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American Miniature Railway Company

(Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA)

A US company formed in 1907, by William Haberlin and Timothy Hayes, both ex employees of the Ives Manufacturing Company. Both Ives and American Miniature Railway Company were in the same town - Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Interesting message taken from Ancestory.com :

Quote :

In addition to writing "The De Fount-Haberlin Family Genealogy Book", I am also researching and writing another book about my great grandfather William R. Haberlin, entitled "William R. Haberlin and His American Miniature Railway Company-The Bridgeport Line."

My great grandfather was William R. Haberlin, who founded the American Miniature Railway Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut on April 6, 1907. Both Ives, the largest miniature toy train manufacturer in the United States at the time, and American Miniature Railway Company were in the same town of Bridgeport, Connecticut. For a while, the competition between the two companies became hot and heavy. The American Miniature Railway Company lasted until 1912. Haberlin family lore or oral history believes that the American Miniature Railway Company was sold to Lionel after the company went out of business in 1912.

William R. Haberlin was a miniature train pioneer. He is the man who made all of the tools and dies for the original Ives "O" gauge clockwork train line in 1901! Everything (Except the patterns for the iron locomotives bodies, which were made by Charles A. Hotchkiss, and the clockwork mechanisms themselves, manufactured by an outside company (The Reeves Manufacturing Company in New Haven, Connecticut and later in Milford, Connecticut) that went into this line was tooled up by Mr. Haberlin, and his partner and "sidekick", Timothy F. Hayes, in their tool shop in Bridgeport, Connecticut. During the late 1800's and early 1900's, Ives Manufacturing Company was the largest toy company in America. On December 22, 1900, the Ives Manufacturing Company suffered a devastating fire, in which, the company lost everything. The fire destroyed the building and all the patterns, parts and tools for manufacturing the cast-iron toys. In 1901, the Ives Manufacturing Company rented space from Haberlin. The Ives Manufacturing Company's entire production of the die stamping production of trains, cars and track was subcontracted out to William R. Haberlin and Timothy Hayes. At his Haberlin & Hayes Machine Company at 184 Cannon Street in Bridgeport Connecticut, Haberlin and Ives began producing the first "O" gauge trains in the United States to run on fabricated sectional track. The trains were powered by clockwork machinery inside the toy. Haberlin's historical work also included, of course, the first tools and machinery ever built in the United States for manufacturing tinplate track. Haberlin's skilled hands fashioned the tools for the first Ives' track, cars, stations, accessories, etc. William R. Haberlin is mentioned in many various books and magazine articles related to miniature toy trains that have become one of the most prized, valuable and collectible of all of Americana collectibles.

He was an inventor who held seven US Patents. He was also a toolmaker, machinist and he worked for Sir Thomas Edison in his machine shop in historic "Building 5" at the Edison Laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey in 1906. He later also worked at the Bryant Electric Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut with his bother as well.

William R. Haberlin's brother, John E. Haberlin, was an inventor who held a US Patent. He was also a toolmaker, machinist and he worked for Sir Thomas Edison in his machine shop at the Edison Laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey from 1903-1908. He also worked with his brother William R. Haberlin who founded the American Miniature Railway Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut from 1909-1912. He had a hand in the Haberlin family business. He later also worked at the Bryant Electric Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut with his bother as well.

The Haberlin brothers seemed to follow one another from occupation to occupation during their entire course of their respective lives. The Haberlin brothers always created opportunities for each other.

They looked out for each other.

Heath De Fount-Haberlin

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