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The Origins of Thomas the Tank Engine
The Story of Where Thomas Began...
Thomas the Tank Engine is over 60 years old. Thomas first originated in England in 1945 authored by Reverend Wilbert Awdry, an Anglican clergyman. When the Reverend's son Christopher suffered from measles, he created the first story that later lead to his writing the about Thomas the Tank Engine. The Reverend began writing Thomas the Tank Engine books regularly until 1972. In 1983, Christopher Awdry took up the torch, authoring and illustrating many more books.
Rachel Barton, granddaughter of Rev. Awbry wrote an email to us explaining that "Thomas was not created until book #2. Book #1 came about from a drawing of engines (face on) to illustrate a railway themed nursery rhyme. In the empty smoke-boxes my Grandfather drew different facial expressions (eg sad face, happy face etc) and Christopher identified with the sad face.
The books came to life on the TV series "Shining Time Station", which was brought to life by Britt Alcroft with the help of Rev. Awdry himself. Thomas met his American fans in the early 80's with his first aired television show on PBS. Thomas quickly captured the hearts and imaginations of young children.
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