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
     
 

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 theSee more details below

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 The impeccable research by Lionel historian Robert J. Osterhoff, along with hundreds of unpublished photos and images, tells the history of Lionel's trains, factories, employees and business practices from the late 19th century until today.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
Sales rank:
1,337,810
Product dimensions:
10.30(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
3 Months

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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