Arnold (models)
Founded in 1906 by Karl Arnold in Nürnberg, K. Arnold & Co. began its life producing tin
Tin is a chemical element with the symbol Sn and atomic number 50. It is a main group metal in group 14 of the periodic table. Tin shows chemical similarity to both neighboring group 14 elements, germanium and lead and has two possible oxidation states, +2 and the slightly more stable +4...

 toys and related items. They produced an extensive line of model ships, doll house items and other toy
A toy is any object that can be used for play. Toys are associated commonly with children and pets. Playing with toys is often thought to be an enjoyable means of training the young for life in human society. Different materials are used to make toys enjoyable and cuddly to both young and old...

s. In 1935, K. Arnold & Co. hired Max Ernst as their managing director. Ernst, not to be confused with the German realist artist of the same name, was a significant factor in the future of Arnold.

Nürnberg was badly damaged by allied bombers during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, and, at the end of the war, all of the Arnold facilities were in ruins. Postwar production continued at a facility in the Upper Palatinate
Upper Palatinate
The Upper Palatinate is one of the seven administrative regions of Bavaria, Germany, located in the east of Bavaria.- History :The region took its name first in the early 16th century, because it was by the Treaty of Pavia one of the main portions of the territory of the Wittelsbach Elector...

 (Oberpfalz), with the company beginning its slow recovery with the manufacture of window hardware. The postwar operation of the company was under the direction of Max Ernst and Ernst Arnold, son of Karl Arnold. The factory buildings in Nürnberg were rebuilt and the Arnold Company continued to grow.

In the postwar period, smaller model train sizes became the order of the day. In earlier times, model trains had been largely the plaything of the well to do who had enough money to live in houses large enough to support the display of the larger scales of model trains. The growth toward smaller scales had begun in the early 1900s, with O scale
O scale
O scale is a scale commonly used for toy trains and model railroading. Originally introduced by German toy manufacturer Märklin around 1900, by the 1930s three-rail alternating current O gauge was the most common model railroad scale in the United States and remained so until the early 1960s...

 being the first “small” scale. In the 1930s, HO/00 scale became the “small” scale. In the late 1940s and 1950s, TT scale
TT scale
thumb|right|250px|TT scale model railroadTT scale is a niche model railroading scale, whose name stands for Table Top.Its 1:120 scale and gauge sizes it almost halfway between HO scale and N scale...

 was the “small” scale, allowing for realistic model railroad displays being situated in relatively small areas. Three companies led the TT revolution, H.P. Products of Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

, USA, Tri-ang of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and Rokal
ROKAL is an acronym for RObert KAhrmann Lobberich, a manufacturer of metal castings that produced a line of model railway equipment in TT scale from 1947 - 1969, based in Lobberich 80 km north of Cologne, Germany at the Dutch border....

 of West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....


But TT-Scale was not to be the smallest scale in model railroading. Led initially by Lone Star Toys
Lone Star Toys
Lone Star Products Ltd. was the name used by British company Die Cast Machine Tools Ltd for its toy products. DCMT was based in Welham Green, Hertfordshire, north of London.-Company history:...

 of Great Britain and Trix
Trix (company)
Trix is a German company that originally made Trix metal construction sets. In 1935 it began producing the electrically powered model trains that it became famous for, under the Trix Express label...

 of Nürnberg, there was a movement toward an even smaller scale. Both companies experimented earlier with “floor toys”, unpowered model trains designed to be moved about by child power. Lone Star dropped by the wayside after a period of time, but Trix continued experimentation and development of what would be their electric powered Minitrix product line. Arnold was to come up with a workable solution, also. The introduction of Arnold rapido was from scratch because nothing like this had been done before. Arnold was literally establishing what would become N scale
N scale
N scale is a popular model railway scale/track gauge. Depending upon the manufacturer , the scale ranges from 1:148 to 1:160. In all cases, the gauge is . The term N gauge refers to the track dimensions, but in the UK in particular N gauge refers to a 1:148 scale with track gauge modelling...

. This is not to say that it was the sole developer of N, but Arnold Rapido was there first.

Although Karl Arnold’s son, Ernst, was involved with the company, several sources cite the presence of Max Ernst (who remained as Managing Director for over forty years until 1976), as the prime mover behind this new product line. Ernst has been described as a dynamic businessman, the person most responsible for the introduction of the Arnold Rapido product line. Karl Arnold passed on in October, 1946, leaving his son and Herr Ernst as principals in the Company. Much later, an Arnold Sales Manager, Ferdinand Graef, would marry Max Ernst’s daughter, Sonja, keeping the Arnold company as a family operation. It would continue to be so until 1995.

There are several distinct phases of Arnold’s model train production. In the period of 1960 - 1962, Arnold marketed the Arnold Rapido 200 product line; this line was very crude yet it also was a sensation because of its much smaller size than TT.

The next phase was from 1963–1967, when the rapido product line begins to swing toward scale representations of the trains. It is during this period that the “Rapido Coupler” comes into production, beginning its widespread use by all model train manufacturers in N-Scale. It was in 1964 that the term “N-Scale” came into use. Between 1968 and 1970, rapido line of trains reached maturity, notably with its turntable and roundhouse
A roundhouse is a building used by railroads for servicing locomotives. Roundhouses are large, circular or semicircular structures that were traditionally located surrounding or adjacent to turntables...

. Arnold entered into a business relationship with the U.S. company Revell
Revell is the brand name today of two manufacturers of scale plastic models. The original US company merged with another, Monogram, but now trades only under the Revell name. European Revell Germany separated from the US company in 2006.-Early history:...

 around 1968, beginning the marketing of Revell Rapido model trains. This relationship was marked by the beginning of production of North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 more accurate North American prototype models by Arnold. This relationship continued for several years, ending in the late 1960's or early 1970's. Arnold continued their expanded production, with new models until the early 1990s.

On Max Ernst's 1976 retirement, Arnold employed perhaps 200 to 250 people, using three facilities in the Nürnberg area. The Company continued under family control until 1995, when Arnold went into bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal status of an insolvent person or an organisation, that is, one that cannot repay the debts owed to creditors. In most jurisdictions bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor....

 and was sold to the Rivarossi Group of Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. Rivarossi, in turn, also went bankrupt, leading to the sale of all assets to Hornby
Hornby Railways
Hornby Railways is the leading brand of model railway in the United Kingdom. Its roots date back to 1901, when founder Frank Hornby received a patent for his Meccano construction toy. The first clockwork train was produced in 1920. In 1938, Hornby launched its first 00 gauge train...

 of the United Kingdom. Production is carried out in China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...


External links

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