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Trix model railways from 1935 to 1965

© Copyright 2014 Garry Lefevre

 

Trix logo post war on box

 

Patents

 

Summary of patents with original drawings taken out by the owners of the Trix Model Railway system in Germany and England

Trix logo prewar German on box2

 

Based on research by Garry Lefevre

garrylefevre@hotmail.com

 

 

Background Note :

 

The Trix Model Railway system was started by the German company – “Vereinigte Spielwaren-Fabriken, (the United Toy Factory). 

The history of the ownership and developments can be read in the history section of this website – see History index

 

 

The first patents were taken out in Germany by the company there and soon after duplicate patents were sometimes applied for in the UK under either the German company’s name or the name of “Trix Limited” an English company, established in 1932, initially owned by the German company. This changed in 1938 when, as a Jew, Stephan Bing was forced to sell the German company in which he owned 70% to Ernst Voelk.  But Bing was permitted to keep 100% of the English company in which he was the sole shareholder.   

Some patents were taken out by only one company and not the other.  Trix Limited patented many products not made in Germany.  A few were patented in Switzerland.  Many were re-patented in France or the USA.

 

The two companies continued a close trading and joint manufacturing arrangement even after the war. 

 

 

Note :  some of the patents in Germany in the 1930’s do not show the name of an inventor, as if he was Jewish it was not allowed. However the duplicate patent in England shows the name of the inventor or is patented in their joint name.

 

The company also patented a number of other toy items including the construction set components from 1925 not shown here.

 

 

 

 

Patents in date order

 

Patent twin running 1934a.jpg

Note the wheels pick up the current not a pick up shoe from the outside track, with a split axle insulating one wheel from the other

 

Invention : The invention is for an electric toy train which in particular enables two trains on one track to be independently controlled for speed and direction from a distant controller. The patent goes further to describe the need for 3 rails insulated from one another and the current for one locomotive to be picked up from one outside running rail through the wheels ( not a pick up shoe) and the current returned via the centre rail The other loco utilises the other running rail. To this end the wheels are insulated on one side of the loco from the other side via a split axle.

 

Patent office : Deutsches Reichspatentamt

Patent number : 630570

Date Applied for : 29th November 1934

Date granted : 7 May 1936

Applicant : Vereinigte Spielwaren-FabrikenAndreas Fortner & J Haffner’s Nachf.G.m.b.h.

Inventor : Not named

 

 

bakelite track 2.jpg

Note only part of the drawings are shown here

Invention: This describes a method by which toy train track can be firmly joined together by pushing together and they will not separate unless bent upwards at the joint, as used on all the Trix bakelite track.

 

Patent office : Deutsches Reichspatentamt

Patent number : 630571

Date Applied for : 16 February 1935

Date granted: 7 May 1936

Applicant : VEREINIGTE SPIELWARENFABRIKEN A. FORTNER & J. HAFFNER'S NACHFOLGER GES

Inventor : Not named

 

coupling.jpg uncoupling track.jpg

Invention : Describes a method of automatic coupling two wagons together by a hook sliding on one car over an angular part of the other car’s coupling to fall into a space behind.  Also to automatically uncouple by using a special rail which raises the height of one wagon, thus lifting the wire hook above the other coupling so disengaging it.  Note : the first part was used in the production models but the second part was not put into production replaced instead with a bar in the track that raised the hook on one car via a tab hanging down from the coupling.  (See 29/2/1936 patent below)

 

Patent office : Deutsches Reichspatentamt

Patent number : 631 542

Date Applied for:  3 March 1935

Date granted:  28 May 1936

Applicant : VEREINIGTE SPIELWARENFABRIKEN A. FORTNER & J. HAFFNER'S NACHFOLGER GES

Inventor : Not named

 

 

img362.jpg

Invention : Two electric trains on a single track are independently controllable from a distance through two electric circuits, as provided on the underside of the locomotive a current collector connected with the motor which contacts with the " third rail and a current collector or collectors adapted to contact selectively with one of the other two running rails. Note the introduction of the collector shoes on the outside track replacing the use of the wheels to pick up the electricity in the first patent 630570 above.

 

Patent office : United Kingdom Patent Office

Patent number : GB469656 (A)

Date Applied for : 29 /10/1935

Date granted : 29/7/1937

Applicant : VEREINIGTE SPIELWARENFABRIKEN A. FORTNER & J. HAFFNER'S NACHFOLGER GES., and KAHN, S.

Inventor : Not named but notice applicant – Kahn S – not shown on the German patent as he was Jewish.

point control of centre rail 2.jpg

Invention: An electric device for changing points and with an electric switch, built in the track and operated by the electric device, for bringing into circuit the centre rail of the track open to traffic and cutting out of circuit the centre rail of the track closed to traffic.  In other words this could be used to prevent a train going thorough a point set against it by switching on/off the approaching centre rail in each spur of the point.

 

Patent office : Deutches Reich

Patent number : DE489719

Date Applied for : 28 /02/1936

Date granted : 2/08/1938

Applicant : VEREINIGTE SPIELWARENFABRIKEN A. FORTNER & J. HAFFNER'S NACHFOLGER GES., and KAHN, S.

Inventor : Not named.

uncoupling rail 2.jpg

Invention: Means to uncouple one wagon from another vehicle ( a loco or a wagon), by means of a metal piece inserted into the centre rail of a piece of track which on raising strikes on to a downward part of the wagons coupling, thus raising the wire link on the coupling. To be operated either manually or by remote control.

 

Patent office : Deutsches Reichspatentamt

Patent number : DE641862

Date Applied for : 29 /02/1936 as an addition to patent of 2 March 1935 ( see above)

Date granted : 4/02/1937

Applicant : VEREINIGTE SPIELWARENFABRIKEN A. FORTNER & J. HAFFNER'S NACHFOLGER GES.,

Inventor : Not named

 

Manyways.jpg

Invention : Improvements to toy or model buildings for use with Model Railways: describes sections which can be put together in “manyways” to form different structures.

 

Note, fig 11 and 16 in the drawing opposite were never put in production although a photo in the Manyways book showed the end piece 11 but not the tunnel mouth 16.

 

Patent office : Patent Office London

Patent number : 485170

Date Applied for : 12 November 1936

Date granted : 12 May 1938

Applicant : Trix Limited and Siegfried Kahn

Inventor : Siegfried Kahn

 

Note : S. Kahn had the idea of modular construction but the development of the design was by E Twining. Read more and see drawings of prototypes click here at :

History of Trix Buildings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diesel Flier or 20/58

Diesel flier 1.jpg

Invention : An electric toy railway vehicle, in particular a motor truck, adapted to run in both directions and provided with front and rear lamps, characterised by both white and red lamps arranged in front and rear, which are adapted for the appropriate white and red lamps according to direction of travel, to be switched-on when the direction of travel of the vehicle is changed.

 

Patent office : Patent Office London

Patent number : 488357

Date Applied for : 4 January 1938 (But follows German registration 27 February 1937

Date granted : 5 July 1938

Applicant :  VEREINIGTE SPIELWARENFABRIKEN A. FORTNER & J. HAFFNER'S NACHFOLGER GES

 

Inventor : not named

 

Note, the patent also mentions fitting a green lamp that could also change over.

The drawings are for a single motor coach. In production it became the two coach unit known as the Diesel Flier reference 20/58

 

Plan showing detail of contact panel for reversing motor and changing lights

 

Diesel flier 1937 2.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

clock 2.jpg

Clock 1.jpg

Invention : To add to the enjoyment of playing with toy trains running to a timetable a clock is invented whereby the time passing can be varied to simulate the longer time that would pass for a train to travel between stations than is possible in the space of a toy railway.  Thus a clock is electronically linked to the layout whereby the clock will run faster when the trains are passing on some sections of track than others as between two stations, than if the train is in the section of the station. This can be controlled by the operator so the speed of the clock can vary at the operators wish.

 

Patent office : Deutsches Reichspatentamt

Patent number : 659063

Date Applied for : 28 February 1937

Date granted : 31 March 1938

Applicant :  VEREINIGTE SPIELWARENFABRIKEN A. FORTNER & J. HAFFNER'S NACHFOLGER GES

Inventor : Not named

 

 

 

 

 

Design for 20/57, Princess, Scotsman, Coronation & US Pacific

 

Remote tender uncoupling pre war.jpg

Invention :  Describes in detail the method for operating by remote a  clutch and disengaging device using a solenoid in electric toy trains, to be used in  switching an  electromagnet for example situated in a tender which by remote control thus couples or decouples a trailing vehicle. 

 

In other words this is the patent for the pre-war 4-6-2 Trix Express and Trix Twin remote controlled uncoupling device situated in the tender.

 

Patent office : Deutsches Reichspatentamt

Patent number : 690176

Date Applied for : 21 January 1938

Date granted : 28 March 1940

Applicant : VEREINIGTE SPIELWARENFABRIKEN A. FORTNER & J. HAFFNER'S NACHFOLGER GES

Inventor : Oswald Fischer

 

 

 

 

 

AC Reversing mechanism a.jpg 

AC Reversing mechanism b.jpg

 

 

Invention: Describes the method of reversing an AC motor by remote control anywhere on the track by interrupting the electric current causing a sprung lever to disengage from an electric coil causing a mechanical rotation of a spindle changing the contacts to that spindle and thus the direction of the motor. The drawings also show the entire wiring of the motor. 

 

NOTE: This is odd by how late it was patented since it was the method used by Trix since 1934/5.  The patent date applied for coincides with Oswald Fischer buying the company from Stephan Bing by compulsion of the German authorities.

 

Also the method of changing direction through a device based on interupting the current was used in 0 gauge prior to 1925 on Bing Locomotives and possibly Marklin locomotives.  Bassett-Lowke in England used it from 1925 in  some models.

 

Patent office : Deutsches Reichspatentamt

Patent number : 690175

Date Applied for : 6 August 1938

Date granted : 28 March 1940

Applicant : VEREINIGTE SPIELWARENFABRIKEN A. FORTNER & J. HAFFNER'S NACHFOLGER GES

Inventor : Oswald Fischer

 

941536.jpg

Invention : This is an electronic circuit to utilize the neutral position on the Trix controller when reversing a locomotive, so as to control other functions such as lights, signals uncoupling for any system where two or more trains are being independently controlled on the same track.  It is designed as a stepping mechanism to switch devices or several other functions depending on the controller.  Thus independent devices could be plugged into the track avoiding the need for separate wiring from the device to the controller.

 

Note : As far as I know this was never put in production

 

Patent office : Deutsches Reichspatentamt

Patent number : 941 526

Date Applied for : 17 August 1938

Date Granted : 2 November 1939

Applicant : VEREINIGTE SPIELWARENFABRIKEN A. FORTNER & J. HAFFNER'S NACHFOLGER GES

Inventor : Oswald Fischer

 

Points centre rail.jpg

 

Invention : Method of switching the current on/off automatically in a point so the centre rail is only live if and when the point blade is open for that exit position, both preventing derailments if the point is set against a train entering the point and enabling automatic train control.

 

Patent office : Deutsches Reichspatentamt

Patent number : 731115

Date Applied for : 17 December 1939

Date granted : 24 December 1942

Applicant : VEREINIGTE SPIELWARENFABRIKEN A. FORTNER & J. HAFFNER'S NACHFOLGER GES

Inventor : Oswald Fischer

 

Note this is similar to a patent taken out in 1936 but in which S. Kahn was co-named as applicant (see DE489719 above).  Kahn was then living in England and could not dispute Fischer’s claim due to the war already begun.

effect of current interuption 1.jpg effect of current interuption 2.jpg

Invention This both (a) prevents motor at rest from jumping forward when a surge of current is used to operate the directional changing mechanism and (b) by part mechanical means attached to the motor prevents the directional changing mechanism operating whilst the loco is in motion.

 

Patent office : Deutsches Reichspatentamt

Patent number : 718737

Date Applied for : 5 March 1939

Date granted : 5 September 1939 and amendment to  patent 715714 26 February 1942

Applicant : VEREINIGTE SPIELWARENFABRIKEN A. FORTNER & J. HAFFNER'S NACHFOLGER GES

Inventor : Oswald Fischer

 

Note this was also patented in France 16/12/1937

 

uncoupling in loco SWiss.jpg

Invention: A device to operate by remote control uncoupling of a locomotive or wagon from another wagon anywhere on the track by an electromagnet situated in one of the coupled loco or wagons.

 

Patent office : Swiss Patent Office

Patent number : 219961

Date Applied for : 16 September 1940

Date granted : 15 March 1942, recognising earlier patent 2 September 1939 in the Deutsches Reich

Applicant : VEREINIGTE SPIELWARENFABRIKEN A. FORTNER & J. HAFFNER'S NACHFOLGER GES

Inventor : Oswald Fischer

 

Figure 1 Turntable.jpg 

 

  Figure 2 Turntable.jpgFigure 3 Turntable.jpgFigure 4 Turntable.jpg

 

Invention : Patents for raising and lowering the pantograph on a loco when on a turntable so as to disengage from the overhead catenary  by either an electro magnet inside the loco or mechanical means in the loco with an external electro magnet on the turntable. Also patent covered methods of lining up track as the turntable moves to new positions by mechanical or electro means.

 

Patent office : Deutsches Reichspatentamt

Patent number : 714678

Date Applied for : 11 February 1941

Date granted : 13 November 1941

Applicant : VEREINIGTE SPIELWARENFABRIKEN A. FORTNER & J. HAFFNER'S NACHFOLGER GES

Inventor : Oswald Fischer

 

Track design 1940s.jpg

Invention : Method of securing tin plate track to a base using a pin which is not visible enabling more realistic appearance of a moulded track base, sleepers and track chairs, the rail being in an inverted U form.  (This was the new style track used for the post war points and uncoupling rail in English manufacture)

 

Patent office : Patent Office London

Patent number: 545033

Date Applied for : 7 April 1941

Date granted : 7 May 1942

Applicant : Trix Limited, London

Inventor : Robert Bindon Blood

 

 

Rocking relay.jpg

Invention : This invention relates to electric relays or devices for actuating a rocking member, such as may be used in toy railways for actuating points or signals or other purposes in which it is desired to move a rocking member in one of two positions.

The object of the invention is to provide a relay or device in which the rocking member is adapted to be moved in one or the other directions by applying a full or reduced current to the relay.

For example, this was used in semaphore signals and point motors.

 

Patent office : Patent Office London

Patent number: 607563

Date Applied for : 8 February 1946

Date granted : 1 September 1948

Applicant : Trix Limited, London

Inventor : Werner Alton

 

points post war.jpg

 

Invention : Within the structure of a point to place a slidable armature operating the movable section of the rails between the rails and the base on which the rails are mounted, the ends of the armature having upstanding  portions which are disposed on either side of the track and are operated upon by two solenoids mounted on the base and positioned one on each side of the rails.  The switch blades are moved by the two solenoids by applying current from a remote location thus changing the direction of the points.

 

Patent office : Patent Office London

Patent number : 644346

Date Applied for : 14 July 1948

Date granted : 11October 1950

Applicant  : Trix Limited

Inventor:  Francis John Prior and Werner Alton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post war 4-6-2 used for BR Scotsman

Tender remote uncoupling.jpg

Invention : Relates to remote-control coupling and uncoupling devices for toy electric railways mounted inside the locomotive or its tender.  The patent describes in detail the function from the rotation of the contact spindle to the two solenoids inside the tender, the way in which the current is switched between them and the means to move the coupling.

 

Patent office : Patent Office London

Patent number : 678257

Date Applied for : 12 March 1951

Date granted: 27 August 1952

Applicant : Trix Limited

Inventor : Werner Alton

 

 

 

 

 

 

clockwork motor controller 2.jpg clockwork motor controller 3.jpg

Invention : Device to electrically remotely control a clock work motor in a toy train, to stop, start or reverse the motor via a device located inside the locomotive and via the track to a control box also connected to the track at a fixed distant position.

 

Patent office : United Kingdom Patent Office

Patent number : GB 733920

Date Applied for : March 17, 1952

Date granted : July 20, 1955

Applicant : Trix Limited

Inventors : Siegfried Kahn;  Sydney, William Dumbleton

 

check switch 3.jpg

Invention: Check switch and related switches combined in a block to operate remotely several devices such as to prevent a train going through a point set in an opposing direction, by reducing the current by means of a visible bulb set in a serial connection thus stopping the train but enabling sufficient current so as not to activate the reversing mechanism and simultaneously operating a signal. By remotely changing the point the link changes the signal and switches off the bulb enabling the locomotive to restart.

 

Patent office : United Kingdom Patent Office

Patent number : GB737214 

Date Applied for : April 22, 1953

Date granted : September 21, 1955

Applicant : Trix Limited

Inventors : Francis John Prior; Werner  Alton

 

 patent conveyor.jpg

Invention : A device for a toy railway raises imitation coal or other material from an open container and deposits the material into a tipping truck which may be moved round on a track from the material receiving position to the open container, the material then being tipped into the container from the truck

 

Patent office : United Kingdom Patent Office

Patent number : GB726723 (A)

Date Applied for : April 22, 1953

Date granted : March 23, 1955

Applicant : Trix Limited

Inventors : SIEGFRIED KAHN; WERNER  ALTON

 

Dump wagon.jpg  See also below

Invention : Operating dump wagon that by means of an electro magnet in a rail will tip the wagon to shed its load and return the wagon’s container to a normal position after the magnet is switched off.

 

Patent office :  The Patent Office London

Patent number : 737213

Date Applied for : 22 April 1953

Date granted: 21 September 1955

Applicant : Trix Limited, London

Inventor : Werner Alton

Dump wagon b.jpg See also above

 

 

Invention : Operating dump wagon that by means of an electro magnet in a rail will tip the wagon to shed its load and return the wagon’s container to a normal position after the magnet is switched off.

 

Patent office : Deutsches Patentamt

Patent number : 1052287

Date Applied for : 22 April 1954 ( following UK Patent 22 April 1953

Date granted : 5 March 1959

Applicant : Trix Limited, London

Inventor : Werner Alton of Northampton England

Sound generator 2.jpg

 

Invention : This relates to magnetic sound generators and has for its object to provide a sound generator which provides a chord-like note in the lower frequency range which is especially suitable for use as a whistle or hooter for a toy electric railway train but can be used for other purposes.

 

Patent office : Patent Office London

Patent number : 767059

Date Applied for : 18 November 1954

Date granted : 30 January 1957

Applicant : Trix Limited

Inventor : Siegfried Kahn, Francis John Prior and Werner Alton

 

Note :  This was also patented in the USA on 7 May 1957 number 2791765

 

Note also: a similar device was patented by the Gebr. Bing company in the 1920’s to retrofit in an 0 gauge tender.

 

The above is a sample of the Patents that were taken out by Trix.

 

Many of the above patents were also registered in the USA, France and Switzerland

 

 

 

 

 

Research by :-

 

garrylefevre@hotmail.com

 

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