One can wonder about the origin of the tradition of model trains under the tree. In fact, for more than a century, the train was used for transport of goods and people. The usage of trains increased dramatically during the holiday season. In the 1940s, the railways allowed hundreds of thousands of soldiers to come home for Christmas. The very first train models were not necessarily Christmas trains, or even toys. These were steam models that required some skill and patience to operate safely. Just a few families owned some.
Over time, miniature trains like such as the ones you wind up or again electric, have become one of many Christmas gifts placed under the tree.
The present exhibition was possible thanks to a portion of Robert Sheldon's collection. He began collecting miniature trains at the age of 5 in the years 1947-1948. It all started when his father bought him a miniature electric train while buying a mechanical model for his 2-year-old brother. Since then, his passion for this type of object has not stopped. When he got his first employment, part of his savings was dedicated to trains. From 2007 to 2017, he exhibited his collection at the Granite Museum in Stanstead Quebec.
It is important to note that Robert Sheldon is the largest miniature train collector in Canada with more than 11,000 pieces.