An electric model train set builder will never forget that first model purchase or gift. At first it may have been just a toy and then evolved into a wonderful hobby. Model trains arrived very shortly after the real thing.
Children have always loved things that move like cars and trucks and the electric model train set quickly became a favorite. I would like to offer you a short history of this great hobby.
An interesting fact is that the first model locomotives were not made as toys but rather for promotional items for the rail roads. The purpose of this was to introduce an electric model train set to people who may not have ever seen a real train.
As these trains became popular with the kids manufacturers began producing them as toys. As the production of toys advanced during the Victorian Period a large number of styles and types of model trains were available.
Manufacturers supplied models for the well to do with real working steam engines which were quite costly down to what was known as the ( penny toys ) made of tin or lead for the less fortunate.
The Marklin company of Germany is credited with the production of the very first clockwork electric model train set in the 1890’s. In addition to their beginner sets they also offered parts and accessories to expand and refine your personal rail road.
As Marklin improved on their products many other German manufacturers began offering a variety of locomotives, tracks and parts to the market. At about this same time the producers of train sets found a growing interest from adults.
As a result more and more sophisticated railroad sets began to appear on the market. The hobby appealed to model makers and engineers who were interested in the marvel of the real rail roads of the time.
As interest grew with this hobby a few model railroad publications came about and the hobby became popular throughout Europe and the United States. During the first World War imports of goods from many companies in Germany and other countries in Europe came to a halt.
Several American companies stepped in to fill the need from the loss of those imports. The most notable of these were Lionel, American Flyer and Ives.
Soon after this a simple and cheaper electric model train set came on the market and no longer was the hobby only for the wealthy. Most everyone could have a model railroad.
From the 1930’s on the electric model train set has grown to be more detailed and complex and the hobby continues to grow throughout the world.
If you are interested in collecting model train sets and tracks, then you have come to the right place. Try this e-book/video course, “Model Trains for Beginners” Right here!