Richter's Anchor Stone Building Sets

Richters Anker-Steinbaukasten

The Dutch Club of Anchor Friends (CVA; Club van Ankervrienden) publishes a journal (MLB) four times a year.  This magazine generally consists of about 40 pages of articles and pictures, as well as a Buy & Sell section.  The actual name is the Mededelingenblad or "communications paper" -- in my opinion, a truly uninspired name.  Dutch readers of this page will know that the correct abbreviation is "MBL".  I used "MLB" first ,and this "name" is now well accepted in the Anchor Club.

The editor of the MLB is Jan van der Werff of Hilversum in the Netherlands.  It seems appropriate that his wonderful and beautifully decorated buildings should be found on this month's builder's page.

 This issue (the latest one -- summer 1997) contains an article about the St. Agnes Church of New York.  This church was copied by Stephen Hurlbut in 1910.  He made two models, the second one between 1910 and 1913.  The cover of the MLB shows the smaller version, as printed in the company's catalogs in 1911.  In the section of this web page which shows my buildings illustrates the larger of the two models.  I followed the pictures in the April 1, 1913 Anchor Journal (Anker Zeitung) as closely as I possible.    

Although the MLB is generally in Dutch, with the articles written in the language of the author (Dutch, German or English), full German and English translations are provided for those who want them.  The Dutch, all of whom read and speak at least four languages fluently (the other is French), do not require any translation.

This edition of the Anchor web page marks the first year of exposure on the world wide web.  It has been quite a success for the Anchor community.  has added more than a dozen (net) new members.  Most of these new members are attributable to the Internet and this web site.  This year will end up with about 3,000 hits.  Many hits are repeat viewers -- those who want to see the new buildings by the master builder features that month.  A few may even want to see my own creations.  Some want information.  I am especially happy with the number of new to Anchor people who are now becoming collectors and builders.

Anchor collectors are different from Erector Set collectors in that almost all Anchor collectors are also builders.  In that way they are more like Meccano collectors, and many Anchor collectors are also Meccano and Lego builders (but not me).  

Richter's Anchor Stone Building Sets (Richters Anker Steinbaukasten) were the world's most popular construction toy from the early 1880s through W.W.I.  These building stones were made in Rudolstadt, Thuringia, Germany, (and at the company's branches in Vienna, New York and, possibly, St. Petersburg, Russia).  Starting in 1880, Richter's Anchor building stones were covered by international patents and trademarks.

Today, there are many collectors and builders (This page shows some exhibition quality buildings.) of Anchor Stone Building Sets.  These collectors often participate in setting up Anchor displays at various exhibitions.   A number of them are members of the international Club of Anchor Friends (Club van Ankervrienden), a Dutch club with members from the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain and the USA.

Over 600 different Anchor Stone Building Sets were produced in a number of different series.  In addition Richter offered other "stone" products such as puzzles and laying games.  Information on these building set series is provided here, but one can e-mail me on other Richter products.  People who would like to know more about a specific set, including value, or are only interested in additional general information are urged to contact George Hardy (This page shows some of my buildings.) by e-mail.  All e-mail questions will be answered, to the extent of my knowledge.

Sets are being produced again!  Their quality is high.  I urge people interested in starting Anchor building, and those who want to provide their educational benefits to their children, to consider buying these new sets.

For those who are really interested in Anchor stones, I have written a book about them.  (I just got tired of either looking up the same information again and again, or trusting my memory on specific details such as dates and names.)  It is expensive, $70 (or 100 DM) ppd, because I print it myself on my PC and color ink is expensive.  The book undoubtedly contains far more information about Anchor stones and sets, the Richter company, etc. than you'll ever want to read.  This book is a lot of work to print (I print about a dozen at a time, in either English or German, and it takes a week, full time.), so please don't think I am urging you to buy one.

Web Page Notes:  Please note that this home page is under constant revision.  The graphics are JPEG, which improves quality and reduces file size.  I have used the savings from this graphics format to enlarge some pictures and add additional ones.  Some of you may have used the new URL --  This new URL indicates that this site is the official web site of the Club of Anchor Friends.

Many new graphics, and additional text, are uploaded once a month, as close to the first as possible.  I have decided not to change the full set of graphics, as most people do not read beyond the first page.  If you only have a little time, I urge you to take a look at the "builders" page.  And please plan to drop by monthly to see the new pictures.  In the restricted (1.4M) space of my home page, I can provide only a limited view of the wonderful world of Richter's Anchor stones.

Other web sites with Anchor pictures and information:
         new Anchor factory in Rudolstadt, Germany, (in German and English; the factory has an e-mail address now);
         Anchor distributor in the Benelux (in German, French, Dutch and English);
         Construction Toys;
         Lego on Long Island;
         Architectural Toys;
         the puzzle web page is a must for all puzzle collectors, although not much on Anchor puzzles.

For the month of September, 1997.  

Anchor exhibitions being held in the next few months.

Anker-Steinbaukasten, auf deutsch.  

Anker-Steenbouwdozen, in nederlands.  

Anchor Stone Building sets, in English.  (You found it.)

You are visitor number to the Club of Anchor Friends' home page since the posting date of .  From the first appearance of the Anchor home page, August 30, 1996, there has been a slow but steady increase in the number of people accessing it.  Over the last year there have been more than 3,000 visitors.  This revision is the thirteenth one  I have posted on the net.  The Date and Time is .  I plan to update this site monthly.  It was last updated on .

Thank you for visiting the CVA "Anchor" web site.

or you can write to:

George Hardy
1670 Hawkwood Ct.
Charlottesville, VA 22901

Tel: (804) 295 4863
Fax: (804) 295 4898