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Athearn is a United States manufacturer of model railroad equipment, produced and distributed by American hobby manufacturer Horizon Hobby of Champaign, Illinois, USA.


The company's history began in 1938, when its founder-to-be, Irv Athearn, started an elaborate O-scale layout in his mother's house. After placing an ad selling the layout, and receiving much response to it, Irv decided that selling model railroads would be a good living. He sold train products out of his mother's house through most of the 1940s. After becoming a full-time retailer in 1946, Irv opened a separate facility in Hawthorne, California, in 1948, and that same year he branched into HO-scale models for the first time.

Irv Athearn died in 1991. New owners took control in 1994, but continued to follow Athearn's commitment to high-quality products at reasonable prices.

Athearn was bought in 2004 by Horizon Hobby Inc. Athearn was then moved from its facility in Compton to a new facility in Carson, California.

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