Trains have been a part of Christmas tree decorations for over a century. The tradition of placing model trains around the base of the Christmas tree dates back to the early 1900’s, when toy trains first gained popularity in the United States.
The earliest trains were made of cast iron and powered by a spring mechanism. They were often sold as standalone toys and not specifically marketed as decorations. However, the trains’ popularity during the holiday season soon led to them being incorporated into Christmas tree displays.
By the 1920’s, electrically powered trains had become more common. Lionel Corporation, one of the most prominent toy train manufacturers at the time, began producing electric trains specifically designed for Christmas tree displays. These trains often had miniature villages and landscapes built around them, creating an immersive scene.
During the 1930s, the Great Depression made it difficult for many families to afford Christmas presents. However, the tradition of setting up toy trains under the Christmas tree continued. In fact, many families started making their own homemade train sets using inexpensive materials like cardboard and paper.
In the post-World War II era, the popularity of model trains continued to grow. Lionel Corporation introduced their most famous model train, the Lionel Santa Fe Super Chief, in 1950. This train set became a symbol of the American Dream and was featured prominently in many holiday displays.
Today, model trains are still a popular decoration. While traditional electric trains are still available, modern technology has enabled the creation of more advanced and realistic train sets. Some train sets are even controlled by remote, allowing users to adjust the speed and direction of the trains.
The tradition of placing model trains around the Christmas tree has become a cherished part of the holiday season for many families. For some, it’s a way to reconnect with their childhood memories. For others, it’s a way to create new memories with their own children and grandchildren.
The history of trains as decorations around Christmas trees is a rich and fascinating one. From their humble beginnings as cast iron toys to their current state-of-the-art designs, model trains have continued to captivate generations of holiday revelers. Whether you’re a lifelong train enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of a well-decorated Christmas tree, there’s no denying the timeless charm of this beloved holiday tradition.
For those that yearn for a simpler time, this set will take you back by many years.
Very affordable set that is raised off the floor and includes Santa. Children will love it.