Some had wheels that flipped, but these had to be pulled or pushed. Some of the early 19th-century push toy trains were made of tinplate, like the large, durable, stylized locomotive toys in the U.S., that were painted gold and red and decorated with hearts and flowers. model trains unboxing
Around 1875, technological advancements in materials and manufacturing allowed tin to be scraped, cut, rolled, and lithographed faster than ever before.
Toy trains were altered when Märklina German company which specialized in doll house accessories, sought to make an equivalent toy for boys where a constant revenue stream could be ensured by purchasing add-on accessories for years after the initial purchase. In addition to boxed sets comprising a train and monitor, Märklin offered extra track, rolling stock, and buildings offered separately, creating the predecessor to the modern model train layout featuring scenery and buildings along with a working train.
Electric trains followed, with the first appearing in 1897, produced from the U.S. firm Carlisle & Finch. As home use of electricity became more prevalent in the early 20th century, electrical trains gained popularity and as time moved on, these electric 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 by the first half of the 20th century were often made of lithographed tin; afterwards trains were frequently made mainly of plastic.
Pull toys and wind-up trains were marketed by children, while electrical trains were marketed towards teenagers, particularly teenaged boys. It was during the 1950s the modern emphasis on realism in model railroading started to catch on.
Today, S gauge and O gauge railroads are still considered toy trains even by their 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 cost, one is more likely to locate an HO scale or N scale train set in a toy store than an O scale collection.
Many modern electrical toy trains contain sophisticated electronics which emit digitized sound effects and allow the operator to safely and easily run several remote control trains on a single loop of track. In recent years, many toy rail operators may operate a train with a TV camera at the front of the engine and hooked up to a screen, such as pc monitor. This will show an image, similar to that of a genuine (smaller size) railroad)
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