Richter's Anchor® Stone Building Sets

Richters Anker-Steinbaukasten

(Vol. 10, # 10)

The Ankerfest in Rudolstadt was a great success with more than 200 Anchor friends and fans there.  People came from all over the world.  There were the usual speeches, a lot of good food and a chance to make a few stones. Most impressive was an automatic press which was making 34G stones at a record rate.  The new set, 24A, was available for sale, as were all other sets.  Tours of the Richter Villa were also available.  The attendance was so great that the opening ceremony had to be moved from the City Hall to a theater.

All Anchor Friends, even those who missed the Ankerfest, will have another Anchor opportunity in 2006.  There will be a special exhibition (Sonderausstellung) near Vienna (at the Stadtmuseum of Traiskirchen, Austria).  This exhibition runs from March 17, 2006 until December 24, 2006.  More than nine months!  There is no excuse to miss it!  The web site is www.traiskirchen.gv.at,  And Vienna is a wonderful city -- well worth a visit even without a special Anker exhibition.  I plan to attend, and I hope to schedule my visit around Die Fledermaus, The Magic Flute and at least one Haydn or Mozart mass.

In addition to attending the Ankerfest, I have been testing new designs sent in to the CVA by CVA members.  Some of the very best designs are not yet public, so I cannot show them on this month's web page.  But I did photograph the last three designs I have built.  The testing really has two purposes.  1) We want to be sure that the computer drafting is error free.  It is remarkably difficult to draw designs without errors, especially when you consider that the computer program will allow the placement of an unsupported stone.  2) It is important to be certain that no "extra" stones crept into the building. 

I will remain in the Netherlands until the CVA meeting on October 20th -- home on the 26th.  Yes, I will be checking e-mail every few days, but do not expect instant answers.  I plan to bring home a couple of Conversion Sets for the NF --> NS and probably a couple of the mosaic sets.  If you want one, please let me know.  My carry-on luggage space in limited.

For those of you who are interested, here is a new picture of my black cat and my picture from last year at my 67th birthday party.

I am still looking for pictures from other countries.  Anchor stones are now popular in Korea, and pictures have been received.  So far, I have not received pictures from Asia (other than Korea), Australia or Africa.  Since Anchor was popular worldwide, and it still is, there must be some AVs on these continents.

You can look at last month's web page.  This feature has been available for almost a year, but the link was not well known.

Aeropharm is the successor to the Ankerpharm factory in Rudolstadt.  The factory is doing well, meeting its business plan, and growing at about 30% a year.  (Possible at the beginning, but not over the long run.)  It may well happen that factories which trace their histories back to Richter and Anker become (again) the largest employers in Rudolstadt.  

All sets (through # 22A) and puzzles are now in stock -- a few were sold out during Christmas.   I hope that the 24A sets will be in stock when I get home.  The prices for all of sets and puzzles is found on the new puzzles and sets page.

The last CVA meeting was on Saturday, April 23, 2005.  The next meeting date will be this month, on October 22, 2005.  See the CVA page for details on its meeting.  

The Club of Anchor Friends (CVA) has published a Stone Catalog.  I brought home two copies.  The cost is $35.00, including postage.  More may be printed, in that the update has been postponed.  To satisfy the demand, the Stone Catalog has been made available on CD in the PDF format.  You can download the 10.2M file.  This file has also been added to CD # 6, because that CD has the book and other basic reference information.  Should you buy the printed version?  It all depends on 1) whether you have European A4 paper (required to keep the scale) and 2) how feel about printing almost 200 double sided pages.

The amount of additional work to do continues to grow; the discovery of the original molds has added even more work.  I saw one mold which was used to make a stone I had never seen -- not even heard of.  The new factory has to use it to make one (OK, some).  For more information, you can e-mail me if you want one.  Remember that the loose leaf format makes it easy to update your catalog.  The next update is now scheduled to appear in 2006 or '07.  This revision will be a major update, far larger than thought earlier.  It will probably be as large as the current catalog!  A second binder may be needed.  This increase in size is not an indication of errors, but an attempt to get as much information as possible in this catalog.  Since the catalog uses a loose leaf format, you will need only the new and changed pages.  The amount of detailed information in this catalog is very great, and the information keeps coming in.  And it has become clear that e-mails with just numbers of stones in a set just will not do; a photocopy or scan (in color if at all possible) of an actual packing plan is required.

The CVA is in the process of developing a "Stone Market".  As it develops CVA members will be informed, which means not on this web site.  The mechanics are complex, so there may be several revisions before its process becomes routine.  But the stones are now being kept in Den Haag (Rigolettostraat 28).

The factory is planning to put the old molds into production again, though progress in this area has been painfully slow.  

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 , but not St. Petersburg, Russia).  Starting in 1880, Richter's Anchor building stones were covered by international patents and trademarks.  AV Burkhard Schulz, Ellerau (bei Hamburg),  Germany, has produced a wonderful video entitled Ankerstadt Rudolstadt.  He gave a copy to the CVA Archive, and it is possible he might let you have a copy if you want one.  Americans remember: 1) the video is in German and 2) the German TV system is not compatible with the USA TV system.  But Burkhard is now offering the video on CD which can be run on almost all computers.

Today, there are many collectors and builders using Anchor Stone Building Sets.  These collectors often participate in setting up Anchor displays at various exhibitions.   The last exhibition was held from September 20 until October 2, 2004, in Jena, Germany, in the Goethe Gallery. 

A number of Anchor collectors are members of the international Club of Anchor Friends (Club van Ankervrienden), a Dutch club with members from the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Denmark, Chile, Hungary, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain and the USA.  The meetings of the Club of Anchor Friends is held in the Hotel Lapershoek in Hilversum.  

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.  All e-mail questions will be answered, to the extent of my knowledge.

Sets and puzzles are being produced again!  The 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 new puzzles and sets.  Anchor Stone Building Sets are great presents, and the supplement sets make wonderful follow up gifts.  These new sets recently won the 1997 Parents' Choice Gold Medal.  In 1999, the Anchor sets won the National Parenting Publications Award.  For an 1880 toy to win in 1997 and 1999 says a lot about the quality of these sets and Anchor in general.  These sets are a perfect supplement to computers.

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, $50 (or 50 Euros, your choice), 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.  The book is also available on CD-ROM, which costs just $2.00.  See below.

Web Page Notes:  Most subpages do not change from month to month.  The "builder's page" is revised every month.  A few people have asked me to number the "issues" of the Anchor page.  Well, they started in August, 1996, (with Vol. 1, # 8, to keep the number of the month the same as the issue's number).  The number of this "issue" is shown at the top of this page.  All web pages are found in the CD-ROM Archive.  See below.

CD-ROM Archive:  I can  supply the CD-ROMs of the CVA's CD-Archive.  More scans are being added all of the time, and the "holes" in the documentation are being filled.  Of course, more scans means more CDs, and as scans are added some files are moved to another CD.  As of today, there are thirteen (13) CD-ROMs in the Archive, plus, for CVA members only, 8 additional CD-ROMs of the old MLBs (including an overview CD-ROM) and 3 CD-ROMs of the AHN (including an overview CD-ROM).  (Do not try to buy these MLB CD-ROMs unless you are a CVA member.  I check the membership list!)  All of the scans are JPG files.  # 1 contains the GK-NF building and layer plans, excluding # 34, the Anchor book in PDF format in English, plus odd things like box covers, figures, insets, rulers, etc.; # 2 contains the DS and # 34 building and layer plans; # 3 contains all packing plans, exhibition buildings, building plans for Imperator (1st Series), and information on other Anchor products; # 4 contains the building and layer plans for the second series of GK-Br and Imperator, the VE series; # 5 contains the KK building and layer plans, plus Comet, Erste Folge, Orion, Eagle, and Imperator (all metal); # 6 contains documentation including my book in both English and German and various magazines (like the Anker Zeitung) and magazine articles, the CVA Stone Catalog, price lists, and information about Rudolstadt; # 7 contains the building and layer plans for the series 100 (Neue Reihe), 200 (Modern [American] House Series), 300 (Landhaus [Country House] sets), 400 (Festungs- und Burgen-Baukasten [fortress and castle sets]), NS, Capital, Täfelchenlegen, Mosaic sets, games, VEB, LaVelle, KMBK (Art Model Building Sets), Eisenbrücken, A-B (American Bridges); # 8 contains the building and layer plans for the series GK-AF, the first series of GK-Br, the VEB era Venice exhibition model, and Richter (includes his will and other documents regarding his estate); # 9 Catalogs, Special Sets, pictures of the original factory (perhaps I will add pictures of the new factory, assuming permission is granted), # 10 Personal Designs, plus advertisements and the German language PDF format version of my book; # 10A more Personal Designs (they won't fit on one CD now), # 11 an overview using PDF and other more modern PC programs and formats, and # 12 additional overview (it won't fit on one CD now) and the web site.  Only the members of the Club of Anchor Friends are permitted to purchase the eight CD-ROMs containing all of the MLBs (up through Winter of 2004), including both the English and the German language translations and an overview CD.  CDs of the AHN have been added to the Archive.  The AHN needs two CDs, plus a third CD for the overview.  If you want to buy one or more of these CD-ROMs, please send $2  (or euros, your choice) for the first CD-ROM and $1 each for the rest -- postage included, no matter where they are going.  The Euro payments should be sent to the CVA in the usual way that you use.  CDs are inexpensive, so I do not see a problem if, at this stage of the Archive, some CDs may become obsolete due to the relocation of files or the addition of more data.

The new Anchor factory in Rudolstadt, Germany has added many new designs to its web site (thanks to the help of Burkhardt Schulz).  They can be easily downloaded, as they are PDF files.

Please note that this home page is revised monthly.  Most of the graphics are JPEG, which improves quality and reduces file size.  The URL name -- ankerstein.org -- indicates that this site is the official web site of the Club of Anchor Friends.

My e-mail address is georgeh@ankerstein.org.  If I ever change the ISP for the web site -- www.ankerstein.org -- my old 'rlc' e-mail address will change, but my 'ankerstein' e-mail address is (more or less) permanent.  

Many new graphics, and additional text, are uploaded once a month, as close to the first as possible.  I do not change the full set of graphics, as most people never 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 space of this web site, 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, (auf Deutsch and in English);
           This web site offers many new designs for the sets.  The designs are drawn in the standard Richter manner.  Those
           who have created their own designs are invited to send them to AV Burkhard Schulz, Ellerau (bei Hamburg).
         successor to the Ankerpharm factory in Rudolstadt, Germany, (in English);
         the USA importer and distributor;
         Pagina Web en Castellano, (en Español);
         a German retailer of Anchor sets, (auf Deutsch);
         a German retailer of Anchor sets, (auf Deutsch);
         a German retailer of Anchor sets, (auf Deutsch);
         a German retailer of Anchor sets who ships worldwide, (auf Deutsch);
         a Dutch retailer of Anchor sets;
         the best retailer of construction toys in America, includes Anchor sets, of course;
         an English retailer of Anchor sets;
         an American retailer of Anchor sets;
         an American retailer of Anchor sets;
         an American retailer who also ships to Canada;
         Anchor page of Christof Noebauer of Linz, Austria , (in English);
         German Museum in München, (auf Deutsch);
         Stephen Wessel's Anker page, (auf Deutsch);
         Johann-Henrik Winner's Anker page, (auf Deutsch);
         information on Gustav Lilienthal, (auf Deutsch);
         Kunst-Auktionshaus Martin Wendl, (auf Deutsch);
         Construction Toys;
         Lego on Long Island;
         Architectural Toys;
         the web site of Rachel Fulton, Associate Professor of Medieval History at the University of Chicago;
         the puzzle web page is a must for all puzzle collectors, although not much on Anchor puzzles.

         If you feel that your web site should be included in this list, please let me know.  

For the month of October, 2005.  



Anker-Steinbaukasten, auf Deutsch.  


Anker-Steenbouwdozen, in nederlands  (und auf Deutsch).  


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

"Anchor" and "Anker" are registered trademarks of the Rudolstädter Anker-Steinbaukasten-Fabrik GmbH & Co. KG.

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

georgeh@ankerstein.org

or you can write to:

George Hardy
6 Deer Path Road
Lake Monticello, VA 22963
Tel. and Fax: (434) 589 8752

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