71177Re: Why 1:220 ?
- Sep 1, 2012Here is a rough translation taken from the Koll's Intro portion of the
book on Maerklin Z scale.
Please excuse all the errors. I did say rough
From the outset there were toy railways in different sizes. Also the
tracks had different mass, so that the locomotives and car manufacturer
on the tracks of the other one could not drive. That changed only, after
Maerklin had standardized the track widths and most offerers had adapted.
Already 1895 offered "l" (45 mm) to Maerklin apart from the then most
common track width the larger systems "2" (51 mm) and "3"(72 mm), which
were manufactured however in very small numbers of items after
vorbestellung and therefore today are extremely rare. The track width
"0" (32 mm), likewise already 1895 in the program, could be offered
clearly more cheaply. Still smaller courses were offered to 1902 by the
Nuernberger company Schoenner: "00" (30 mm) and "000" (23 mm). There
were however in addition no switches. 1912 brought then a table course,
the "Liliput railway" (23 mm) to Maerklin, which was offered to 1932.
Also it did not possess switches, which did not promote its success. The
production of smaller courses made problems, because one could make the
drive smaller at that time not yet at will.1923 appeared then the first
toy course in the track width 16.5 mm, of Bing in Nuernberg manufactured
for the Englishman W. J. Bassett Bassett-Lowke. 1925 manufactured the
French company JEP their "Mignon trains" with same track width. Only
1935, ten years later, came the companies Trix and Maerklin nearly at
the same time with its track width 00 (16.5 mm. Yardstick 1:87). Saving
in material and thus a small price, as well as space saving, were the
motives for the introduction on the market. The toy courses had not
formed themselves as table courses angepriesen at that time and yet as
model courses. This changed however in the run the time, when one was
able to manufacture ever nature-more faithful models.
The stationary model railway facility had become now the worthwhile goal
of the railway friends, but it caused a very large space requirement,
wanted one also only to some extent realistic railway facilities to
develop. Also after that 2. World war was not missing it at attempts to
make the toy railway smaller further. Thus the "Mignon" railway from
1947 to 1950 (track width 10 mm became. Yardstick 1:150) offered,
obviously their time too far ahead. 1950 saw many model railway friends
in the track width "TT" (12 mm, yardstick 1:120) the chance to carry out
a realistic model railway facility. The company Rokal developed within a
short time a rich model course program, which however 1971 was stopped.
In the GDR the track width "TT" came 1958 on the market and could create
itself a large friend circle, which is still very active also today.
1959 appeared Trix with unpowered soil runners "Minitrix" on a scale
1:180. 1961 came Arnold with the electrical "Arnold Rapido" (9 mm.
Yardstick 1:200), which was improved from year to year and then the
yardstick 1:160, track width "N" received. 1964 brought also the company
Piko a course in track width "N" and Minitrix electric appeared now with
Meat man came 1968 first with a truck course and one year later also
with tracks into track width "N". In this yardstick now a large railway
facility at small place could be realized very well. To today continuous
success of the track width "N" appeared fast and led also in Goeppingen,
with Maerklin to activities.
one began 1962 with the development of a course in track width "N",
which was final with production stage two years later. One was not
convinced however of an economic success and began with the development
of a still smaller model railway. Investigations on the dependence of
the manufacturing costs on the yardstick had resulted in that a
continuous lowering of the costs with the reduction took place. If one
made smaller however too strongly, the costs rose again dramatically.
Maerklin selected a yardstick, which lay still reliably in the range of
economy: 1:220 (track width 6.5 mm).
one cleared first the model course municipality in the magazine Miba for
1968 up over the fact that Maerklin had the trace "N" in the drawer, but
is evenly not convinced of this track width. That worked something
disconcerting, where itself nevertheless straight only meat man had
decided to mix together with "N" could not however success in the long
run not stop.
The considerations assumed with Maerklin
1. should be obtained during the introduction of a new track width a
maximum space gain. Here the yardstick 1:220 of the track width "Z"
offers clear advantages in relation to the yardstick 1:160 of the track
2. It would be more economical to create its own standard to be than an
offerer under many with the track width "N".
3. The however position with the superlativ "smallest electric train of
the world" would offer large advantages in press and advertisement.
4. It could not be correct for a market leader with large tradition to
attach itself to a trend but one would have to make a trend.
5. One would select children as a Kem target group not, but adults.
6. The "mini club" should be positioned as gift.
7. One the women strengthened to respond, because Mrs. small, nice
things to like.
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