JEP was a French manufacturer that made trains in 0/027, S, and H0 gauge. They
also made lithographed, tin, clockwork toy automobiles, motorcycles, aircraft and other motor miniatures.
JEP cars traditionally carried a trademark on the radiator of the particular vehicle replicated.
The company began in 1899 as Le jouet de Paris. In 1902, the Société Industrielle de Ferblanterie (SIF) was formed in Paris
as a consortium of 7 toy makers. Later in 1909 they
took over Le jouet de Paris, and these companies joined
forces to produce toys under the label "JP". Eventually this
label changed into "J et P" and in 1928 into "Jep". Under this name the brand achieved
great success, as technical systems for manufacturing were continually improved. SIF was headquartered at 39 rue Beaumarchais
in the third district of Paris. FIS distributed and sold toys all over France and Europe (Lyon, Algiers, Amsterdam, Cairo, Zurich,
Casablanca, Brussels and Gothenburg). The company's manufacturing plant
was located at 94 rue de Paris in Montreuil-Sous-Bois. The plant had 10,000 square meters of floor space for manufacturing
the toys such as cars, boats, canoes, roller skates, beach accessories, stoves, planes and trains.
Some toys made between 1909 and 1914 may bear both the inscriptions 'SIF' and 'JP'.
During the 1st World War the company was requisitioned by the army to produce
military accessories in tin plate. Primarilly helmets were made for the army, under then director Cyril Bonnet.
After the war, toy manufacturing was resumed. The company achieved great success in the 1920's and in the Golden Age
of the 30's with highly appealing and detailed models of French trains. The "Pacific" locomotive, "Triple Blue" railcar and "Fleche d'or" (Golden Arrow) are
fine examples of these high quality trains that could compete with the best productions worldwide.
In 1932 the company was run by a tinsmith named Grasset.
Around 1935 the factory in Montreuil, a suburb of Paris, employed over 750 workers and was handling
over 10 tons of material each day. After the 2nd World War, things began to deterioate for Jep. Commerce in France was recovering, but
manufacturers such as Jep were hit by huge shortages in raw materials. However by 1948 things had recovered, and a range of HO gauge trains
were added to the line. It was during this period that products such as the R 232, the 2D2 9101 and the famous passenger cars were produced.
The company competed with the likes of Hornby France,
Jouef, Edobaud, Marescot and LR (Le Rapide), and
other French manufacturers. The post war products where completely different than previous production.
The engines became more scale like models. However, the entire line of rolling stock and passenger cars
were produced without modification for 35 years, except for the inclusion of automatic couplers in 1952.
In the 1950's business slowed again. The work force was reduced to around 500 employees. To keep sales going and compete with the
other manufacturers, in 1955 Jep began making plastic toys and trains. Between 1956 and 59, the catalog of items increased by 30%. Around
this time, Jep began to outsource some of its train manufacturing to Rateau. In 1959, as a subcontractor, Rateau manufactured three sheet
metal passenger coaches. This included two CIWL Pullman cars and a postal van. Sales of Jep trains continued to decline however due to increased
competition, primarily from Joef and Hornby. As a result, Jep ceased production of model trains and toys in 1965. Manufacturing was shifted
primarily to parts for the automobile industry.