Dr. Theodor Egger was the founder of Egger-Bahn (9mm hobby railroad product) and was also the visionary who helped bring Georg Franz Greger‘s Lectron System to the marketplace in 1966. No doubt with prodding from Constantin Film who had become the primary financiers of Egger-Bahn in 1964.
Mr. Greger patented the Lectron System in 1965 and had a prior close association with Constantin Film having developed several patents relating to movie screen projection technologies including stereo audio. Due to Egger-Bahn’s manufacturing prowess for the 9mm train product line and having numerous sales/marketing channels in the hobby marketplace, introducing the Lectron System through them seemed to be a logical choice to Egger-Bahn and Constantin Film management.
Not much about Dr. Egger’s personal history is known to this author. He was married to Ingeborg and according to Rudd Wittekoek, there were no children born of this union.
Mr. Wittekoek (on the far left of the photo) knew Dr. Egger personally and was part of the team that put together the new Egger-Bahn company in 2003. Ingeborg was shown as the Egger trademark owner back in 2000. In later years, the Eggers maintained a residence in Lenggries, GERMANY.
Mr. Ralph Stenzel met Dr. Egger in 1999 and informed me that Dr. Egger was still sad and somewhat angry that Egger-Bahn went out of business in 1967 due to ‘outside’ (Constantin Film) influences and pressures.
Dr. Egger was able to reacquire the rights to the name Egger-Bahn in 2000. The company is still producing 9mm Egger-Bahn trains in Switzerland under the leadership of Mr. Roald Hofmann. The website does not appear to have been updated since 2014 however.
According to Mr. Stenzel, Dr. Egger was involved in academia prior to 1963, a different discipline from model design and manufacturing. He initially was a technical specialist and earned his Doctorate in Engineering and took up the study of “Factors Affecting Visibility from Inside Motor Vehicles”. I wonder if Dr. Egger’s research was used by Tesla in the development of their vehicles.
Another passion of Dr. Egger’s was model boats (Schiffe). According to Mr. Stenzel (based on information acquired during his interview with Dr. Egger in 1999) Dr. Egger designed his boat based on the American 19th century steam rear paddle boats. Dr. Egger chose (per Mr. Stenzel) the American steamboat because no hole had be be made in the hull for the screw. The paddle system provided the drive for the water craft. His model would therefore stay afloat since there would be no hull compromise for water to enter into the boat from the bottom. Dr. Egger developed (but was not able to patent) a technology of using under water tracks on which the model boat would be guided to create a convincing movement on the waterway.
Disney World (among others) uses a similar concept for their steam paddleboat in Magic Kingdom.
I was able to acquire the American import of this model which came with instructions in English! See more about this model here at the bottom of the section.
Very sadly, Dr. Egger passed in 2007, about six years before I had begun my Lectron System research project.