Richter's Anchor Stone Building Sets

Richters Anker-Steinbaukasten

A photograph of an individual's Anchor building design is not the usual first page picture.  But this month, I want to pay special tribute to Jan M. H. A. Hauer.  Jan, who died a few years ago, was well known in Anchor circles as the world expert on Anchor history and especially the Alte Folge, or Old Series, which was in the Anchor product line from 1884 until 1898.  In addition, Jan was an enthusiastic supporter of Dutch castles, especially those in Gelderland.  The building shown is Castle Doorwerth.  This castle has been restored recently, ending a 37 year project.  The original Doorwerth Castle was built in stages from 1260 through 1744.  Fortunately, in 1744 Jan de Beyer van dem Ham made a series of drawings of the castle.  The castle was still in quite good condition at the start of W.W.II, but English artillery took care of that in 1944.  The castle was opened to the public again in 1983.  A note to Anchor builders: the onion tops are made of painted balsa, not Anchor stones.

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.  These new sets just won the Parents' Choice Gold Medal.  For an 1880 toy to win in 1997 says a lot about the quality of these sets and Anchor in general.

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:  This web page, for October, will remain up for about a week after the end of the month.  I will be in Europe for the CVA meeting and will not be back before then.  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 October, 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 43 to the Club of Anchor Friends' home page since the posting date of the first of October.  (Note: for whatever reason, the computer generated date was not accurate, often being off by a week.)  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 the Anchor page had more than 3,000 visitors and it is now averaging well over 10 hits a day, more than 400 last month.  This revision is the fourteenth one I have posted on the net.  The Date and Time is Friday, October 03, 1997 15:03:40.  I plan to update this site monthly.

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