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Lionel Trains of the 1950's

Lionel Trains of the 1950's

Lionel Trains of the 1950's

Filled with nostalgic photos of toy trains and accessories, including some seldom-seen images, this comprehensive 200-page special issue features more than 40 stories in a year-by-year format.

United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
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2 min.
lost in the fifties again

Country singer Ronnie Milsap once crooned about inviting a lady to join him on a journey in their hearts back to the 1950s. He reminisced about the ballads they had once danced to in hopes of reviving a love grown cool. The lyrics all but hypnotized listeners. For they, too, felt the nostalgic pull of being lost in the fifties and returning to simpler times. Thinking and writing about Lionel trains from the golden decade of the 1950s similarly removes me from the bustling, everyday world I occupy. But rather than becoming lost, I end up energized and pushed in a firm direction. There’s an immediate joy felt at train meet or in a store when Lionel engines and cars I loved as a boy cast their spell. I can’t help drifting…

1 min.
lionel trains of the 1950’s

Roger Carp Editor Carl Swanson Editorial Staff Elizabeth Weber Art Director William Zuback Photography Supervisor Sue Hollinger-Klahn Production Specialist Lori Schneider Ad Sales Manager Martha Stanczak Ad Sales Representative Mike Ferguson Ad Sales Representative Kalmbach Media Dan Hickey Chief Executive Officer Christine Metcalf Senior Vice President, Finance Nicole McGuire Senior Vice President, Consumer Marketing Stephen C. George Vice President, Content Brian J. Schmidt Vice President, Operations Sarah A. Horner Vice President, Human Resources David T. Sherman Senior Director, Advertising Sales and Events Scott Redmond Advertising Sales Director Liz Runyon Circulation Director Michael Soliday Art and Production Manager Cathy Daniels New Business Manager Kathy Steele Retention Manager Kim Redmond Single Copy Specialist NEED HELP? For questions about new subscriptions, existing subscriptions, and magazine delivery, or to make an address change or purchase products, contact: CUSTOMER SALES & SERVICE Phone: 877-243-4903 Outside the US and Canada: 903-636-1125 Customer Service: customerservice@ClassicToyTrains.info EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING To contact our editorial staff, call us at…

34 min.
the magnificence of lionel’s trains

Between 1950 and 1959, Lionel did much to hold its spot at the forefront of the growing hobby of model railroading. Technological innovations as well as creative marketing made its trains the most popular plaything in America. Those toys also influenced the outlook of a generation of youngsters swiftly coming of age then. ALWAYS ON TOP The 10-year period in Lionel’s grand history spotlighted here saw the introduction of powerful and attractive locomotives as well as innovative and entertaining operating cars and accessories. Advances in plastics molding and painting transformed Lionel during the 1950s. So did the ingenious use of newly designed motors and animated mechanisms. Clever promotion of its products in mass-circulation magazines and television made Lionel familiar to everyone. Setbacks did occur, of course. Shortages of raw materials generated by…

25 min.
celebrating a golden year

Joshua Lionel Cowen had good reason to consider 1950 a golden year. After all, he, along with Harry Grant, had led the way in establishing what was known around the world as the Lionel Corp. half a century earlier. Now that elderly yet still vibrant gentleman prepared to be celebrated for his numerous triumphs. Tributes appeared in magazine profiles of Cowen and Lionel. Later in 1950 came ceremonies near the grounds of the company’s factory in northern New Jersey to which all employees and their families were invited. All but lost in the shadows cast by Cowen and his wife were other executives, including Lionel President Lawrence Cowen, Executive Vice-President Arthur Raphael, Works Manager Charles Giaimo, and Chief Engineer Joseph Bonanno. 1950 WAS A GOLDEN YEAR Without a doubt, 1950 did represent…

2 min.
unique and rare items of 1950

DURING EACH production year, the Lionel Corp. made certain items in such limited quantities that collectors classify them as rare. Some were engineering prototypes and mockups of which only one or two examples were produced. Color samples, test runs, and sales samples were made, although in slightly greater numbers. Finally, Lionel authorized limited production runs at its factory. The most coveted of any prototypes and mock-ups from 1950 is the no. 213 railroad lift bridge. Lionel never mass-produced this accessory, but a crude preliminary model was kept in the company’s archives and an engineering sample, complete and operational, was made. A unique item is a gold-plated F3 diesel, as illustrated on the cover of the December 1950 issue of Popular Science magazine. No such diesel has ever been reported, although in 1949…

19 min.
the 0-27 line snazzy streamlined passenger trains

The consumer catalog for 1950, exciting though it was, did not overwhelm children with vivid colors. What did stand out was a pair of diesels: the nos. 2343 Santa Fe Electro-Motive F3s and 2023 Union Pacific Alco FAs. Kids were familiar with the Santa Fe diesels, which had dominated Lionel’s O gauge roster since their debut in the consumer catalog for 1948. The Alcos, however, were something new and bold. Lionel’s leaders used the Union Pacific diesels as the motive power for two outfits in 1950s, notably the no. 1464W three-car passenger train that included O-27 streamlined cars painted yellow and gray with red highlights and lettering to match the diesels. That set served the company well during its 50th anniversary, and its silver-painted successors did even more. Over the next few…