BAYKO Screwdrivers

How sad is this!‽
 
Don't answer that!
I know writing about the various BAYKO Screwdrivers sounds like scraping the bottom of the barrel but...
BAYKO metal screwdrivers - 3 different sizes
Pre-war Screwdrivers were simple metal pieces, shaped like a closed question mark.
People claim different sizes of metal BAYKO screwdrivers exist, but I have some reservations.
Pre-war and immediately post-war there was a thriving market in second hand toys...
...and there are plenty of examples in existence of second hand BAYKO sets being topped up with parts from the 'wrong' production period.
I suspect that some, at least, of this range of Screwdriver sizes was caused by this top-up process - or simply by people replacing lost Screwdrivers.
On the other hand, I know I threw out some BAYKO metal screwdrivers in my early collecting days [idiot!] when I thought all BAYKO Screwdrivers were plastic!
 
Post-war Screwdrivers, in the earliest sets, were still metal, the plastic ones only being introduced in the late 1940s - 1947 or 1948 probably.
Six different colours of BAYKO plastic Screwdrivers
From the early 1950s, 'officially' only Dark Green Screwdrivers were produced, though I acquired a polystyrene set from the late 1950s with two Red Screwdrivers.
Before that BAYKO made [reading right to left in the photo] Red, Dark Green, Light Green, Light or Mid Grey and even Spotted Screwdrivers, [shown courtesy of Robin Throp].
The Grey's, Light Green and Red were understandable - they'd used these colours for other parts at different times - but the Spotted ones?
At a BAYKO exhibition in Liverpool in 1994 we asked several people who had worked in the BAYKO factory the reasons, particularly for the spotted ones. Were they for a special promotion or for a posh shop?
Plimpton era Screwdrivers in MECCANO era packaging - front and reverse view
The answer is much more mundane than that - Friday afternoon! 'POETS day' as the Australians say.
People everywhere can get demob happy on Fridays as they wind down ready for the weekend and the BAYKO factory was no exception...
..."Sometimes we just threw any old crap into the moulds", was their blindingly simple explanation!
After the takeover, MECCANO era Screwdrivers, reverted to Light Grey matching the colour of their early Bases, but...
At a BAYKO exhibition in Liverpool in 1994 we asked several people who had worked in the BAYKO factory the reasons, particularly for the spotted ones. Were they for a special promotion or for a posh shop?
...early in the MECCANO era [above] there are examples of Plimpton era Dark Green Screwdrivers which have been wrapped in MECCANO era packaging, presumably using up stocks of old materials...
A section of the display card on the MECCANO era Retail Cabinet showing a green screwdriver
...on the other hand, the display card, printed by MECCANO and fitted to the rear of their Retail Cabinets, shows the Screwdriver as being green, so perhaps their original intention was to continue producing Screwdrivers in the Plimpton era Green!
 
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