wooden track trains

Author: kikils, March 7, 2012, Leave a comment

For today’s children, the summary of wooden track railroading likely commences with Thomas the Tank Engine … happily duplicating his TV adventures around the playroom floor.  As well as Thomas, wood trains of most types along with a dizzying various playsets and accessories are accessible.  Most brands of contemporary wooden track trains work harmoniously while using trains and a record of another brand … and in many cases, using their vintage brethren, too.  Inside the highly competitive Toy world, this cross-brand compatibility is pretty surprising.

However, we can’t really give Thomas with the exceptional friends the finance due to this compatibility.  Undoubtedly, we’ve got to attribute the lion’s share on the credit to 2 ingenious citizens of Skaneateles NY … Marshal Hart Larrabee II and the wife Elizabeth.
Marshal Larrabee was obviously a graduate of Wharton School in 1931, but was struck down with tuberculosis annually later.  During his lengthy recuperation, he took up woodworking to occupy the long days.  Resolution variety of items, he asked his wife what he should make next.  (He had already made large toy trains that children dragged across floors with pull-strings.)
Prophetically, Elizabeth said, “create a little train a child will hold in her hand”.
So Marshal made “little” trains.  He also devised wooden track sections, with grooves about 1 ¼ inches apart, for that trains to visit in.  Different layouts could possibly be manufactured by piecing together various combinations of straight and curved track.  Blocks were used for buildings and then for track supports for making bridges.

Larrabee’s train sets became instantly popular with relatives and buddies.  He soon became convinced how the sets could turn into a financial success.  On a trip through the US within the late 1930’s, he began a sales promotion effort for his little trains.  By 1941, he received a US patent for his train design … together landed his first major commercial customer, Marshal Fields Malls in Chicago.  He formally started his company (named Skaneateles Handicrafters) inside a converted marine engine machine shop.
Using the postwar sales success of Larrabee’s expanding toy products, educators recognized that SH-style playsets helped to stimulate a child’s imagination and creativity … whilst developing problem-solving and motor skills.  Wooden track playsets also became extremely popular in group settings for instance pre-schools, church schools and daycare centers.  The sets were safe and durable, and helped to produce socialization and team-building skills during group play.

The 1950’s saw the arrival of grooved track playsets from other toymakers like Keystone Manufacturing Co, the Jack Built Toy Co and BRIO (Sweden).  These businesses also used the identical 1 ¼ inch groove size (gauge) for his or her track.  At the beginning of the 1960’s, wooden train sets from Micki Leksaker (Sweden) and 2 German toy companies Eichhorn and Hermann Rosberg (HEROS) had emerged.  The genre’ from the wooden train using a “standard” track gauge was now firmly established inside the toy world.

From the late 1960’s, two component innovations … “peg & hole” track connectors and magnetic train couplers … had been adopted by nearly every manufacturer.  A subtle but critical feature of the peg & hole track is the capacity to provide a little “wiggle room” inside track connections.  Children wouldn’t have to assemble their track layouts inside a totally precise manner.  They may “bend” the track layout connections a little to accommodate their needs.  However, the track sections would still remain firmly connected.  Likewise, magnetic disk train couplers provided a safe, strong and versatile linkage between railcars with no need for metal hooks.  (Skaneateles Handicrafters was the sole notable exception towards adoption these virtually universal train and track features.)

The sales of wooden track trains chugged along nicely from the 1970’s and 80’s.  Do your best, the recognition from the brightly colored BRIO trains chose to make this Swedish manufacturer the best-known maker of wooden trains worldwide.  Alot of trains were judged whether or not you aren’t they were “BRIO-compatible”.
During the early 1990’s, wooden versions of Thomas the Tank locomotive … the hero of children’s books and TV … exploded onto the marketplace.  Seemingly every child wanted Thomas with the exceptional friends on their train layout.  And also the kids didn’t want one a 2 different trains … they wanted lots of different train “personalities”.  Names like James, Percy, Gordon and Henry became pervasive in the daily conversations of kids worldwide.  Children went from being wood train “operators” into becoming wood train “collectors”.  Toymakers with no license to generate Thomas products responded with extensive lines of creatively distinctive trains … from vintage steam engines and hard-working diesels to alpine lift gondolas and sleek “bullet trains”.   Some trains were even motorized … enabling those to chug along on their own power as long as the batteries held out.
The 90’s also saw the inexorable march of Asian-made toys (like Thomas products) into your marketplace.  Price competition became almost as critical as creative design.  Even BRIO experienced an agonizing reorganization (few trains will have the “Stated in Sweden” sticker).  However, kids continues to like these imagination-driven train sets … irrespective of their manufacturing origin.

Coming from a collector’s viewpoint, there is something very appealing concerning the simplistic yet artful designs of the toys plus the heirloom feel in the hardwoods used.  These little trains point out simpler and more innocent times.  On a personal level, these trains were critical for the childhood progress of my developmentally disabled son.  Depending on recent observations, there will certainly be a growing collector appreciation of the toys.  Vintage train takes hold excellent condition … particularly making use of their original packaging … have become more elusive as well as a little more “pricey”.  For those who have any queries or comments, We would be delighted to know from you.
To stay your journey, go through the individual manufacturers’ links.

wooden track trains wooden track trains

wooden track trains

share save 171 16 wooden track trains

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>