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When railroad technology first came to the United States in the early 1800s, Americans immediately fell in love with their new mode of travel. Toy manufacturers of the time recognized and capitalized on the railroad craze and began to produce miniature trains in mass quantities. In the mid- and late-1800s, many American manufacturers used cast iron to make toy trains. They favored cast iron because the United States had rich deposits of iron ore, coal, and limestone-three crucial materials in the production of usable iron-and because they could use molds to form the iron, thus streamlining the production process. Cast-iron trains, such as this Wilkins Toy Company model with a locomotive, tender, combination car, and passenger car, stayed in production until World War II, when manufacturers dedicated their time and materials to the war effort.

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  • Title: Passenger train
  • Creator: Wilkins Toy Co.
  • Date Created: ca. 1890
  • Location: USA
  • Subject Keywords: rail transportation
  • Type: Transportation Toys
  • Medium: cast iron, paint
  • Object ID: 77.528

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