I love visiting antique shops while I'm in the States, and last week's prize find was this excellent vintage toy...
I remember my little brothers playing with construction sets similar to this in the 70s - the UK version was Meccano. This one is the Gilbert Erector Set; I'm not sure whether or not the 1927 on the lid is a date or not, but it probably dates back to at least the 1930s. I loved the colours and the instruction booklet, and I was particularly touched to see that there were some little constructions in the box that must have been made by a previous owner.
I used these as inspiration to make some creatures of my own, incorporating the vintage parts into my own Meccano family. Here they are...