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A Childs Delight: Toy Trains and the Magic of Make Believe

[Exhibition from Holiday 2002]

Last year's holiday exhibit broke all attendance records, and closed on January 5. Once again the Museum benefitted from the generosity of local area residents, many of whom loaned their toy trains and model railroads, including engines, freight and passenger cars -- in many different scales -- along with an assortment of colorful accessories. Toy trains included those made in the 1890s to the 1920s by Ives, followed by many different examples of Lionel trains of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, along with German-made Marklin trains of the 1930s and wind-up trains manufactured by Marx.

Highlights included running trains, a model small-town village depicting "The Day Before Christmas," a cozy corner where visitors could view the magical video "Toccata for Toy Trains" by Charles and Ray Eames, and a Brio train set for young children to play with. The Museum's ever-popular dollhouses were also on exhibit.

Bruce Reinholdt, Museum curator, explained that the light-hearted holiday exhibit was designed to offer an enjoyable outing. "It did indeed delight and interest many children of all ages! And we're very grateful to all who lent us their wonderful collections."

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