Carlisle and Finch started out building and repairing electric motors, branching out into carbon arc searchlights in 1895. In order to create a market for the small electric motors they made, they started producing electric toy trains in 1896, giving them the distinction of inventing the category, though there had been steam and clockwork train sets before this. A line of marine and utility gas engines was also introduced.
Toy production was shut down for WW1 to concentrate on searchlight production for the war effort. After the war it was decided to specialize in the manufacture of searchlights. More than 100 years later they're still in the business, in the hands of brothers Kurtis and Garth Finch, the fourth generation of the family!