Some had wheels which flipped, but these had to be pushed or pulled. A few of the early 19th-century drive toy rails were made from tinplate, like the big, durable, stylized locomotive toys from the U.S., which were painted red and gold and decorated with hearts and flowers. train model high hood emd gp30
Around 1875, technological advancements in materials and manufacturing allowed tin to be stamped, cut, rolled, and lithographed faster than ever before.
Toy trains were revolutionized when Märklin, a German firm that specialized in doll house accessories, sought to create an equal toy for boys in which a continuous revenue stream could be ensured by selling add-on accessories for decades after the initial purchase. In addition to boxed sets containing 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 adopted, with the first appearing in 1897, made from the U.S. company Carlisle & Finch. As home use of electricity became more prevalent in the early 20th century, electrical trains gained popularity and as time went on, these electric trains grew in sophistication, gaining light, the ability to change direction, to emit a whistling noise, to smoke, to remotely couple and uncouple cars as well as load and unload cargo. Toy trains by the first half of the 20th century were often made of lithographed tin; later trains were frequently made mainly of plastic.
Pull toys and wind-up trains were marketed towards children, while electrical trains were marketed towards teens, especially teenaged boys.
Today, 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 price, one is more inclined to locate an HO scale or N scale train set in a toy shop than a O scale collection.
Many modern electric toy trains comprise sophisticated electronics which emit digitized sound effects and permit the operator to safely and easily run multiple remote controller trains on a single loop of track. In the last few decades, many toy train operators will operate a train using a TV camera in the front part of the motor and hooked up to a display, such as pc monitor. This will show an image, like that of a genuine (smaller size) railroad)
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