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Offline kweekalot  
#1 Posted : 15 February 2014 17:59:27(UTC)
kweekalot

Netherlands   
Joined: 27/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 3,291
Location: Holland
Hi all,

I made an short article about the history of the FALLER company and would like to publish it here at M-Users too, in case someone is intrested.

I'm very grateful that Adrian (xxup) was so kind to correct most of my weird tense confusions, spelling and grammar mistakes. BigGrin ThumpUp

Marco

Edited by user 21 June 2014 13:18:11(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

thanks 11 users liked this useful post by kweekalot
Offline kweekalot  
#2 Posted : 15 February 2014 18:02:05(UTC)
kweekalot

Netherlands   
Joined: 27/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 3,291
Location: Holland
The history of the Faller company.

Shortly after the war two brothers, Edwin und Hermann Faller, started making plans for the future; they wanted to make wooden toys.
In 1946 in Stuttgart the brothers founded the 'Hermann Faller company'.

Soon after the brothers relocate their company to their hometown, Gütenbach in the Black Forest ('Schwarzwald').
They renamed their company 'Faller Brothers' ('Gebrüder Faller') and began making wooden construction kits and wooden bricks.

With their 'Marathon' construction kit, children could tinker and create simple toy houses out of wooden panels and printed cardboard parts. It was an instant hit.
Other early items included a wooden multicoloured mosaic game as well as a domino game.

The first years of the Faller company were not easy.
Due to the currency reform of 1948, people barely have money in their pockets and didn't think of buying model kits or domino games. In 1949 the brothers were forced to lay off all their personnel.
But the brothers didn't give up and started making H0 model trains accessories again with the brand name 'Marathon'. This time they were not kits, but complete models, like a signal box, stations and water and windmills.

The brothers also started making model trees from green dyed sawdust that was applied on wires.
Dealing with this sawdust give the brothers the idea to produce different litter material for model train hobbyists. The sawdust material was delivered by a sawmill and divided with sieves in different sizes. For 20 cents per hour the sieving and coloring was taken over by local schoolboys, whose hands turned green and brown for many days after the job. This scattering material turned out to be a real hit.
In order to increase the production the brothers built a vibrating machine but still the capacity of the drying oven was not enough to meet the demand. So the production was extended to households in and around Gutenbach. Plates with high edges and scattered material were distributed for drying in the domestic kitchen stoves.

The brothers started to improve their models. The walls of cardboard were given openings for doors and windows, which were now attached from behind and located opposite the opening. The doors were made of thick cardboard and the windows were made out of colored paper.
After gluing, the walls are coated with 'Griessputz', a technique where white wheat semolina is applied (pushed) on a layer of plaster composed of 'Wasserglas' or a mix of white glue and poster paint. The use of 'Wasserglas' was later banned due to serious health risks. The roofs were made out of thin plywood and coated with red paint.

By the Early 1950s, Faller was the first manufacturer with moving models, like a water mill with a rotating wheel and a windmill whose blades rotate. The special brush motor that was designed by Hermann Faller, fitted directly into the model and was elegantly hidden from view.

The product 'Hydrozell', a powder of dry glue and cellulose, was one of Faller's other early big hits. Mixed with water and paint, it allows hobbyists with aid of a spatula to create light weight mountains and cliffs with a realistic appearance.

In 1952 the Faller company asked Fritz Schmalz for assistance with Polystyrene plastic injection moulding technology. Fritz was an old friend of Hermann Faller and had previously worked as a mechanic at a plastics manufacturing company in Lahr. Due to his help in processing plastic, Faller started producing plastic parts for the cardboard models, like plastic doors, windows and chimneys. Soon Faller also succeeded in making models completely out of plastic parts. In 1954 the Kiosk No. 212 and the Windmill No 227 were the first fully plastic models and many other plastic models would follow.

All these models were assembled in the living rooms of many home workers in and around Gutenbach.
The high cost of wages for these home workers eventually influenced Faller's decision to start selling kits, instead of the already assembled houses. The trick was that Faller led their customers to believe that it was more fun to construct the houses themselves. And the trick worked, since then model hobbyists around the world are devoted to the glue.

In 1956 Faller introduced aeroplane models in 1:100 scale with a rotating propeller. The planes had the smallest electro motors in the world, invented by Hermann Faller and Fritz Schmalz.

From 1950 all sorts of fonts were used for the Faller catalogs and various other publications, sometimes only capitals were used or just small letters, there was still no clear line in the Faller style. But then in 1957 first appeared the famous textline "Für die Freizeit" ("For leisure time") as well as the famous Faller bars logo that consists of the Faller corporate color combinations black/yellow and red/white and red/yellow, which are still used today.
It’s clear that there is some relationship between these corporate colors ans the colors used in the sign of the town Gütenbach (a black watermill wheel on a yellow background) as well with the national colors of Baden (red–yellow-red stripe).
The old Faller pine tree logo was last used in 1958.


In October 1957 Faller also start publishing their bimonthly bulletin 'Faller Modellbau Magazin', in December 1974, after 97 magazines, the series stoped.

In 1963 Faller launched their AMS (Auto-Motor-Sport) slot cars in 1:87 scale for use specifically with H0 model railroads and supported this release with lots of accessories, like railway crossings and traffic lights.

In addition to the ever growing market of railway models and accessories, Faller start producing other toys, like the 'HiT car' in 1968, which was a push car for small children.

And in 1970 Faller released their 'HiT Train', a colourful plastic battery powered toy train on very sturdy plastic 32mm tracks (0-Gauge). In 1972 a somewhat more serious looking black tank loco was produced and then folowed by a Henschel diesel Loco and a tender loco.

In 1977 'Play train' was launched as the big brother of HiT train with the same rail size and technology as HiT train. The 'Play train' loco's and cars were twice as big compared to 'HiT train'. A clever move as the train now works perfectly with Playmobil figures.

Based on 'Play train", Faller brings out 'E-Train' in 1980, controlled by a 12V DC transformer. The E-Train tracks are suitable for Play train too. And the many cars and accessories of Play train also serve the E-Train. This immediately ensures lots of accessories and playing fun.

In 1983 Faller 'Autoland' is born, with battery powered cars and trucks. Autoland has the same size as Play and E-Train and fits perfectly into the Faller toy program.

The toy market changed in the 1980's. Many products that were invented, developed and manufactured in Germany, were copied in the Far East low wage countries. This also was the case for the Faller toy innovations. The goal of the expansion of the Faller toy range was to diversify the business risks, but the toy business has become particularly risky in the 1980's. It was clear to Faller that these fundamental changes in the toy market were irreversible. For the Faller company it was therefore economically wise to abandon the toy area and focus on its traditional model making. The Faller catalogue 1985 was therefore the last catalogue with a extensive range of toys.

In 1985 Faller started producing Carnival amusement park models in both HO scale and N scale.

In 1987 Faller launched 'FCS', the 'Faller car system' in H0, later in N scale too. Cars, trucks and buses run without visible guide rails and visible wiring on a battery powered Faulhaber motor.
In 2013, Faller released the latest digital version: 'Faller Digital Car System 3.0'.

In 1997 Faller takes over their competitor Pola.
Since the take over Pola is now solely devoted to G-scale products.

Faller's current product line includes railway structures, houses and commercial buildings, bridges, the Car system and all sorts of landscaping and layout construction accessories in H0, N, TT and Z scale, as well as the special theme worlds Zoo, Farm, Camping and Carnival & Fair.

The brothers Hermann and Edwin have deceased but Faller is still a family business.
Faller has currently around 90 employees and sells about 1.2 million model houses per year.

Faller's models from the 1950's and 1960's are highly collectible today, as well as their early catalogues.


Marco

Edited by user 14 February 2015 13:09:03(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Offline kbvrod  
#3 Posted : 15 February 2014 19:53:26(UTC)
kbvrod

United States   
Joined: 23/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,597
Location: Beverly, MA
Hi Marco,all,
Quote:
In 1997 Faller takes over their competitor Pola.
Since the take over Pola is now solely devoted to G-scale products.


A nit-pick,sorryBlushing Faller is using the old Pola HO molds still. Your right anything called Pola is G

Dr D
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Offline PJMärklin  
#4 Posted : 16 February 2014 08:08:07(UTC)
PJMärklin

Australia   
Joined: 04/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,599
Location: Hobart, Australia
Hi Marco,

Thank you for your interesting story.

PJ
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Offline Markus Schild  
#5 Posted : 16 February 2014 10:11:25(UTC)
Markus Schild

Germany   
Joined: 14/01/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,802
Location: Wurttemberg
Hi Marco,

A very early FALLER-product:

UserPostedImage

Regards

Markus
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Offline kweekalot  
#6 Posted : 16 February 2014 11:53:26(UTC)
kweekalot

Netherlands   
Joined: 27/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 3,291
Location: Holland
Hi Markus,
Thank you so much for sharing the 'Baukasten' photo, the box represents the start of the Faller company. ThumpUp
We must cherish these kind of photos, without the many Faller innovations our hobby would not have been the same.

Marco
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Offline kweekalot  
#7 Posted : 16 February 2014 13:10:24(UTC)
kweekalot

Netherlands   
Joined: 27/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 3,291
Location: Holland
One of the many Faller's legacies are the 'Faller Modellbau Magazin' booklets.
I love them just as much as the old catalogs.
These magazines have lots of tutorials how to build layouts as well as reviews or mrr products of that time, not only from Faller, but of other brands too.
These Faller modellbau magazines are a kind of snapshot of that time, they tell the story and history of mrr from 1957 to 1974, the mrr period I like best.
And the magazines are very historical accurate, often more accurate than other sources....

On the Preiser Company website you can read that in the early years, the figures were carved by hand out of wood and since the sixties they are made in plastic injection molding.

In Faller Magazin No 3 (February 1958) we can read that the first plastic Preiser figures were actually launched in 1958...
The snapshot also shows no bikini for the (Preiser) ladies in 1958.

UserPostedImage

Translation:
How real the new Plastic PREISER are, is shown in these images.
Now you can safely make a picture, because these figures are designed with the smallest details.
Even a 3 or 4 fold enlargment is still possible, it is real artistic performance!
We are all very pleased with the low price.
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Offline jeehring  
#8 Posted : 16 February 2014 15:55:03(UTC)
jeehring


Joined: 25/09/2003(UTC)
Posts: 2,786
Location: ,
Originally Posted by: kweekalot Go to Quoted Post
The history of the Faller company.

...(...)...Faller's models from the 1950's and 1960's are highly collectible today, as well as their early catalogues.


Marco


True !....I've seen one small cardboard house sold for....100 E !
(thank you Marco for the subject...)
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Offline kweekalot  
#9 Posted : 21 June 2014 14:42:18(UTC)
kweekalot

Netherlands   
Joined: 27/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 3,291
Location: Holland
A few historical Faller photos:



UserPostedImage
Photo taken on the 1956 Nurnberg toy fair.
With on the left Edwin and on the right Hermann Faller,
showing 'new item' bahnhof Cortina.

(The man standing in the middle with the mustache is
Werner Walter Weinstötter, founder of MIBA).



UserPostedImage
The new exhibition building of the 1953 Nurnberg toy fair.


UserPostedImage
The Faller stand at the 1953 Nurnberg toy fair.


UserPostedImage
Edwin and Hermann Faller decorating the Faller stand at the 1953
Nurnberg toy fair.



UserPostedImage
Edwin and Hermann Faller taking a brake from decorating the Faller
stand at the 1953 Nurnberg toy fair.



UserPostedImage
The Faller stand (No 1000) on the 1958 Nurnberg toy fair.


UserPostedImage
Faller stand (No 1000) on the 1958 Nurnberg toy fair.
Faller was promoting the B-531 kit, the model of the bridge from the movie 'The Bridge on
the River Kwai'



UserPostedImage UserPostedImage
Hermann and Edwin Faller


UserPostedImage
The First Marathon-Faller catalog from 1946


UserPostedImage
The First Marathon-Faller catalog from 1946


UserPostedImage
The First Marathon-Faller catalog from 1946


UserPostedImage
The First Marathon-Faller catalog from 1946
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Offline kweekalot  
#10 Posted : 14 February 2015 13:47:53(UTC)
kweekalot

Netherlands   
Joined: 27/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 3,291
Location: Holland
Dear Faller friends,

I've just done a small update on the article about the history of Faller, I added a few lines that I have marked in red
See here: LINK

I also found these two small illustrations that clearly shows how the very first Faller Marathon kits could be put together.

Marco

UserPostedImage UserPostedImage
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Offline biedmatt  
#11 Posted : 14 February 2015 14:14:58(UTC)
biedmatt

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,343
Location: Southwest Ohio
This company is special for me. Maybe it's their very long history with a choice of structures from the earliest days of railroading to the modern era. Their designs are light and uplifting. No mistaking a Faller building. Vollmer by contrast are heavy and industrial. No mistaking their kits either. Their houses and residential buildings just never did it for me. Vollmer's factories and railroad support structures though are perfect for their purpose. Each has a place, but where Faller kits make me smile, Vollmer kits just strike me as perfect for that dirty industrial section on my layout.
Matt
Era 3
DB lokos, coaches and freight cars from across Europe
But I do have the obligatory (six) SBB Krocs
ECoS 50200, all FX and MFX decoders replaced with ESU V4s, operated in DCC-RailCom+ with ABC brake control.
With the exception of the passenger wagens with Marklin current conducting couplers, all close couplers have been replaced with Roco 40397.
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Offline grnwtrs  
#12 Posted : 17 February 2015 19:39:07(UTC)
grnwtrs

United States   
Joined: 18/06/2005(UTC)
Posts: 579
Location: El Sobrante
100% agree. I have some of the Faller kits (houses) purchased from Toys R Us from the
late 1960's.

Sadly, I never assembled. Then a nice house would cost US 3.50!!

Not anymore.

Best Regards,
gene
Offline Webmaster  
#13 Posted : 17 February 2015 19:53:26(UTC)
Webmaster


Joined: 25/07/2001(UTC)
Posts: 11,037
Originally Posted by: kbvrod Go to Quoted Post
Hi Marco,all,
A nit-pick,sorryBlushing Faller is using the old Pola HO molds still. Your right anything called Pola is G

Dr D


ThumpUp

That's so true, I have bought 3-door Faller kits that are exactly like the great Pola "Freilassingen" loco roundhouse to extend my original 5-door Pola kit.
Different plastic color on the walls & doors - but hey, what are airbrushes used for? BigGrin

However, that kit seems to be out of the current line and is replaced by this modified kit using the same geometry .

The roof & roof vents/windows are still the same, though...
Juhan - "Webmaster", at your service...
He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes. He who does not ask a question remains a fool forever. [Old Chinese Proverb]
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