Joshua Lionel Cowen was an inventive guy and had always been very interested in trains. Inhe fitted a small motor under a model of a railroad flatcar, powered by a battery on 30 inches of track and the Lionel electric train was born.
The first Lionel train was designed to attract window-shopping New Yorkers using the power of animated display. Since its humble beginning Lionel has sold more than 50 million train sets and today produces more than miles of track each year.
Lionel trains in Function: Electric trains to be used for both simple playing or by hobbyists in miniature rail road operation. Many collectors believe the trains and accessories that Lionel made in the two decades following World War II were Early lionel strip track firm's best. September 8, in Palm Beach, Florida.
When he was seven, he whittled a miniature locomotive from wood. It exploded, however, when he tried to fit it with a tiny steam engine. Joshua had never forgotten his childhood experiment. Inhe fitted a small motor under a model Early lionel strip track a railroad flatcar, a battery and 30 inches of track and the Lionel electric train was born.
He preferred playing ball, bicycling, hiking and tinkering with mechanical toys to formal education, and soon became fascinated with electricity, its transmission and its storage in batteries. Cowen did so well in school that in he entered the College of the City of New York. But, he could not adjust to the confines of a formal education.
During his spare time he liked experimenting, one of many mechanically inclined young men who liked to tinker with things. These jobs gave Cowen the experience he needed to launch Lionel. Cowen than parlayed this into a defense contract to equip 24, Navy mines with detonators.
His ignorance of armament manufacture did not stop him. In Januaryhe filed his second patent which improved on the his first design but again failed to give details. Grant, started a business in lower Manhattan called the Lionel Manufacturing Company, but they had nothing to manufacture.
One hot day when Cowen was sitting in his office waiting for a cool breeze he got the idea of an electric fan. He quickly assembled and marketed the electric fan, but the weather soon cooled and so did public interest.
Soon after, Cowen Early lionel strip track walking through lower Manhattan when he stopped at a toy store window where he saw, among the toys, a push train. He then had the vision of it going around a circle of track without needing attention. This was the vision which started a legend. 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 lionel strip track days, Americans were captivated by Early lionel strip track railroads and awed by electricity, still a rarity in many homes. Cowen and Grants first customer was Ingersoll, the owner of the shop where Cowen saw the push train.
Their first product was a large but simple, open gondola, called the "Electric Express", propelled by the previous fan motor.