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The birth of model trains began on September 5, 1900. A business opened by Joshua Lionel Cowen and a colleague, Harry C. Grant, located itself in lower Manhattan. Unknown at the time, it would eventually launch the model railroading industry. It was named the Lionel Manufacturing Company, but it was in the business of electrical novelties and was producing little, in the way of a product. Cowen was walking through lower Manhattan when he stopped at a toy store window. There he saw a toy push train. Imagining it being able to go around a track without assistance gave him his inspiration of electric model trains.