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The Railroad, New York, and American Toys
The Transcontinental Railroad, completed in 1869, linked the East and West coasts of the United States to each other and to the markets of the world. Other cross-country railroads quickly followed. This vast network helped to secure New York City's position as the principal East Coast port and industrial center of America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
World War I (1914-18) ended the German dominance of Western toy manufacturing. Wartime embargoes and postwar importation tariffs on German goods gave the United States toy industry the opportunity to come into its own. American toy train manufacturers like Ives and New York's own Lionel found expanded domestic markets in the booming economy of the Roaring Twenties and beyond.
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