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The "father and son railroad" of Joshua Lionel Cowen and Lawrence Cowen ended in 1959, when they sold their interest in Lionel to distant relative Roy Cohn.

Joe Di Maggio, star player for the New York Yankees, hosts the "The Lionel Club House" on NBC television.

Following a brief recession, Lionel entered an era of unprecedented growth.

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Youthful inventor Joshua Lionel Cowen wasn't the first to manufacture toy trains.

But his talents as an engineer and salesman soon put Lionel ahead of its competitors.

Smaller, less expensive O-gauge track debuted (and is used by Lionel to this day).

Though the company became a corporation, the family tradition continued, with Cowen's son Lawrence ("The Happy Lionel Boy") gracing catalogs, packaging, and sales materials.

In 1934, financial troubles led Lionel into court-ordered receivership to stave off bankruptcy.

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