The earliest toy trains were made of lead and had no moving parts. Some had wheels which turned, but these had to be pushed or pulled. Some of the early 19th-century drive toy trains were made of tinplate, like the large, durable, stylized locomotive toys from the U.S., that were painted red and gold and decorated with hearts and flowers. model trains tucson az
Around 1875, technological advancements in materials and manufacturing allowed tin to be scraped, cut, wrapped, and lithographed faster than previously.
Toy trains were revolutionized when Märklin, a German firm that specialized in doll house accessories, sought to make an equivalent toy for boys in which a continuous revenue stream could be guaranteed by selling add-on accessories for decades after the initial purchase. In addition to boxed sets comprising a train and monitor, Märklin offered extra track, rolling stock, and buildings sold separately, creating the predecessor to the modern model train layout featuring buildings and scenery along with a working train.
Electric trains followed, with the first appearing in 1897, made by the U.S. company Carlisle & Finch. As home use of electricity 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 management, to emit a whistling sound, to smoke, to couple and uncouple cars and even load and unload cargo. Toy trains from the first half of the 20th century were often made of lithographed tin; later trains were often made mainly of plastic.
Pull toys and wind-up trains were marketed by children, while electrical trains were marketed towards teenagers, especially teenaged boys. It was during the 1950s that the modern emphasis on realism in model railroading started to grab on. Consumer interest in trains as toys waned in the late 1950s, but has experienced resurgence since the late 1990s due in large part to the popularity of Thomas the Tank Engine.
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 K-Line (who owns the rights to the Plasticville-like buildings created by Marx from the 1950s to the 1970s). However, as a result of their high cost, one is more likely to find an HO scale or N scale train set at a toy store than a O scale collection.
Many modern electric toy trains comprise sophisticated electronic equipment that exude digitized sound effects and allow the operator to safely and easily run several remote control trains on one loop of course. In the last few years, many toy rail operators will operate a train using a TV camera at the front part of the motor and hooked up to a display, such as computer monitor. This will show a picture, similar to that of a real (smaller size) railroad)
Thanks for your interest in model trains tucson az