With a perfectly organized summer day, Conrad celebrated its 60th anniversary on June 25. Owners Günther Conrad and Christine Conrad and production manager Paul Bitschin arranged a program with interesting insights into the company’s history and the production of its models.
Headquartered in Kalchreuth, northeast of Nuremberg, Germany, Conrad manufactures a wide range of highly detailed and functional die-cast models. The typical massive and heavy models are only one characteristic of Conrad. Roughly 980 models are produced per day. The Franconian company is well-known for its high-quality models and many original manufacturers have been customers of Conrad for many years, such as Liebherr, MAN, Potain or Grove.
The history of Conrad
The early roots of Conrad started in 1956. When companies such as Schüco or GAMA were already well-known for their toys, Ludwig Conrad founded his company northeast of Nuremberg, Germany. Conrad’s early products were simply accessories and other additions for the Nuremberg toy companies.
Model railways were a fascinating hobby worldwide and also for Ludwig Conrad. He finally decided to turn this hobby into his job. This enthusiasm for a popular toy resulted in the development of a model railway control system. In the early 1970s, the Conrad system emerged with realistic modules for controlling model trains.
During the following years, die-cast railway accessories still dominated the growing product range. In 1963, this product range grew again with the addition of electrical signals. For producing the signals, Conrad used a material which is now common: the signal heads were made of zinc. This was the breakthrough of this material, since the toy industry used mostly plastic or thin metal plates until then.
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by Carsten Bengs