Tinplate Pre-WWII

In the Pre WWII era, toy trains were made of stamped, tin-plated steel, which is the same material found in food cans. Today, that name has stuck and these sets are affectionately referred to as tinplate train sets.

Our tinplate exhibit showcases these trains that are of the 1930s and before. Curator and collector Jerry Dzara shares his personal collection of toys dating back to before WWI and regales visitors with details of tinplate toy train history.


“Standard gauge” trains are large tinplate trains made by Lionel and other manufacturers between roughly 1905 and 1942. These trains were very expensive and were eventually displaced in the market by smaller, less expensive O Scale trains.


Image Gallery

Click on one of the images below to get a larger view!