Tin Houses

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s a wonderful display of French chromo-printed tinplate model railway items. There are trains and accessories: buildings and bridges and so on. It’s a bit peculiar, but I find I am more interested in the buildings around the railway, than in the trains themselves. I like the story of community implicit in every model railway layout. I think of it all as variations on the theme of utopia.

I’m sure the enthusiasts would agree with me, except that they might not express it in the same way.

Some of these tinplate models were made by the French manufacturer, Charles Rossignol. I especially like the various footbridges….

At the end of the 19C, it became possible to print coour onto tinplate. The addition of the offset roller allowed the whole process t become quicker and more reliable. The first use of printing on metal was for robust and hard-wearing pachaging for biscuits and such-like. It was only a matter of time before people started printing sheet metal that could be folded into 3D models…

The interesting thing about Charles Rossignol is they seem to have been specialist litho printers who diversified into toys…one of their othe lines was of educational posters for the French education system…another of my interests!

The golden age of these kinds of toys and models was from about 1900 through to 1930.

Nowadays, these toys and models are made from plastic, and the effect is much less appealing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAa-eeckiBus-2-aberaiThe CR trademark is the mark of Charles Rossignol. This is a model of the old-school open-backed single-decker Paris bus. It’s just like the ones in this Sasek drawing of the Arc de Triomphe.


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