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All Aboard!: The Story of Joshua Lionel Cowen & His Lionel Train Company Hardcover – September 11, 2000
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"All Aboard will be required reading for anybody who ever had a model railroad." -- Palm Beach Post
From the Inside Flap
One century ago, Joshua Lionel Cowen created his first electric train. A simple open wooden box on wheels, its sides stained red and printed with Electric Express in gold lettering, it was intended for shop windows where, loaded with goods, it would advertise a store's wares. But as it turned out, customers coveted the train, not the cargo, and Cowen discovered a new business.
And as it also turns out, there's a picture of an Electric Express on page 29. Because All Aboard! Is the definitive illustrated history of Joshua Lionel Cowen, the company he founded, and the electric trains that for decades were synonymous with boyhood in America. Originally published in 1981, it has been revised and updated for Lionel's 100th anniversary, capturing the spirit of a company remarkable for its resilience and dedication to innovation traits that continue to define it even today.
"No book tells the story better than this new, centennial edition of ALL ABOARD!" -Richard P.Kughn Chairman Emeritus Lionel L.L.C
Here are the steam locomotives that puffed real smoke. The flashing diesels. The lifelike accessories from the milk car delivering milk cans to operation semaphores to billboards advertising Baby Ruth Candy. And the glorious full-color catalogs and breathtaking layouts that brought the Lionel world to life and mesmerized kids and their fathers alike. Jump on board for a ride through Lionel's grand history and a glimpse into the future of toy trains. AUTHOR BIO: RON HOLLANDER directs the journalism program at Montclair State University and was judged the best college newspaper adviser in the country. He was a Fullbright Scholar for two years in the People's Republic of China and returns frequently to photograph China's steam locomotives. He was featured on the History Channel's special on Lionel trains. His reporting has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Sun Times , Boston Globe, Newsday, Town & Country, The New Republic, and many others.
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Top customer reviews
with one chapter added on at the end, on modern O gauge production. The rest is identical.
New information has been found about the early days of Lionel since the 1981 edition came out. Mr Hollander brings none of this in. For example, it is now known that 1900 and 1901 Lionel catalogues exist. (the 1901 reproduced in a 1992 Train Collectors Quarterly).
So unless you are eager to read about modern train companies, buy the 1981 edition and save some money!
A second ongoing myth laid to rest is that Lawrence Cowen (son of the founder) was a daddy's boy who came along for the ride (!) and was merely a corporative decoration with none of daddy's marketing and inventive genuis. Quite to the contrary, Lawrence Cowan had to placate a father who knew it all and was jealous of the son. Lawrence was responsible for the most successful selling train (by far) ever made by Lionel, the beautiful Santa Fe F3 diesel introduced in 1948. The father had nothing to do with the success of this train as he was still locked in to what had been successful (steam engines) but was rapidly being replaced by new technologies (diesels).
The book is excellent-including an additional chapter covering Lionel's history from 1982 to the present-but in my opinion too many pages are devoted to pictures (whose number abound in the book) at the expense of more detailed documentation. When the first edition of this book was published (1981) many of the individuals who were players in Lionel's heyday were still alive. The author should have interviewed these individuals in much more depth. He does some interviewing of the players, but only a very few and hardly in depth.
All of the above said I reconmmend this book as the best source of facts regarding the history of lionel Trains; facts presented in an interesting "can't put the book down" manner.
this book is truely the american dream filled with quality and honest hard work and determination.
it is a fine book,that you can put down and then open to any page and start another story.
give it a try if your into lionels products&its history youll like ALL ABORD