Lionel train sets dating
In an effort to compete with companies that were willing to undercut Lionel's prices without diluting its premium Lionel and Ives brands, Lionel introduced a line of inexpensive electric toy trains under the Winner Toys or Winner Toy Corp. The starting price for a set, which included a transformer, was .25.
These and other efforts to improve its financial standing were unable to keep Lionel from going into receivership in May 1934.
The company's devotees disagree over the date of incorporation, as the official paperwork gives a date of September 5, but the paperwork was not filed until September 22, more than two weeks later.
Initially, the company specialized in electrical novelties, such as fans and lighting devices.
Lionel's first train, the Electric Express, was not intended for sale to consumers, but rather, as a storefront display.
Delivered in December 1900, it operated on a brass track and was powered by a battery and a motor Cowen originally intended to use in an electric fan.
Lionel resumed producing toy trains in late 1945, replacing their original product line with less-colorful, but more realistic, trains and concentrating exclusively on O-gauge trains.
Members of the public started approaching store owners about buying the trains instead, prompting Lionel to begin making toy trains for the general public.
Lionel Corporation was an American toy manufacturer and retailer that was in business from 1900 to 1995.
Founded as an electrical novelties company, Lionel specialized in various products throughout its existence, but toy trains and model railroads were its main claim to fame.
Lionel trains, produced from 1900 to 1969, drew admiration from model railroaders around the world for the solidity of their construction and the authenticity of their detail.
During its peak years in the 1950s, the company sold million worth of trains per year.
During the pre-war era Lionel had competition with Ives Manufacturing Company, Boucher Manufacturing Company, Dorfan, Louis Marx and Company and American Flyer.