The first toy trains were made from lead and had no moving parts. Some had wheels that flipped, but these needed to be pulled or pushed. A few of the early 19th-century drive toy rails were made of tinplate, such as the big, durable, stylized locomotive toys in the U.S., that were painted red and gold and decorated with hearts and flowers. trans model andreja pejic
Around 1875, technological advancements in materials and manufacturing enabled tin to be scraped, cut, rolled, and lithographed faster than ever before.
Toy trains were altered when Märklin, a German company which specialized in doll house accessories, sought to create an equal toy for boys in which a constant revenue stream could be guaranteed by selling add-on accessories for years after the first purchase. Along with 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 buildings and scenery along with a working train.
Electric trains followed, with the first appearing in 1897, made by the U.S. firm Carlisle & Finch. As residential use of power became more common 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 remotely couple and uncouple cars and even load and unload freight. Toy trains by the first half of the 20th century were frequently made of lithographed tin; later trains were frequently made mainly of plastic.
Before the 1950s, there was little distinction between toy trains and model railroads–model railroads were toys by definition. Pull toys and wind-up trains were marketed by children, while electric trains were marketed towards teens, especially teenaged boys. It was during the 1950s the modern emphasis on realism in model railroading began to catch 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 even 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 created by Marx from the 1950s to the 1970s). However, due to 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 electrical toy trains contain sophisticated electronics which exude digitized sound effects and permit the operator to securely and easily run several remote controller trains on one loop of track. In recent years, many toy train operators may operate a train with a TV camera in the front part of the engine and hooked up to a screen, such as computer monitor. This will show an image, like that of a real (smaller size) railroad)
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