The sound of the wheels rolling on metal rails, the smell of the smoke from a steam locomotive and the warm electric hum of the transformer bring back memories of Christmas and hobby times past. Lionel model trains have been an integral part of American history for fathers and sons since being introduced in 1901. Lionel wasn’t the first electric toy train but they quickly became the best. They stayed ahead of their would-be competitors by continually evolving and innovating new model trains and accessories. Lionel grew to be the largest toy brand in the world by the 1950s, enduring the Great Depression and two world wars, and is still enjoyed by today’s generation.
Lionel catalogs, chock-full of new model train layouts, freight trains, passenger cars and animated accessories, continue to fill the holiday wish lists of American children and adults alike. Lionel model trains have been around for over 100 years and have endured war, depression and uncertainty of ownership, a testament to their commitment to model train enthusiasts and America’s love of Lionel. Although ownership of the brand changed hands many times in the second half of the last century, their product quality never faltered and Lionel continues to make incredible model trains today. The Lionel brand of model trains is as strong now as it was through the 1950s and will be a part of American history into the twenty first century. Future generations can count on Lionel model trains to inspire their imaginations.
Karwatka, Dennis. “Joshua Lionel Cowen and Lionel Model Trains.” Tech Directions 66.4 (2006): 12. Academic Search Complete. Web. 25 Feb. 2012
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