Clockwork Locomotives


In addition to the Birmingham Dribbles mentioned on the previous page, many early toy trains were promotional items used by the early railroads. many people had a fascination with railroads at the time, railways where at the cutting end of technology, for the first time in his history man had the capability to build a self propelled vehicle. To capitalize on this fascination many craftsmen started carving trains out of wood which were pulled by a string across the ground. However this would get boring after a while.

Early Clockwork Loco

An Early Ives Clockwork Floor Running Loco

Clockworks, or wind-up toys, have actually been around since the 1500s, The first clockwork train produced in the U.S. was a tinplate model introduced by George W. Brown & Co. in 1856 closely followed by the Ives Toy Co in the United States and German clockmakers. These trains where self-propelled by using spring-wound motors (clockworks) that powered them across the floor.


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1890's Electric Motors Introduced