Author Archives: Becky Gerlak

williamselectrictrains

Williams Electric Trains Jerry Williams founded Williams Electric Trains in 1971, under the premise of manufacturing select trains for collectors and operators. By 1981, their 10th Anniversary, the Columbia, Maryland company was producing engines and passenger equipment, as well as … Continue reading

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Atlas

Atlas The Atlas Model Railroad Company, Inc of Hillside, New Jersey, began making track and related model railroad products in 1949. The Atlas Tool Company was founded in the 1920’s by Stephan Schaffan, but they didn’t make any train related … Continue reading

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Girard Model Works

Girard Model Works In 1906, C.G. Wood founded the Girard Model Works in Girard, PA. The originally made patterns, models, and specialized machinery. In 1918, Girard began making toys for a New York company which has not been identified. By … Continue reading

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Stamped metal

Stamped Metal Toys Many of the classic toys produced from the 1920’s through the 1960’s, and even into current times, are stamped from metal. A stamped metal toy is formed using a die or dies, which shape and cut the … Continue reading

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Lithographed Paper

Lithographed Paper Some of the earliest mass-produced toys were made using lithographed paper labels glued to a wooden shape. Early blocks, puzzles, wooden trains, and the like were made much more colorful in this manner. The paper labels would be … Continue reading

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Lithographed Metal

Lithographed Metal Many of the larger toy companies of the 1920’s through the 1950’s relied heavily on lithographed metal to give their toys depth, detail, and color. Firms such as Louis Marx & Co employed full-time artists proficient in this … Continue reading

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Lithography

What is Lithography? Lithography is a printing process. It has been used to decorate toys made of both wood and metal. In lithography, a flat stone or metal plate is engraved to contain the designs to be printed. Each color … Continue reading

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Diecasting

Diecasting Diecasting, such as is currently done to produce the popular metal vehicles by Ertl and Winross, involves pouring molten metal into a mold in the shape of the toy being made. The metal cools as it hits the surface … Continue reading

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Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon A player piano (also known as pianola or autopiano) is a self-playing piano, containing a pneumatic or electro-mechanical mechanism that operates the piano action via pre-programmed music on perforated paper or metallic rolls. The rise of the player piano … Continue reading

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HO-Gauge Room

HO Gauge Room  This HO-gauge display is representative of the coal mines of the area up to the 1970’s.  The engines on the left in the hall are all brass. The engines in the first case on the right are also … Continue reading

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