Some had wheels that turned, but these had to be pushed or pulled. A few of the early 19th-century push toy trains were made from tinplate, like the big, durable, stylized locomotive toys in the U.S., which were painted red and gold and decorated with hearts and flowers. train model cost
Around 1875, technological improvements in materials and manufacturing enabled tin to be scraped, cut, rolled, and lithographed faster than ever before.
Toy trains were revolutionized when Märklin, a German company which specialized in doll house accessories, sought to create an equivalent toy for boys where a continuous revenue stream could be guaranteed by purchasing add-on accessories for decades after the initial purchase. In addition to boxed sets comprising a train and monitor, Märklin offered additional track, rolling stock, and buildings sold 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, made from the U.S. company Carlisle & Finch. As home use of power became more common in the early 20th century, electrical trains gained popularity and as time moved on, these electrical trains grew in sophistication, gaining lighting, the ability to change direction, to emit a whistling noise, to smoke, to couple and uncouple cars as well as load and unload freight. Toy trains by the first half of the 20th century were frequently made of lithographed tin; later trains were often made mainly of plastic.
Pull toys and wind-up trains were marketed towards kids, while electric trains were marketed towards teens, particularly teenaged boys. It was during the 1950s the modern emphasis on realism in model railroading started to catch on.
Now, S gauge and O gauge railroads continue to be 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 in the 1950s into the 1970s). However, as a result of their high cost, one is more likely to locate an HO scale or N scale train set in a toy shop than an O scale set.
Many modern electric toy trains contain sophisticated electronics which exude digitized sound effects and permit the operator to securely and easily run multiple remote controller trains on a single loop of course. In the last few years, many toy train operators will operate a train with a TV camera at the front part 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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