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Kalmbach Publishing

Kalmbach Publishing Co. is an American publisher of books and magazines, many of them railroad-related, located in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Kalmbach Publishing
Kalmbach logo.png
FounderAl C. Kalmbach
Headquarters locationWaukesha, Wisconsin, United States
Key peopleCharles R. Croft
Publication typesBooks, magazines
Nonfiction topicsHobbies, trains, crafts, model railroading, autos, drones, astronomy, snowmobiles.
No. of employees275 [1]



The company's first publication was The Model Railroader, which began publication in the summer of 1933 with a cover date of January 1934. A press release announcing the magazine appeared in August 1933, but did not receive much interest.

In 1940, business was good enough for Kalmbach to launch another magazine about railroads in general with the simple title of Trains Magazine. From its first issue dated November 1940, it grew quickly from an initial circulation of just over 5,000.

Kalmbach became exclusively a publisher when it discontinued its printing operations in 1973, opting to contract production from other printers.[2]

In 1985, Kalmbach purchased AstroMedia Corporation, adding its four magazines: Astronomy, Deep Sky, the children's science magazine Odyssey and Telescope Making.[3] [4]

Kalmbach began publishing its annual Great Model Railroads in November 1990.[5]

In 1991, Kalmbach purchased Greenberg Publishing of Sykesville, Maryland. Also included in the purchase was Greenberg Shows, which sponsored nearly two dozen combined model railroad and doll house shows on the East Coast.[6] Intending to focus on the adult hobby and leisure market, Kalmbach sold the publication rights of the children's science magazine Odyssey to Cobblestone Publishing of Peterborough, New Hampshire in September 1991.[7]

In January 1992, Kalmbach began publishing Earth magazine.[8][9]

Kalmbach purchased Discover Media, publisher of the science magazine Discover, in August 2010.[10]

Gerald B. Boettcher, the company's president, retired in June 2012.[11] Charles R. Croft became the new president. [12]

In 2016 Kalmbach acquired Rather Dashing Games, a board game company based near Lexington, Kentucky.[13]

In 2017 the company hired digital media veteran Dan Hickey as its sixth chief executive officer.[14] Hickey was the first Kalmbach leader hired from outside the company in its 84-year history. The company was renamed Kalmbach Media in 2018.[15].


  • American Snowmobiler
  • Art Jewelry
  • Astronomy
  • Bead & Button
  • Bead Style
  • Classic Toy Trains Magazine
  • Classic Trains Magazine
  • Discover
  • Drone 360
  • Fine Scale Modeler Magazine
  • Garden Railways
  • Model Railroader (its first periodical)
  • Miniature Showcase
  • Model Retailer
  • Scale Auto
  • Trains (its second periodical)

The company also produces some annual publications.

In addition, it publishes numerous books, including the Tourist Trains Guidebook. An illustrated compendium of more than 450 tourist railroads, dinner trains, and rail museums in the U.S. and Canada, the 300-page guidebook's 2009 edition provides reviews by Trains magazine staff and contributors.[16] It was the original publisher of Jim Scribbins' The Hiawatha Story in 1970.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kalmbach Publishing. "Charles R. Croft named President".
  2. ^ Day, Dan (March 11, 1982). "Hobby magazine turns into big business". Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. Retrieved September 17, 2018 – via NewspaperArchive. (Subscription required (help)).
  3. ^ Eicher, David J. (April 9, 2013). "Astronomy magazine: 40 years and counting". Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  4. ^ "Longtime Kalmbach President Jim King dies". Kalmbach Media. July 27, 2018. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  5. ^ "Kalmbach Publishing Co". The Business Journal-Milwaukee. November 12, 1990. Retrieved September 17, 2018 – via Gale General Reference Center GOLD. (Subscription required (help)).
  6. ^ "Kalmbach Publishing Co". The Business Journal-Milwaukee. American City Business Journals. January 28, 1991. Retrieved September 17, 2018 – via Gale General OneFile. (Subscription required (help)).
  7. ^ "Kalmbach Publishing Co". The Business Journal-Milwaukee. American City Business Journals. September 9, 1991. Retrieved September 17, 2018 – via Gale General Reference Center GOLD. (Subscription required (help)).
  8. ^ "Earth". Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management. October 1, 1991. Retrieved September 17, 2018 – via Gale General Reference Center Gold. (Subscription required (help)).
  9. ^ "Magazine Covers the Earth For Those Who Live On It". Orlando Sentinel. December 31, 1991. Retrieved September 17, 2018 – via Proquest. (Subscription required (help)).
  10. ^ Mickey, Bill (August 5, 2010). "Kalmbach to Buy Discover Media". Folio:. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  11. ^ Trains (Kalmbach Publishing). Vol. 70 (no. 1). January 2010.
  12. ^ Kalmbach Publishing. "Charles R. Croft named President".
  13. ^ "Kalmbach expands reach with acquisition of Rather Dashing Games".
  14. ^ Daykin, Tom (September 6, 2017). "Waukesha-based Kalmbach Publishing appoints Dan Hickey as new CEO". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  15. ^ Guaglione, Sara (May 17, 2018). "Kalmbach Media Rebrands, Introduces Print Magazine From Paid Video Product". Publishers Daily. MediaPost. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  16. ^ Wrinn, Jim, ed. (2009). Tourist Trains Guidebook. Waukesha, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-87116-273-1.

External linksEdit