It all started in 1948. In this year the merchant Arthur Braun from Waiblingen started a firm for household articles and toys. The assortment carried the Anker brick construction boxes, landscapes, trees, traffic signs, dolls, teddy bears and a battery-operated merry-go-round. His firm did even the import of the Dinky Toys cars into Germany.
The programme also carried a toy miniature railway. This railway was a continuation from the one made by the Löhmann firm, that went broke in 1949. To guarantee the existence of this train the firm "Europa Technische Spielwaren GmbH" was founded, the products of this firm were sold by Arthur Braun. This "Europa" produced, among other things, a 2-axel diesel train (Löhmann-Prozix-Bahn) and a steam engine in TT-gauge (Europa-bahn).
A big hit however was the trolleybus in H0 gauge that was produced from 1950, also by 'Europa'. It had the same engine as the steam engine from the Europa-bahn and was constructed by the engineer Günther Eheim from Esslingen after a patent of engineer E.W. Fischer from Munich (picture right). This bus however did not have a real name yet. The box had the name ‘EWF Trolley Bus’ on it, in the manual ‘Europa-Trolley-Bus’ was used.
In 1953 once again also 'Europa' went bankrupt. The production of the trolleybus now completely came into the hands of the 1950 founded firm Eheim. Arthur Braun again sold the buses for Eheim. At the 1953 Nuremberg toy fair an improved, more to the scale version of the trolleybus was demonstrated. The first buses were ivory-coloured with a red trim. They were made from cellulose acetate, which unfortunately was deformed easily. In the beginning the assemblage found place in a modest way. The garden house of the family was the production hall and the kitchen table carried the test run. Later buses carried the colours ivory with red, yellow, blue or (more rare) green. 2 lamps formed the headlights. The bus could be extended with a two-axle trailer with the same colours (picture above) The overhead wires and masts were produced by the still existing firm Vollmer, who got a patent on the construction in 1949. The assortment of Eheim was extended rapidly. Not also accessories for the trolleybus system were made, they also created different cable cars, a television tower (made from a cable car tower), a model airplane and a city fountain that used real water. Eheim developed a silent water pump for this.
The success of the trolleybus convinced Eheim to build a 3-axle Henschel trolleybus in 1956. This model had more details like a Henschel star and a chrome bumper (picture left). To complete the bus a one-axle trailer for luggage was also available. After already 10 years the production of this touring car trolleybus was stopped; the consumer, who got more critical, didn’t accept a touring car under overhead wires anymore.
In 1962 a new type with smaller concrete masts and real wires succeeded the old overhead system. The headlights were now made of plastic with lights in the bus and the wheel-trolleys were replaced by sliding trolleys. In 1963 the trolley support was moved inside the bus, which made it more realistic. The bus assortment was extended with an articulated Henschel bus, which was also available as diesel bus for the Faller AMS slot car system.
The water pump brought Günther Eheim closer to his real passion: aquaria. He decided to concentrate on aquarium equipment and sold the production of railway accessories to Arthur Braun. In 1963 he had founded the firm ‘BraWa’ in Waiblingen (this means Braun-Waiblingen). This firm still exists anno 2000 and still produces, among other things, in almost unchanged way the Eheim trolleybus from 1963.
ZVW-Online. Ausschnitte aus der
Waiblinger Kreiszeitung, by Klaus-Peter Huschka. 07.11.1998
· ‘Autos lernen laufen’, Eisenbahn Magazin 10/96