Some had wheels that turned, but these had to be pulled or pushed. Some of the early 19th-century push toy rails were made from tinplate, such as the large, durable, stylized locomotive toys in the U.S., which were painted red and gold and decorated with hearts and flowers. model trains kansas city mo
Around 1875, technological advancements in materials and manufacturing enabled tin to be scraped, cut, wrapped, and lithographed faster than previously.
Toy trains were altered when Märklin, a German firm that specialized in doll house accessories, sought to make an equivalent toy for boys in which a constant revenue stream could be ensured by purchasing add-on accessories for years after the initial purchase. Along with boxed sets containing a train and track, Märklin offered extra track, rolling stock, and buildings offered separately, creating the predecessor to the modern model train layout featuring buildings and scenery along with a working train.
Electric trains adopted, with the first appearing in 1897, produced by the U.S. company Carlisle & Finch. As residential use of power became more prevalent from the early 20th century, electrical trains gained popularity and as time went on, these electrical trains grew in sophistication, gaining lighting, the ability to change direction, to emit a whistling noise, to smoke, to remotely couple and uncouple cars and even load and unload freight. Toy trains from the first half of the 20th century were often made of lithographed tin; later trains were often made mostly of plastic.
Pull toys and wind-up trains were marketed by kids, while electric trains were marketed towards teens, particularly teenaged boys.
Now, S gauge and O gauge railroads are still considered toy trains even by their own adherents and are often accessorized with semi-scale model buildings by Plasticville or K-Line (who owns the rights to the Plasticville-like buildings created by Marx from the 1950s to the 1970s). However, due to their high price, one is more likely to locate an HO scale or N scale train set at a toy store than a O scale collection.
Many modern electrical toy trains comprise sophisticated electronic equipment that exude digitized sound effects and permit the operator to securely and easily run several remote controller trains on a single loop of track. In the last few decades, many toy rail operators may operate a train with a TV camera at the front part of the engine and hooked up to a display, such as pc monitor. This will show a picture, similar to that of a genuine (smaller size) railroad)
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