Blast from the Past: Fleischmann

Fleischmann was another European manufacturer in the 1970s which produced models for the British market. Tony Stratford takes a look at one of the most famous names in European railway modelling, one that is still very much in business today.

Fleischmann is one of Nuremburg’s oldest toy makers. It was established in 1887 by Jean Fleischmann. An engraver by profession, he had produced paperweights and other products before commencing the manufacturing of tinplate toys in 1898. Within a year a new factory was opened at Bielingstrasse 23.

Fleischmann gauge O two-rail electric 0-4-0 tank ‘Made in Germany US Zone’. Pat Hammond

Early products included ships and magnetic maritime toys such as swimming animals, walking animals and water fountains. These were produced under the name Gebruder Fleischmann Nurnberg (GFN) also known as Fleischmann brothers.

One of the companies that Fleischmann supplied was Bing. The company won a gold medal at the World Exhibition in Brussels in 1910 for the quality of its toys – the winning entry being a fine 1:100 scale ship model of Crown Princess Cecilie.

After the death of Jean Fleischmann in 1917, the company was run by his widow Kathe and his brother Jobst. They were succeeded in 1940 by sons Johann and Emil Fleischmann.

Jean Fleischmann. Fleischmann Museum

It was for its boats and ships that Fleischmann became best known. These were made of steel and powered by either live steam or clockwork motors. When Bing ceased production in 1932, Fleischmann acquired the maritime tooling from the company and added them to its own range.

In addition to the production of toy boats in the 1920s and the 1930s, Fleischmann’s model makers
produced liners for the publicity department of Norddeutsche Lloyd during this period.

In 1934 the company introduced a metal construction set similar to the Meccano system produced in the UK.

For the full article, see the May edition of Modelling – available now!

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