Much like other companies in the hobby train industry the story of Atlas model trains is a story of vision, entrepreneurship, and tough work, combined with a passion for a hobby that resulted in a company that grew bigger than what anyone would have imagined at the foundation.
The beginning of Atlas Model Model Trains goes back to the first decades of the 20th century, when Stephan Schaffan Sr. founded what would become Atlas Model Trains. Back then, it was a tool company not a model train business and Stephan Schaffan Sr. was so undermanned that he had his son Stephan Schaffan Jr. come and help him with the business.
Stephan Schaffan Jr. wasnt happy with the money that he earned at his dads business (if he earned anything at all). He was a young and inventive man who liked machinery. He would go after work and built model airplanes at his house. There was a local airplane model shop where he lived, and he would visit it frequently. He used to annoy the owner by asking for a side work that he could do to earn some extra money, to which the owner would always refuse.
However, one day, the owner of the store grew so tired of Stephan Jr.s requests that he gave him some old railroads and model trains that he didnt want to use any longer, in the hopes that Stephan would get away and leave him alone.
Little did he know that these old railway tracks and models that he discarded so easily would ultimately become what today is known as Atlas Trains.
Stephan Jr. went back home and worked on those trains. Being an inventive and intelligent young man, he designed a switch set, which would become the staple of Atlas Model Trains, and that allowed the user to start and stop the trains by controlling the voltage on the tracks.
Later on, Stephan Jr. invented more products which made the company grow even more, while his fathers business started to appear small in comparison. Somewhere along the line, the original name was dropped and the company took the name of Atlas Model Railroad, even though most people know it by the name Atlas Trains.
Now with Atlas Model Trains officially presented, Stephan invented quite a few devices that saved work for the folks who enjoyed the model train hobby. For example, he invented pre-assembles tracks, that saved his customers the trouble of assembling it themselves. In general his inventions made track assembling much easier.
Today, Atlas Model Trains is one of the major names in the industry. Although Stephen Jr. is no longer alive, Atlas Model Trains and his legacy made model trains a much more easily reached hobby for train lovers.