selby Hele-Shaw, then Head of the Engineering Department at Liverpool University, Hornby secured contracts with outside manufacturers to supply the parts for his construction sets. With the financial assistance of his partner, “Mechanics Made Easy” sets went on sale in 1902. Each set had only 16 different parts with a leaflet detailing the construction of 12 models. In 1903, 1,500 sets were sold, and new parts were continually being introduced until in 1904, six sets, packed in tin boxes with instruction manuals in French and English, became available. In 1905 two new sets were introduced and By 1907 Hornby’s part suppliers could not meet the demand. So Hornby quit his job with Elliot and secured a three year lease on a workshop in Duke Street, Liverpool, and they were manufacturing their own parts by June 1907.

In September 1907, Hornby registered his famous “Meccano” trade mark and used this name on all new sets. This led to the formation of Meccano Ltd on 30 May 1908. and in 1910 the famous “MECCANO” logo was commissioned. Meccano was exported to many countries and in 1912, Hornby and his son, Roland, formed Meccano (France) Ltd in Paris to manufacture Meccano. An office was also opened in Berlin, Germany and Märklin began to manufacture Meccano under licence. Hornby also started importing clockwork motors from Märklin.In order to keep pace with demand, a new factory was built in Binns Road, Liverpool. By September 1914 the Binns Road Factory was in full production and became the company headquarters for over 60 yeIn addition to Meccano, Hornby developed and manufactured a number of other model kits and toys, including:1909 – “Hornby System of Mechanical Demonstration”, an educational set.1927 – Clockwork lithographed tinplate O scale trains.1934 – Dinky Toys, die-cast miniature model cars and trucks.1938 – Hornby Dublo model railway system (introduced after Hornby’s death).n 1916, Hornby launched a monthly publication, Meccano Magazine, which remained in circulation for over sixty years, and in 1930 he formed the Meccano Guild, an amalgamation of Meccano clubs from all over the world. In 1931 he entered politics when he was elected as a Conservative MP for the Everton constituency. He left the running of the company to his co-Directors and staff. But he did not stay in politics long – he resigned his parliamentary seat before the 1935 General Election.Hornby died of a chronic heart condition complicated by diabetes in Maghull, near Liverpool, on 21 September 1936. He is buried in the grounds of St Andrews Church, Maghull. His eldefr son Roland took over as Chairman of Meccano Ltd.Hornby’s legacy lives on today with thousands of enthusiasts all over the world still building Meccano models, running Hornby Train sets and collecting Dinky Toys. In his homeplace of Maghull there is a local pub named after him ‘The Frank Hornby’.

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. In 1964, Hornby and Meccano were bought by their competitor Tri-Ang,[1] and sold on when Tri-ang went into receivership. In the 1980s Hornby Railways became independent.Hornby was at first a tradename for the railway productions of Meccano Ltd and based inLiverpool, which released its first train, a clockwork 0 gauge (1:48) model, in 1920. An electric train soon followed but was under-designed and the few that were made were sold out in France. In 1925, a much more successful electric model was introduced, operating on the high voltage of 110 volts AC power. Safety concerns saw low voltage 4V and then 6V motors introduced, followed by a reliable 20V AC system, which was developed in the early 1930s. However, clockwork remained the mainstay of the Hornby 0 gauge trains until 1937 and became the only power available in Liverpool-made 0 gauge trains from 1949. Competitors in the UK were Leeds Model Company and Bassett-LowkeA factory was established in France, which developed its own range of French outline trains, but Liverpool dominated export activity elsewhere, with large numbers of Hornby trains exported to Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Scandinavia.

Even though the export models were often painted in ‘foreign’ liveries, Hornby trains looked very British. Hornby attempted to break into the American market by setting up a factory in 1927 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to make American-style trains. These were colourful and attractive, but low market and only clockwork. They probably would have failed in the marketplace because several established U.S. firms could undercut them and Hornby offered no better-class goods or electric models, but the Wall Street Crash precipitated matters. In late 1929, Meccano Ltd. sold its New Jersey factory to the A. C. Gilbert Company and Hornby trains had vanished from the U.S. market by 1930. The leftover inventory was sold in Canada and in the UK and some of the tooling was reused for products in other markets.In 1964, Lines Bros Ltd., the parent company of rival Tri-ang Railways, purchased Meccano Ltd., and merged Hornby and Tri-ang into Tri-ang Hornby.[1] The former Hornby line was discontinued in favour of Tri-ang’s less costly plastic designs. The Hornby Dublo tooling was sold to G & R Wrenn, which continued to make most of the loco range and ‘superdetail’ rolling stock. Remaining stocks of 0 gauge were either scrapped or sold to the local retailer Hattons and the Tri-ang group was disbanded in 1971 when Meccano Ltd’s owner Lines Bros. filed for bankruptcy Meccano took over The former Tri-ang, becomingHornby Railways in 1972.

By 1976 Hornby was facing challenges from Palitoy and Airfix, both of which were producing high quality detailed models. Detail on the models was upgraded to make the product line more attractive to adult hobbyists.A 16 channel command control system named Zero 1 was introduced in late 1979 and Advertisements claimed that 16 locomotives could be operated independently at the same time although it was expensive, with clean track and well serviced locos the system worked well The system is still used today by many modellers, highlighted by the demand on such sites like eBay for the items in the second hand market.In the 1970s Hornby released steam-powered 3½” gauge locomotive, a model of the Rocket A Hornby model of a BR standard class 9f and in 2006 a Cotswold Rail Class 43 HST power car waas introduced carrying a livery advertising Hornby which has since been repainted.In 1980 Hornby became Hornby Hobbies. By the early 1990s Hornby again faced competition from newcomers like Dapol and established foreign manufacturers, including Lima and Bachmann Industries. Train sets based onThomas the Tank Engine and Friends and Harry Potter (the “Hogwarts Express”) are also popular.In September 2003 Hornby released its first steam-powered 00 gauge locomotive, a model of the record-breaking Mallard. Several other “Live Steam” locomotives have also now been produced.Since then Hornby has bought Lima, an Italian model railway equipment manufacturer that had previously acquired Jouef, a French manufacturer. Some of the ex-Lima models appear in the main Hornby products list. This range is known as Hornby International. Hornby Railways produce a large range of highly detailed British steam and diesel locomotives, such as the BR 9F, LNER Class A4, SR Merchant Navy,Class 60, Class 50, Class 31 and Class 08. In November 2006, Hornby Hobbies acquired Airfix and Humbrol paints July 2010 also saw the opening of the Hornby Shop And Visitor Centre. Hornby and Meccano continue to be successful