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HAMO of Nuremberg was founded in 1952 by Alfred Hanneman, as a contraction of "Alfred Hannemann Modellbau", although the company then changed their name to "Spielzeug - und Modellbau A. Hannemann".

Although the company later made some H0-gauge diesel locomotive models, the company's overriding speciality was model trams, and their range of trams and tram infrastructure made them a premium brand for tram enthusiasts.

After Hanneman left and Marklin became a shareholder, Hamo assembled and marketed some niche products for Marklin that might have been too confusing to be part of the main official Marklin range from 1964 onwards. 1966 saw the HAMO brand similarly used for Marklin's new two-rail system, and the HAMO brand became Marklin's offshoot branding for items not sold through the normal model railway outlets. With Marklin's acquisition of the Trix brand, the HAMO marque was dropped, and the better-known Trix branding started to be used for Marklin's non-standard product ranges instead.

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