Some had wheels which flipped, but these needed to be pushed or pulled. A few of the early 19th-century drive toy trains were made of tinplate, such as the big, durable, stylized locomotive toys in the U.S., that were painted gold and red and decorated with hearts and flowers. model trains pretoria
Around 1875, technological improvements in materials and manufacturing allowed tin to be stamped, cut, rolled, and lithographed faster than ever before.
Toy trains were altered when Märklina German firm that specialized in doll house accessories, sought to create an equivalent toy for boys where a constant revenue stream could be ensured by selling add-on accessories for years after the initial purchase. Along with boxed sets comprising a train and track, Märklin offered additional track, rolling stock, and buildings offered separately, creating the predecessor to the modern model train layout featuring buildings and scenery in addition to an operating train.
Electric trains followed, with the first appearing in 1897, produced by the U.S. company Carlisle & Finch. As residential use of electricity became more prevalent in the early 20th century, electrical trains gained popularity and as time went on, these electrical trains grew in sophistication, gaining light, the ability to change management, to emit a whistling sound, to smoke, to remotely couple and uncouple cars and even load and unload cargo. Toy trains from the first half of the 20th century were frequently made of lithographed tin; afterwards trains were frequently made mainly of plastic.
Pull toys and wind-up trains were marketed towards children, while electric trains were marketed towards teenagers, especially teenaged boys.
Now, S gauge and O gauge railroads are still considered toy trains by their own adherents and are often accessorized with semi-scale model buildings by Plasticville or even K-Line (who owns the rights to the Plasticville-like buildings produced by Marx from the 1950s into the 1970s). However, as a result of their high price, one is more likely to locate an HO scale or N scale train set in a toy shop than a O scale collection.
Many modern electrical toy trains contain sophisticated electronics that exude digitized sound effects and allow the operator to securely and easily run multiple remote control trains on one loop of track. In the last few years, many toy train operators will operate a train with a TV camera in the front part of the motor and hooked up to a display, such as pc monitor. This will show a picture, similar to that of a real (smaller size) railroad.
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