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Inside the Lionel Trains Fun Factory: The History of a Manufacturing Icon and the Place Where Childhood Dreams Were Made
     

Inside the Lionel Trains Fun Factory: The History of a Manufacturing Icon and the Place Where Childhood Dreams Were Made

by Robert J. Osterhoff, Roger Carp (Editor), John W. Schmid (Editor), George J. Schmid (Editor)
 
Do you like Lionel toy trains? Enjoy corporate history? Or just want to take a nostalgic journey back to your childhood?

Then Inside The Lionel Trains Fun Factory: The History of a Manufacturing Icon and The Place Where Childhood Dreams Were Made is for you-delivering a fascinating trip through the rise, fall and rise again of Lionel, one of the

Overview

Do you like Lionel toy trains? Enjoy corporate history? Or just want to take a nostalgic journey back to your childhood?

Then Inside The Lionel Trains Fun Factory: The History of a Manufacturing Icon and The Place Where Childhood Dreams Were Made is for you-delivering a fascinating trip through the rise, fall and rise again of Lionel, one of the manufacturing and pop icons in modern American life. The impeccable research by Lionel historian Robert J. Osterhoff, along with hundreds of unpublished photos and images, tells the history of Lionel's trains, factories, employees and business practices from the late 19th century until today.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

These two well-illustrated large-format books on the Lionel toy company will appeal to different audiences. Osterhoff (ed., Greenberg's Guide to Lionel Prewar Parts & Instruction Sheets; coauthor, Greenberg's Guide to Lionel Paper and Collectibles) offers a meticulously researched history of the Lionel factories. He covers its early Manhattan workshops, its factory complex in Irvington and Hillside, NJ, and its last U.S.-based manufacturing facility in Michigan. The book's strength is its descriptions of the physical buildings, with hundreds of photos, plans, documents, and other illustrations. Osterhoff spends little time on the trains themselves, and though he covers labor relations and some employee activities, he doesn't focus on what daily life was like in what the company termed the "fun factories." Osterhoff does a nice job explaining Lionel's hard times in the 1960s and its long-standing involvement with military production. This important, though narrowly focused study of the iconic Lionel is recommended for academic and larger public library business collections.

Schleicher (The Big Book of Lionel) approaches Lionel through its toys, targeting an audience of armchair hobbyists. He sprinkles in paragraphs on the company's history only to put his discussion of the toys in proper perspective. Sections of a few pages each are devoted to categories such as action log cars, stations, and the 0-scale Hudson locomotive. Though he explains the background of each product category, the real value of the book is the hundreds of recent color photos showing these wonderful trains, buildings, and accessories in their natural state on train layouts.Schleicher's delightful work is a feast for the eyes and provides enough information to make Lionel understandable to a novice. For all public libraries with model railroading collections.
—Lawrence Maxted

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933600055
Publisher:
Project Roar Publishing
Publication date:
11/01/2008
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
10.30(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
3 Months

What People are Saying About This

Roger Carp
"The toy train hobby will long be in debt to Bob Osterhoff for the outstanding research he has conducted and the many insights he has shared about Lionel, its development as a business and its growth as a manufacturer. Everyone who loves electric trains will gain immensely from reading this superb study."--(Roger Carp, Senior Editor Classic Toy Trains magazine and author of The World's Greatest Toy Train Maker: Insiders Remember Lionel)
Tom Pagano
"Bob Osterhoff has written an interesting and accurate history of the Lionel factories. I know, because I was there! Starting in 1917, as a young boy I spent many Sundays at Lionel's Newark shop with my father. During my Lionel career, I played a major role in planning and construction of the plant and in the installation of new processes and equipment to meet the growth in business. Bob has captured the excitement of that period."--(Tom Pagano, Assistant Superintendent Parts Production and Infrastructure Maintenance The Lionel Corporation (1935-1959))
Ron Hollander
"Phenomenal! This never-before-seen research makes vivid how a brash Joshua Lionel Cowen created the Fun Factory of the world. Consider this Volume 2 of All Aboard! that every collector needs as much as a 700E."--(Ron Hollander, author of All Aboard! The Story of Joshua Lionel Cowen & His Lionel Train Company)
Robert Stein
"This book finally tells the Lionel story the way it actually happened: the good, the bad and the ugly. I know because I was there for many years as an officer of the company."--(Robert Stein, Vice President The Lionel Corporation (1965-1982))
Bruce Parmett
"Growing up with a love for Lionel trains, it was my childhood dream come true to join The Lionel Corporation. This book recreates that dream with the most accurate and enjoyable portrayal of Lionel during my tenure at the company. Come see where childhood dreams were made."--(Bruce Parmett, Sales Manger The Lionel Corporation (1964-1966))

Meet the Author

Robert Osterhoff, a retired executive of the Xerox Corporation, has conducted extensive international management consulting, specializing in the practices of business effectiveness, benchmarking and knowledge management. He served on the Board of Examiners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and as Treasurer and Director of the Baldrige Foundation. A graduate of Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, Bob received a master's degree in business administration from Rochester Institute of Technology.

This is Bob's third book, having previously authored Greenberg's Guide to Lionel Paper and Collectibles and Greenberg's Guide to Lionel Prewar Parts & Instruction Sheets. Bob and his wife, Laura, have three married children and six grandchildren, and they live in the St. Louis area.

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