Some had wheels that turned, but these needed to be pushed or pulled. Some of the early 19th-century push 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. trans model murdered
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 Märklin, a German company that specialized in doll house accessories, sought to make an equal toy for boys where a constant revenue stream could be ensured by selling add-on accessories for decades after the initial purchase. Along with 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 scenery and buildings along with an operating train.
Electric trains adopted, with the first appearing in 1897, produced from the U.S. company Carlisle & Finch. As home use of electricity became more common from the early 20th century, electric trains gained popularity and as time went on, these electrical trains grew in sophistication, gaining light, the ability to change direction, to emit a whistling sound, to smoke, to remotely couple and uncouple cars as well as load and unload cargo. Toy trains from the first half of the 20th century were frequently made of lithographed tin; later trains were frequently made mainly of plastic.
Pull toys and wind-up trains were marketed towards children, 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 grab on.
Today, S gauge and O gauge railroads continue to be considered toy trains by their 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 produced by Marx in 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 electric toy trains contain sophisticated electronic equipment that emit digitized sound effects and permit the operator to securely and easily run multiple remote control trains on a single loop of course. In the last few years, many toy train operators may operate a train using a TV camera at the front part of the engine and hooked up to a display, such as computer monitor. This will show a picture, like that of a real (smaller size) railroad.
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