The A.C. Gilbert Company & American Flyer Trains

Posted by Don Manley on


The A. C. Gilbert Company of New Haven, CT was once one of the largest toy companies in the world. It's best know for introducing the "Erector Set." In 1938 Gilbert purchased "American Flyer, a struggling manufacturer of toy trains. Click here to learn more about the Gilbert Company on Wikipedia. Click here to visit and to learn more about the "Gilbert Hall of Science" building in NYC.

Interestingly, the founder of Gilbert Toys was a world Champion Pole Vaulter. Below is a postcard with Gilbert to the left. Postcard image compliments of

American Flyer, though best remembered for the "S gauge" trains of the 1950s, began as an independent company in the early nineteenth century. William Ogden Coleman took over the "Edmonds-Metze Hardware Company" and began producing toy trains. By 1910 they abandoned the hardware business and focused exclusively on toy trains. Click here to learn more about "American Flyer."

The photo below depicts a 1957 American Flyer Pennsylvania 0-6-0 Yard Switcher and Tender, compliments of


Below are several YouTube videos dedicated to American Flyer Trains from the Gilbert Company. The original film clips are from the 1950s and 60s.



Click here to view a 1957 Gilvert American Flyer Trains Catalog in our store.

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