By 1906, with the introduction of preassembled track and a selection of engines and cars, the Lionel we know today was already taking shape.The decade between 19 saw Lionel's sales increase 15-fold.This Identification Guide for Lionel Electric Trains covers the "Post-war Era" only from 1945 until 1969.During this period Lionel produced a wide variety of engines, rolling stock, accessories, track and transformers.Lionel's first trains were powered by wet-cell (acid-filled!) batteries, soon replaced by the 110-volt electric transformer.
While they express concerns about a decline in the popularity of the hobby due to the rise in electronics and video games and the cost of model railroading, collecting remains strong on the internet and new interest in model trains has sparked across the general public through model railroad Christmas products.
Cowen designed his first train, the Electric Express, not as a toy, but as an eye-catching display for toy stores.
During Lionel's early days, Americans were captivated by the railroads and awed by electricity, still a rarity in many homes.
This resulted from a bustling economy, the growth of electric power, World War I defense production, and the end of German toy imports.
Changing times were reflected by "Racing Automobiles" and a passenger train with internal lighting, the retirement of the quaint "Pay-As-You-Go" trolley, and the introduction of a war train with cannons.