I am just about finished reading his book on the golden decade, for Lionel, in the fifties.  I've found it quite good.  Yes, there are a few spots where he may have gone into too much detail as far as item and set numbers, but I speed read through those few sections.  

1959 is the last year he talks about.  When JLC sold his stocks to Roy Cohn which undermined Lawrence's power, as he puts it.  Two long time employees were let go also.  

We tend not to think of the old Lionel as a corporation run by people who're interested in the bottom line only.  But basically it was.  More so, it seems, as the decade wore on.

If you are looking for a good read about our favorite subject, it's worth the price. 

 

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Original Post

Roger is indeed one of the most prolific and gifted historians of the hobby, particularly Lionel.  Anyone who thinks of Joshua Cowen as a "train guy" ought to read Roger's articles and books and disabuse themselves of that notion.  He never had a home layout and saw trains as a business, nothing more or less.  I doubt he ever looked at a toy train after he retired. This takes nothing away from his achievement unless you think a man's motivations count more than his actions. Roger Carp has done a brilliant job of documenting and interpreting the history the second half of the 20th century when it comes to Lionel trains and their social context and marketing "psychology."

I think I know what these "books" (they are really like magazines with no advertisements) are and picked them up at the book sale at the TCA library during York week this past spring.

The Golden Years 1950-1954 dated Fall 2012 and The Golden Years 1955-1959 dated Fall 2013. Easy reading and I learned a bunch.

I think that you can order them on the CTT website in digital format. The paper versions can sometimes be found on EBAY

Lionelski posted:

I think I know what these "books" (they are really like magazines with no advertisements) are and picked them up at the book sale at the TCA library during Your week this past spring.

The Golden Years 1950-1954 dated Fall 2012 and The Golden Years 1955-1959 dated Fall 2013. Easy reading and I learned a bunch.

I think that you can order them on the CTT website in digital format. The paper versions can sometimes be found on EBAY

Exactly. Same thing I was wondering in my post just above.

TCA, LCCA

As it says in the forward of the new edition, there is additional material that was not in the first 2.  I have all 3 and they are not only great reading, but make excellent reference material.

I agree that Roger should do a similar treatment for the MPC era.

Rolland

While it is true JLC apparently had no personal layout, his ability to hire TALENTED  craftsman and engineering folks to built those extradinary showroom layouts at his Manhattan headquarters on 26th Street just off Madison Avenue allowed him the opportunity to BOTH market his amazing products and also ENJOY them at the same time. Being first a marketing genius, he, very much like Mike Wolf, surrounded himself with VERY talented and capable subordinates, all of whom are well documented in Ron Hollander's landmark tome, All Aboard. His business success derived as much from his PASSION for those products, as well as his business acumen, regardless of whether he took the products home, or even in retirement!

vita sine litteris mors est  (Seneca)

"His business success derived as much from his PASSION for those products, as well as his business acumen, regardless of whether he took the products home, or even in retirement!" 

Still, not a "train guy" in the sense people use it here.  Mike Wolf is a train guy.  He had "Lionel" placed on his chimney and built the models himself.  I believe he at some point had a collection of standard gauge trains. 

Does this matter?  Not in the least.  Nonetheless, some people over the decades and to this date want to deride Lionel for not having enough "train guys" in charge .  These people are utterly ignorant about the history of the industry and their comments make no rational sense to me. I use JLC as an example that you don't need to be a "train guy" (neither was AC Gilbert or Dick Maddox) to run a company that makes fabulous toy trains.  

I understand and respect your take on this issue, but I stand by my position. My many visits to that marvelous and really overwhelming showroom layout in the early 1950's made me think the man in charge of that business must love those trains as much as my own feelings for them! And, I owned NO Lionel, but instead Gilbert S gauge Flyer! LOL! We will have to agree to disagree!  ☺

vita sine litteris mors est  (Seneca)

I read, some time ago, that the only piece of Lionel equipment the old man had was a small transformer that he rigged up to some lighting in a china closet.  Other than that, no trains were kept in his home.  

If what I have read and heard is correct, he was a tinkerer.  Being such, one never looses an interest in all things mechanical.  I believe it was in Ron Hollander's book that I read where JLC would marvel at the trains and accessories on the Lionel showroom layout.  And then point them out to spectators, with pride.  

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Tinplate Art posted:

.......his ability to hire TALENTED  craftsman and engineering folks to built those extradinary showroom layouts....... allowed him the opportunity to BOTH market his amazing products and also ENJOY them at the same time........His business success derived as much from his PASSION for those products, as well as his business acumen.......

I don't know if JLC was passionate about the trains, or more the business. It has been said that a good salesman can sell anything, whether it be vacuum cleaners or bulldozers. Not sure passion for the products is really necessary, although, for some people, I think it helps. For others, their passion may be something else. It may be to make money, or to close a deal, for example, and a passion for the product may not be much of a part of it. From what I've heard over the years, JLC wasn't much of a passionate type, but was very concerned with maximizing profits. The common expression "hard-nosed businessman" seemed to fit him. 

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