The company was founded in 1948 by Bill Bowser in California. Since 1961 it has been owned by the Lewis English family and located in Pennsylvania. The company produces model railroad locomotives, railroad cars, kits and a wide selection of parts directed at the more serious model railroad enthusiast. Bowser's significance for the model railroad community lies not only in the products that Bowser itself originated, but also in those originally produced by other companies. The latter includes products originally made by Penn Line Manufacturing, Varney, Cary and Pittman motors.