A Short History of American Flyer Trains
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American Flyer Trains, first manufactured by the American Flyer Manufacturing Co. in Chicago, IL. They manufactured Clock Work trains and later Wide Gauge and "O" Gauge Electric Trains. In the late 1930's the American Flyer line was bought by The A.C. Gilbert, Co. of New Haven Connecticut, headed by A.C. Gilbert the inventor of ERECTOR SETSand many other toys. Gilbert had already begun the manufacture of an HO line of trains. At the end of World War 2, Gilbert resumed train and toy production, but introduced a new gauge, "S" Gauge. Scaled to 3/16 to the inch and running on two rail track.
Gilbert also producedGILBERT AUTO-RAMA Racing setsin the 1960's and was the first to introduce the ALL ABOARD Complete Railroading System.
The A.C. Gilbert, Co., acquired by The Wrather, Corp., in the early 60's, was closed in 1966. The American Flyer name, along with all the tools and dies, were sold to the Lionel Corp.
Gilbert also made the famousGILBERT ERECTOR SETSand many other GILBERT TOYS. They made science, chemistry, physics and microscope sets. Some of the first items Gilbert made were their Mysto Magic Sets,MYSTO MANUFACTURING CO.Gilbert Polar Cub small electrical appliances were years ahead of their time.
Many of these items are pictured in our S Gauge GILBERT HO TRAINS PHOTO GALLERYand ourS and HO COMPLETE CATALOG SCANS
There was also a vast amount of literature produced by the company, this included books, instruction manuals, catalogs and magazine ads, much of which is included here or in our Literature Section.
The book, "The Man Who Lives in Paradise", is A.C. Gilberts' autobiography.
View of Gilbert Factory, New Haven, CT, in Google Maps
S GAUGE GALLERY
Pictures of ORIGINAL
"S" & "HO",
Steam Engines, Diesels, Rolling Stock
& Accessories 1946-1966.
GILBERT HO GALLERY
WIRING DIAGRAMS STEAM & DIESEL
TRAIN REPAIR SERVICES
American Flyer "S" PRODUCTION LIST
"HO" PRODUCTION LIST
AF STEAM ENGINE SPECS
AF DIESEL ENGINE SPECS
A.C. GILBERT FAMILY PHOTO'S
American Flyer boasted Two Rail Track, 3/16
inch scale and Pull-Mor Power , all
at it's biggest rival and competitor,
While the American Flyer line was never as extensive as that of Lionel, it always offered realism and some interesting accessories. Many of those accessories are in high demand today, and are used by Lionel operators as well.
Gilbert also offered unique special features like synchronized Smoke and Choo Choo Sounds. Recently, Lionel has begun reintroducing several of those accessories.
RFG offersORIGINAL American Flyer SMOKE FLUID Formulated for AF Smoke Units.
Won't CLOG SMOKE UNITS!
ALSO NEW Smoke Fluid Kit, with smoke funnel and Instructions.
This is the REAL Stuff, not an Imitation or "SMELL ALIKE !"
SOME OTHER GILBERT PRODUCTSGilbert also produced many other toys, science sets, Polar Cub appliances, Puzzle Sets, Mysto Magic Sets,
Chemistry Sets, Physics Sets, James Bond Sets, My Favorite Martian and many others.
As one of the premier toy manufacturers, with their most famous toy set, Erector, Gilbert was known around the world.
MORE PICTURES of GILBERT TOYS
MORE PICTURES of GILBERT
PICTURES of GILBERT LITERATURE
PICTURES of GILBERT COMIC BOOKS
PICTURES of GILBERT ADS
PICTURES of GILBERT ART
PICTURES of GILBERT PRODUCTS
Other resources and information include:
Classic Toy Trains magazine, Greenberg Publishing Co.
If you need any help or have questions, check the FAQ's page.
American Flyer Trains