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Joshua Lionel Cowen
Birth: Aug. 25, 1887
New York
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA
Death: Sep. 8, 1965
Palm Beach
Palm Beach County
Florida, USA

Inventor, Toy Train Manufacturer, Businessman. Born Joshua Lionel Cohen, he was the co-founder of the Lionel Manufacturing Company along with Harry C. Grant. The company later known as the Lionel Corporation, became one of America's greatest commercial and marketing successes of the mid 20th century, as a leader and producer of electric toy trains. Over time his toy train invention became a fixture of the Christmas holiday season, synonymous with Santa Claus and the Christmas tree in terms of popularity and cultural identity. His early inventions included a device to ignite a photographer's flash, and underwater explosive fuses developed for the United States Navy. In 1898 he developed an illuminated flowerpot using batteries and tiny bulbs. Failing to find commercial success for his invention he sold his patent to Conrad Hubert, who in turn developed Cowen's invention into the Eveready flashlight, making Hubert a multimillionaire. In 1901 he sold his first electric train prototype to a Manhattan store owner for enhancing his storefront window display. The following day the store owner returned to purchase six additional trains from Cowen, following requests from customers to purchase the train displays. By the mid 1950s, the Lionel Corporation had become the biggest electric toy train producer, and the largest toy manufacturer in the world. He retired from the company in 1959 following a decline in sales during the last half of the decade, selling his stock shares to his great-nephew Roy Cohn.  (bio by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Cecilia Liberman Cowen (1881 - 1946)*
 
 Children:
  Lawrence Cowen (1907 - 1970)*
  Isabel H. Cowen Brandaleone (1911 - 1996)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Union Field Cemetery
Ridgewood
Queens County
New York, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.
Record added: Apr 07, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35627571
Joshua Lionel Cowen
Added by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.
 
Joshua Lionel Cowen
Added by: Ginny M
 
Joshua Lionel Cowen
Added by: Ginny M
 
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