A little about how we got where we are today. . . .
Sidestreet Bannerworks began life in 1976, when we (Marc Horovitz and wife Barb) opened a graphic-design studio. The company specialized in architectural graphics in textiles -- banners (hence the odd company name).
In 1979, after a life-changing trip to Great Britain and Europe, we began importing small scale, live-steam locomotives into the US. Thus, the Light Railway Division of Sidestreet Bannerworks was born. We sold the engines via mail order to people all over the country. In 1982 a company newsletter, the Sidestreet Banner, was started, to keep our products in front of our customers.
In 1984, the Banner was changed to a magazine format and was renamed Garden Railways. A year or so later we entered the computer age, with a new Mac and a desktop-publishing package. This radically changed (improved!) the look of the magazine. By 1987 GR had grown enough that we gave up the graphics business, sold off the steam-engine business, and devoted ourselves to publishing the magazine full time.
In 1996, Garden Railways was sold to Kalmbach Publishing Company in Wisconsin. Marc stayed on as editor, while Barb, the magazine's horticultural editor, retired to the garden and to pursue her artwork.
Along the way, Marc stumbled upon Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, then located in Covent Garden in London (another life-changing experience). Here he discovered the weird, wonderful, and fascinating world of automata, headed up by Paul Spooner, Peter Markey, and others. It wasn't until a few years later that he tried his hand at making automata himself. He was soon hooked, and has made several since then. His work has been sold in Thunderstruck Gallery in Colorado Springs and exhibited at the "Toys Designed by Artists" exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock on three separate occasions.
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