“The trains were also a bridgehead of a much larger scheme that was organizing itself in Walt Disney’s mind. At least as early as 1947 he had begun collecting miniatures—furniture, figurines, coaches, boats, farm machinery, even tiny liquor bottles and crates. Ostensibly these were adornments for the train layout and another pastime to take his mind off the studio when, as he wrote his sister, “problems became to hectic.” But as Walt scoured miniature shops during his trip to Europe in 1949 and on his various forays to New York and even up into New England; as he attended miniature shows; as he enlisted friends to find miniatures for him; as he solicited miniatures through catalogs, midwestern newspapers, and hobbyist magazines, he hit upon a plan.”
– Neal Gabler, Walt Disney: The Triumph of the The American Imagination

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