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A little about how we got where we are today. . . .

Garden railways
Sidestreet Bannerworks began life in 1976, when we (Marc Horovitz and my 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. At the end of 2018, after 35 years as editor and over 22 years at Kalmbach, Marc Horovitz' contract with Kalmbach was terminated.

Along the way, I stumbled upon Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, then located in Covent Garden in London (another life-changing experience). Here I 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 I tried my hand at making automata myself. I was soon hooked, and have made several since then. Unfortunately, the constraints of real life prevent me from making as many as I'd like. My work has been sold in Thunderstruck Gallery in Colorado Springs and exhibited at the "29th Annual Toys Designed by Artists" exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock.

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