Meccano Museum in Davos – Switzerland

Andrew Welti, past chairman of AMS (Amateur fur Metalbau in der Schweiz) has announced the formation of Switzerland’s only permanent collection of metal model constructions, which includes Meccano from England, Marklin from Germany and Stokys from Switzerland.   Some of the models are very large and are beautiful examples of engineering, most electrically driven, and some can be seen in operation.    The AMS exhibition has been assembled by Dr Paul Lienhard, present chairman of the AMS and members and is housed on the recently opened third floor of the Angela Prader Spielzeugmuseum (Toy Museum) run privately by Angela and Jurg Prader.  The first and second floors house culturally significant toys from 18th to 20th centuries in more than 90 aluminium and glass showcases..   

The AMS exhibits are arranged in two large showcases behind glass.  The first case features 37 Meccano and Marklin models and include a classic blocksetting crane, a two funnel ship, a gantry crane with bucket, a ferris wheel, a traveling crane, a beam engine, a Meccano electrikit, a transporter bridge, a synchronous clock, a morse code transmitter, a fire engine, a steam carriage and a windmill.   

The second showcase houses the Stokys collection of 24 models and includes a self erecting builder’s tower crane, a fork lift truck, a tramcar, a dumper, a lorry, a roundabout, a fire engine, a crane lorry, a stamping machine, a log saw, a mechanical digger, a biplane and a dentists chair with patient, as well as a well presented box of Stokys parts.

The museum is housed in a modern building and has a small coffee shop and a shop where small Meccano sets are for sale.    It is situated on Promenade 83, Davos, a short walk from the station. 

Davos is a most delightful ski resort situated high up in the Swiss Alps.   To get there, one travels for one hour by high speed electric train from Zurich to Landquart near Chur, and then changes to a narrow gauge one metre mountain railway with an electric engine and a string of brightly painted red cars and it travels at a surpising speed up the long winding track amidst breathtaking scenary for another 40 minutes.   Davos is noted for its healing airs and beneficial climate and was the home of many clinics for the treatment of tuberculosis.  The museum itself houses a wonderful model of just such a house called the Berghof Sanatorium and was inspired by Thomas Mann’s novel ‘The Magic Mountain’.       

Visit the museum website at  www.spiezeugmuseum-davos.ch which has an English section.   Promenade 83 Davos. Tel +41 (0)81 413 28 48

Paul Lienhard can be contacted at ams@amsclub.ch

By Michael Adler