1938: Musicians Jerry Joice and Perry Bodkin establish a hobby store called Roundhouse at 1301 North Catalina Street in Hollywood, California. The business is soon taken over by part-time employees C.H. Menteer and C.A. Voelckel. Shortly after assuming leadership, they are hired to build models for Cecil B. DeMille's film Union Pacific.

Irv Athearn begins building an O-scale model railroad at his mother's home.

1943: After receiving a large response to an ad about his O-scale model railroad, Irv Athearn establishes Athearn Trains in Miniature and sells model railroad supplies.

1946: Menteer & Voelckel's company is now called Model Die Casting, Inc. and resumes production of the Roundhouse Products line by summer. Irv Athearn becomes a full-time retailer of model railroading supplies.

1957: Athearn introduces the Hi-F Belt Drive for the F7, and the GP9 and Hustler locomotives. A number of plastic car kits are released, including the Cupola Caboose, 40' Box Car, 3-Dome Tank Car, Heavy-Duty Flat Car, 40' Steel Refrigerator Car, and the Streamlined RPO, Coach, Vista Dome and Observation.

More history and information: www.athearn.com

Athearn value and price guide

What's your 'Athearn' worth? Here are some recently sold items (USA).

Picture Title Date Sold for
Ho New Mexico Rail Runner Diesel 07/2019 $699.99
Genesis 4 8 8 4 Union Pacific Big Boy 10/2019 $659.99
N Scale Union Pacific 4 6 6 4 Challenger 08/2019 $600.00
Ho Genesis G97203 Up Union Pacific 4 8 8 07/2019 $599.95
Bombardier Metrolink 3 Coach Car Set Ho 08/2019 $599.99

See all sold items for more prices.

Books

Looking for books on building layouts or model trains? Find these books on model railroad on Amazon.

Athearn forum

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