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Prewar Era Lionel (1900 - 1942):

The original Lionel Corporation was founded in 1900 by Joshua Lionel Cowen and Harry C. Grant in New York City. The company's date of incorporation was September 5, 1900 with the initially focus of the company being electrical novelties, such as fans and lighting devices.

Within a few years, however, Lionel shifted gears and began to produce trains as their focal point. Early on Standard Gauge trains were the priority, but by World War I, Lionel O gauge trains were a large portion of their production. Then, the Great Depression of 1929 caused the 027 gauge trains to become popular with customer. Finally, the late 1930's saw the introduction of OO gauge trains.

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