Dating lionel zw transformers

Meanwhile, Lionel's fabulously illustrated catalogs became children's cherished "wish books." The products they portrayed - like the No.

402 electric engine, the Hellgate Bridge, and the No. Working accessories - including crossing gates, highway flashers, and traffic warning bells - became more and more lifelike.

Lionel's first trains were powered by wet-cell (acid-filled!

) batteries, soon replaced by the 110-volt electric transformer.

Smaller, less expensive O-gauge track debuted (and is used by Lionel to this day).

Though the company became a corporation, the family tradition continued, with Cowen's son Lawrence ("The Happy Lionel Boy") gracing catalogs, packaging, and sales materials.

And the postwar baby boom was just getting started...

Lionel was at its peak in the early 1950s, with record profits and some of its best products ever. Unfortunately, Lionel was selling far more engines and rolling stock than existed on real railroads, which were rapidly overwhelmed by competition from highways and airlines.

Lionel ads appeared nationally in newspapers, boys' magazines, and "Grown-up" publications like The Saturday Evening Post.

Lionel actually had its own television show, but the new medium soon mesmerized America, and interest in toy trains waned.

Lionel products of this period included a stereo camera, the pastel-colored Lady Lionel train set, and trains with space age and Cold War themes.

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.

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