So, where do I get much of my information? Here are the references I use most. Also, I use 'DMS' (or sometimes 'EMP') in various places on this site, and here are the explanations.
Hauton, R. R. and A. Hindemarsh
The Development of the Meccano System
1972; supplements 1975 and 1982
The Meccanoman's Club
Known as DMS
This work describes Meccano parts and their variations. Index numbers are assigned to each variation, allowing easy discussion of parts variations. Dates of introduction and (sometimes) obsolescence are also included. Available from M. W. Mail Order - see their website www.hsomerville.com/mwmailorder
Encyclopedia of Meccano Parts (6 volumes)
Follows on to DMS; known as EMP
This is an expansion and re-arrangement of DMS, and includes drawings of most parts. Parts are arranged in part number order, and each part number has a page of description (and DMS references), and a page of drawing(s). This is the reference I now use most of the time - it is MUCH more convenient than DMS. Available through www.dalefield.com/meccinv/empprinted.html. M. W. Mail Order also has a version of EMP on CD; see the link above.
Love, Bert and Jim Gamble
The Meccano System
New Cavendish Books
This is THE reference on the history of Meccano. M. W. Models still list this book; see their webpage mentioned above.