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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 GILBERT 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 AMERICAN FLYER TRAINS 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 AMERICAN FLYER TRAINS S Gauge GILBERT AMERICAN FLYER HO TRAINS PHOTO GALLERYand ourAMERICAN FLYER TRAINS S 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

 WATCH GILBERT AMERICAN FLYER Videos
 GILBERT ERECTOR AMERICAN FLYER & NOMA SOUNDS
ORIGINAL AMERICAN FLYER
"S" "HO" "O" CATALOG Scans

American Flyer Catalogs
1938 - 1966 Complete Catalogs.
76 Train Catalogs & Paper!!!
Rare pieces not available elsewhere!

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AMERICAN FLYER "S"
ONLINE PRICING GUIDE

S GAUGE GALLERY
Pictures of ORIGINAL
AMERICAN FLYER TRAINS "S" & "HO",
Steam Engines, Diesels, Rolling Stock
& Accessories 1946-1966.
GILBERT HO GALLERY
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MORE FROM RFG
ORIGINAL AMERICAN FLYER for SALE
FOR SALE LIST
 ERECTOR Parts and Information
 AutoRama Parts and Information
RACING CAR SETS
 All Aboard Information
OPERATING REPAIR TIPS FAQ
WIRING DIAGRAMS STEAM & DIESEL
TRAIN REPAIR SERVICES
American Flyer "S" PRODUCTION LIST

American Flyer "HO" PRODUCTION LIST
AMERICAN FLYER TRAINS "S" SET LIST
AF STEAM ENGINE SPECS
AF DIESEL ENGINE SPECS

A.C. GILBERT FAMILY PHOTO'S


REPAIR SERVICES

Expert Repair Services on American Flyer S & HO Engines, Rolling Stock and Accessories.
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RFGCO.com manufacturer of American Flyer Supplies, American Flyer Parts, American Flyer Reproductions and Electronics and Supplies for all Model Trains

American Flyer boasted Two Rail Track, 3/16 inch scale and Pull-Mor Power , all aimed at it's biggest rival and competitor, Lionel.

That rivalry, that began even before "S" Gauge was introduced, lasts to this day among collectors.

Today American Flyer Trains are produced by Lionel.

RFGCO.com
, produces parts, supplies, reproductions and other items, that can be used with American Flyer. RFG Original Quality Parts are manufactured in it's own facility. RFG parts, reproductions and supplies are regarded as the best.


Compatible Engines, cars and other rolling stock are produced by companies like American Models. Recently MTH has begun reproducing several American Flyer accessories. While American Flyer Trains were only toys in the 1940-1960's, today they are regarded as collectibles,AMERICAN FLYER ONLINE PRICE VALUE GUIDE. Many model railroaders, model in "S" Scale, which has it's foundations in American Flyer.

RFGCO.com manufacturer of American Flyer Supplies, American Flyer Parts, American Flyer Reproductions and Electronics and Supplies for all Model Trains





The A.C. Gilbert Co. maintained factories in New Haven and Branford Connecticut along with their famed Gilbert Hall of Science, in New York City. Other cites such as Chicago and Washington, D.C., also had Halls of Science.

The New York Hall of Science, pictured here, had a massive train layout on the main floor along with displays of Erector and Science toys. On the second floor was another train layout not open to the public, it was reserved for salesmen, buyers and selected guests. Work shops and offices occupied the remaining floors. All the Halls of Science had been closed by 1966.

Gilbert in its hay day was one of the largest, best known and respected toy makers. It was also the largest manufacturer of fractional horsepower motors, holding the patent for enameled wire.

In 2003, a TV movie, "The Man Who Saved Christmas", was loosely based on the life of A.C. Gilbert, his development of Erector sets and his work to continue making toys during World War I.


See The GILBERT HALL OF SCIENCE today!


While the American Flyer line was never as extensive as that of Lionel, American Flyer 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 American Flyer also offered unique special features like synchronized Smoke and Choo Choo Sounds. Recently, Lionel has begun reintroducing several of those accessories.




RFG offersORIGINAL SMOKE FLUID Formulated for American Flyer 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 !"


RFGCO.com manufacturer of American Flyer Supplies, American Flyer Parts, American Flyer Reproductions and Electronics and Supplies for all Model Trains

SOME OTHER GILBERT PRODUCTS

Gilbert 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.

RFGCO.com manufacturer of American Flyer Supplies, American Flyer Parts, American Flyer Reproductions and Electronics and Supplies for all Model Trains RFGCO.com manufacturer of American Flyer Supplies, American Flyer Parts, American Flyer Reproductions and Electronics and Supplies for all Model Trains
RFGCO.com manufacturer of American Flyer Supplies, American Flyer Parts, American Flyer Reproductions and Electronics and Supplies for all Model Trains RFGCO.com manufacturer of American Flyer Supplies, American Flyer Parts, American Flyer Reproductions and Electronics and Supplies for all Model Trains RFGCO.com manufacturer of American Flyer Supplies, American Flyer Parts, American Flyer Reproductions and Electronics and Supplies for all Model Trains
RFGCO.com manufacturer of American Flyer Supplies, American Flyer Parts, American Flyer Reproductions and Electronics and Supplies for all Model Trains

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
GILBERT AMERICAN FLYER TRAIN CATALOGS
PICTURES of GILBERT PRODUCTS

Other resources for American Flyer information include:
Classic Toy Trains magazine, Greenberg Publishing Co.

If you need any help or have questions about American Flyer Trains or The A.C. Gilbert, Co., check the FAQ's page.
RFGCO manufacturer of American Flyer Supplies, American Flyer Train Parts, American Flyer Train Reproductions and Electronics and Supplies for all Model Trains
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