All credit to and via TCA Western


Using its heritage as specialists in lithographed tinplate sheets, the Bing company (Gerbruder or Brothers Bing) created its first trains in the 1880s.

They produced models for the British market, for resale by Bassett-Lowke and AW Gamage, and for the US and domestic German markets under their own brand name. Incredible success followed; by 1914, Bing was the largest toy company on the planet with 5,000 employees, compared to Märklin’s mere 600.

It was jealousy and prejudice that forced Stefan Bing out of business; US xenophobia and German anti-Semitism.

In 1916, Ives and AC Gilbert formed the Toy Manufacturers Association and lobbied ruthlessly to protect domestic manufacturing and to repel ‘foreigners’, adding massive unfair tariffs to German toys.

And then, as Stefan Bing and his family were Jewish, they were forced out of Germany by the growing Nazi threat, moving to Britain where Bing was greeted warmly by Bassett-Lowke, his old business partner.

By 1932, there was no way back for the once-sparkling business, and it ceased trading.