With the new resurgence of interest in Ladybird books, maybe this would be one for a collector - the title alone tells us that the subject is now a matter of historic, rather than practical, relevance! One could speculate that it was given to a Meccano-mad youngster by a fond relative - or to someone who spent much time in a shed 'tinkering' with things mechanical... Whichever, it is a clearly-written and illustrated handbook designed for practical use. As with many Ladybird books, the author is not credited, but is known to have been G C Dobbs.
Ladybird originated in 1867, when Henry Wills opened a bookshop in Loughborough, Leicestershire, and progressed to printing and publishing guidebooks and street directories. William Hepworth joined him in 1904, and the company traded as Wills & Hepworth, producing the first Ladybird children's books by 1914. The original ladybird logo had open wings, but changed to the now-familiar closed-wing design in the late 1950s. In 1971 the company began trading as Ladybird Books, a direct result of the success of their publications (notably the Key Words Reading Scheme, 36 titles). In the 1960s, Ladybird produced the Learnabout series of non-fiction (informational) books, some of which were used by adults as well as children, and this title is one of that series.
Our copy is in very good condition, appearing unused, with only minimal external wear (a small crease near the spine on the front cover, and a tiny indentation on the back cover - see photos). Inside, the binding is tight, all pages clean and bright, and overall this is an excellent copy.