Duluth in Gwinnett County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
The History of the Miniature Train Company
The Southeastern Railway Museum
Several years ago, two such part train sets were donated to the Southeastern Railway Museum by Ben and Joy Black. These train sets (2 Locomotives, and 8 Passenger Cars) were originally purchased, and used at the Birmingham Zoo. They were manufactured by the Miniature Train Company in 1957, and used by the zoo until they were retired in 1976.
P.A. Sturtevant, the founder of the Miniature Train Company, was a self professed tinker, and owner of a successful machine shop. In 1928, he built a 7.25” gauge scale model of a Chicago and Northwestern steam locomotive.
P.A. installed track around his home, and as you might expect, it soon became the hit of the neighborhood.
One of P.A.’s neighbors was a Sears executive, who asked if he could run the scale model locomotive at one of his stores at Christmas time. In 1932 P.A. leased the train set to Sears, and it quickly proved to be a huge attraction. Parents could complete their Christmas shopping while the kids waited in line to ride the train (yes, this was a much simpler time).
This immediately brought requests from other store
World War II brought a halt to production of miniature trains. By this time, they were leasing 36 electric department store train sets, and had sold over 50 gasoline powered units for use in carnivals and fairs.
In 1946, the G-16 train set was introduced. The “G” indicating that it was modeled after a GM locomotive (the former EMC) and the 16 indicated the track gauge (16 inches). The 12” train sets were renamed the G-12s. On April 4th, 1947, the first G-16 locomotive (#501) began a 30 year run at Griffith Park in Los Angles.
In November of 1956 the Miniature Train Company was sold to the Allan Herschell Company, the world’s largest maker of amusement park rides.
Allan Herschell made over 20 amusement park rides, but a train was not one of them.
Allan Herschell continued to manufacture G-16 under the MTC name until 1963. During this period, ride operators pushed to increase capacity, and new larger 24” gauge trains became the norm.
Over 240 G-16 train sets were produced by the MTC. Approximately 70 locomotives
The train set in use at the museum has under gone a complete restoration. This two year effort involved a tear down of the entire locomotive, & coach set.
When the train sets were ordered from the Miniature Train Company, the purchaser could optionally select the paint scheme. The museum’s train set has been restored to the pattern used by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, as this was the scheme it was originally delivered in.
Erected by Southeastern Railway Museum.
Location. 33° 59.266′ N, 84° 9.287′ W. Marker is in Duluth, Georgia, in Gwinnett County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Peachtree Road and Buford Highway (U.S. 23), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. This marker is located at the Southeastern Railway Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3595 Buford Highway, Duluth GA 30096, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Home of Alice Harrell Strickland - Georgia's First Woman Mayor (approx. 1˝ miles away); Peachtree Road (approx. 1.7 miles away); State R.R. Survey "Holy Row" (approx. 4.4 miles away); National Register of Historic Places – City of Norcross (approx. 4˝ miles away); Site of Norcross Presbyterian Church Circa 1899 (approx. 4.6 miles away); Thrasher Park (approx. 4.6 miles away); Brunswick Hotel (approx. 4.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Duluth.
Also see . . . Southeastern Railway Museum. (Submitted on November 8, 2013.)
Categories. • Entertainment • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 7, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 645 times since then and 7 times this year. Last updated on December 7, 2013, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on November 7, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.