Wm. K. Walthers, Inc. , was founded in Milwaukee in 1932—though it started years earlier, when seven-year-old Bill Walthers got his first taste of the hobby with a small, wind-up toy train for Christmas. He continued with the hobby and eventually had an attic layout composed primarily of his own scratch-built creations. After he wrote a series of articles on building train control and signaling systems, he got so many letters from other modelers that he began manufacturing them. The first ad (in the May issue of The Model Maker) offered a 24-page, 15¢ catalog that listed rail, couplers, and electrical supplies. Sales were over US$500. 00 for the first year. By 1935, the catalogs were over 80 pages.
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