Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 133,403 pages of information and 211,619 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Lines Brothers

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c1926. De-Luxe fairy Cycle by Triang.
1929. British Industries Fair catalogue.
November 1932.
December 1938.
January 1939. Minic Models.
January 1939. From Model Aircraft.
March 1939.
December 1939
October 12 1946.
1952 Prestige
1952 Vogue

of Ormside Street, Old Kent Road, London, SE15. Telegrams: Triangtois, Phone, London. Telephone: 1640 New Cross, (3 Lines). Showroom at 9 Fore Street, London, EC2. Telephone: 337 Wall. (1922)

of Tri-Ang Works, Morden Road, Merton, London, SW19. Telephone: Wimbledon 3067. Cables: "Triangtois, London". (1929)

Ditto Address. Telephone: Liberty 4242. Cables: "Triangois, Phone, London". (1947 - Lines Brothers). Telephone: Liberty 1046. Cables: "Pesotoy, Phone, London". (1947 - Pedigree Soft Toys)

Showrooms at Fore Street, London, EC2. Birmingham branch at The Unique and Unity Cycle Co, St Stephen's Street. Telephone: Wimbledon 3069. Cables: "Triangtois, London" (1947)

Lines Bros. Ltd was a British toy manufacturer of the 20th Century - operating principally under the Tri-ang brand name. At its peak, the company claimed to be the largest toy maker in the world.

The British range of Tri-ang large scale pressed steel vehicles were produced from the early 1930’s through until the mid-1970’s.

The total selection of pressed steel vehicles consisted of over 200 different types. Tri-ang was one of the largest toy producers in the world and their range of toys reflected this.

The Lines family also made rocking horses for almost a century and were important makers who produced first class rocking horses and many novel designs.

c1876 The brothers George and Joseph Lines began to make wooden toys, their company being G. and J. Lines. Joseph was the active partner while George went into farming. Joseph (or Joe) had four sons.

Post WWI Three of Joseph's sons formed Lines Bros Ltd soon after the war. They were William, Walter and Arthur Edwin Lines. Three Lines making a triangle - hence Tri-ang. Arthur's son, Richard Lines, was largely responsible for the Tri-ang Railways system.

1919 Private company incorporated, limited by shares[1]

1922 Lines Brothers Advert (double page) for: 27 different Model Doll's Houses and Period Furniture to match; The Latest Rage - Hopping Poles; Sportiboy Rocking and Push Horses; The Kiddies want Cars and Sidecars like Daddy's; Scooters from Cheapest to Best; The Ford of the Toy Auto World Chain Drive; Largest Output in the World of Doll's Carriages. "Triangtois" - The Worlds Best Toys. (Stand No. F.39) [2]

1929 Lines Brothers Advert for Pedigree Prams, Tri-Ang Toys and Cycles. Also Fairtcycle (Registered Trade Mark), Motor Cars, Pedal Kars, Forlding Baby Carriages, Engines, Barrows, Scooters, Dolls Prams, Dolls Houses, Desks, Juvenile Furniture, Swings, etc. (Toys, Games and Baby Carriages Section - Stand No E.27) [3]

1933 Developed a new business in clockwork mechanical toys. Acquired a considerable interest in International Model Aircraft Ltd. Public issue of preference shares[4]

1937 As International Model Aircraft Ltd. Manufacturers of model aeroplanes. "Frog" Model Aircraft. [5]

1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers

At the start of the Second World War, production of children's toys was deemed non-essential by the British Government. As a result, production facilities were converted to weapons manufacture, specifically the Sten Mk III submachine gun.

1947 British Industries Fair

  • As International Model Aircraft Ltd. Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of "Frog" Power Models, Petrol and Compression Ignition Engines, Sailplanes, Rubber-powered Models. "Frog" Mark V Fighter, Electric Motors, Hydroplanes, Kites. "Penguin" All Plastic Scale Model Aircraft, Ships, Cars and Doll's Furniture.
  • As Lines Brothers. British Industries Fair Advert as 'World's Largest Toy and Pram Manufacturers'. Triang Toys, Frog Model Aircraft, Unity Juvenile Cycles, Pedigree Pets, Pedigree Soft Toys, Pedigree Dolls, Pedigree Prams and Folders, Nursery Furniture, Minic Clockwork Toys, Pedal Motors, ToddleKars, Educational Toys, PedalKars, Metal Toys, Nursery Toys, Garden Toys, Tinkle Toys, etc. (Toys and Games Section - Olympia, 3rd Floor, Stands No. K.2444 and K.2447) [6]
  • As Pedigree Soft Toys Ltd. British Industries Fair Advert as Manufacturers of almost Unbreakable Dolls (moving and painted eyes - dressed and undressed) Soft Body Dolls, Character Dolls, Teddy Bears, Hygienic True to Life Animal, Soft Toys, Soft Toys on wheels, etc. (Olympia, 3rd Floor, Stands No. K2444 and K.2447) [7]

1952 Two adverts on this page for Pedigree "Prams fit for a Princess": 1) The Prestige; 2) The Vogue. [8]

1955 Image on this page.

At their peak they had 40 companies world-wide, but as a result of losses overseas they were in financial trouble.

1964 Lines Brothers took over Dinky Toys from Meccano. Lines Brothers had its own railway system, Tri-ang Railways. Meccano, which manufactured the Hornby Dublo range collapsed. Tri-ang purchased the company, and the combined model railway was marketed as Tri-ang-Hornby although the vast majority of the models was all Tri-ang. The Hornby name being more established and recognised, despite the company's failure) the Tri-ang part was dropped and it was sold as Hornby Railways.

1966 Acquired a majority of the shares in G. and R. Wrenn

1971 Lines Brothers called in the Official Receiver. The Group was broken up and sold off. Rovex Tri-ang (which had the Hornby Railways among its portfolio) was Pocket Money Toys and then sold as Rovex, complete with its factories at Margate and Canterbury, to Dunbee Combex Marx (DCM). The name Tri-ang was sold off.

1972 G. and R. Wrenn, a linked toy railway company, bought itself free as Wrenn Railways.

1972 As a result, the Tri-ang Hornby system took the name Hornby Railways from January.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Jun 14, 1933
  2. 1922 British Industries Fair Adverts cxlii and cxliii; and p48
  3. 1929 British Industries Fair Advert 212; and p104
  4. The Times, Jun 14, 1933
  5. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  6. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 505; and p146, p168
  7. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 505; and p214
  8. [1] History World
  • [2] Wikipedia
  • [3] Old Rocking Horses Website
  • [4] Collectible Dinky Toys at the Victoria Toy Show