In 1957, , based in in southern Sweden, introduced its wooden toy train system with wooden tracks in Europe. It may have been the first company to use the "peg and hole" system to connect the track pieces in mass production. The metal hook system for the rolling stock has since been replaced by magnetic connectors. BRIO was also one of the first companies to use for such products.
Another Swedish company that started producing a similar toy at about this time was Micki Leksaker in . It apparently produced its first wooden train sets for a Swedish department store in 1956, thus predating Brio by a year or two.
California-based Ben Orel filed U.S. patent #2847798 in 1956 and was granted the patent for his "snap coupling" system two years later. He describes how the track could be rotated to create a "rail" and a "road" side in U.S. patent #3013726 submitted in 1960 and granted in 1961. This is similar to the idea that later used for their "" range. He also submitted a patent for magnetic couplings in 1958. This patent was granted in 1960. It may have been the earliest attempt to use magnets with a wooden toy train system. Production stopped in the mid-1960s and the company disappeared from the toy market.
There was a long tradition of . made wooden figures and Christmas decorations and Blumenau (today a part of ) created building blocks and construction sets. Mass production techniques for polishing and coloring wooden toys were established and perfected in the Bohemian areas. Some of the early sets exhibited train designs that were later used for wooden track trains. In 1949, Hermann , of the Eichhorn family that made the PEWESTI wooden toys in , founded his company for wooden toys in the Bavarian town of . In 1961, he started producing his version of a wooden track railway system. Eichhorn claims that his company is the first to have systematically used the "vario system" for the connectors. Eichhorn applied for a U.S. patent for a "battery powered toy train" in 1994. In 1997 the company had to be sold to the , which moved production to , near Prague in the . By 1998 the company was fully integrated into the Simba-Dickie-Group. In February 1999 two fires totally destroyed the old factory buildings in Egglham and consumed most of the company's archives and work models.
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