|Born||February 15, 1884|
|Died||January 24, 1961 76) (aged|
Alfred Carlton Gilbert (February 15,1884 – January 24, 1961) was an American inventor, athlete, magician, toy-maker and businessman. Gilbert is best known as the inventor of the Erector Set and manufactured American Flyer Trains.
Gilbert was educated at the Tualatin Academy and attended Pacific University in nearby Forest Grove, Oregon, where he was a member of the Gamma Sigma Fraternity. [ citation needed ] and earning a degree in sports medicine.[ citation needed ]He left Pacific after 1902 and transferred to Yale University, financing his education by working as a magician,
An accomplished athlete, he broke the world record for consecutive chin-ups (39) in 1900 and distance record for running long dive in 1902. He invented the pole vault box and set two world records in the pole vault including a record for 12′ 3″ (3.66 meters) at the Spring meet of the Irish American Athletic Club, held at Celtic Park, New York, in 1906. [ citation needed ]He tied for gold with fellow American Edward Cook at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London for pole vaulting.
Choosing not to pursue a medical career, Gilbert co-founded Mysto Manufacturing, a manufacturer of magic sets, in 1907. [ citation needed ]). His inspiration was steel construction girders used on the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. In 1918, with the United States embroiled in World War I and the Council of National Defense considering a ban on toy production, Gilbert argued successfully against it. The press gave him the nickname "The man who saved Christmas."[ citation needed ]This company later became the A. C. Gilbert Company. Gilbert developed the Erector Set, a construction toy, in 1913 (preceded by the similar Meccano set conceived by Frank Hornby in 1898 which he developed and patented as "Mechanics Made Easy" in 1901
By 1935, he had sold more than 30 million of the sets.[ citation needed ] He also added chemistry sets, microscope sets, and other educational toys to his product line, accumulating more than 150 patents during his 50-year career. In 1938, he acquired the rights to the American Flyer toy train line from W. O. Coleman and moved their production from Chicago to New Haven. At the same time, he adopted a 3/16 scale for this train line while keeping the three-rail O-gauge track now associated with Lionel. Following World War II, O-gauge track was abandoned in favor of two-rail S-gauge track. Gilbert was lauded for his adherence to scale realism, making American Flyer trains look more real and less toylike.[ citation needed ]
Gilbert is credited with originating the concept of providing benefits for his employees, co-founded the Toy Manufacturers of the U.S.A. trade association and was its first president.[ citation needed ]
Frustrated that invention was an important part of American society not taught in schools, in 1941 Gilbert opened the Gilbert Hall of Science in New York City, a science and technology museum. It served the dual purpose of promoting interest in science and selling Gilbert's products.[ citation needed ]
In 1950–1951 he marketed the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Laboratory, which contained radioactive ore samples.[ citation needed ]
In 1908, he married Mary Thompson, whom he had met at Pacific University. They had three children: two girls and a boy.[ citation needed ]
Upon his retirement in 1954, Gilbert turned his company over to his son.[ citation needed ] The same year, he published his autobiography, titled The Man Who Lives in Paradise. After his death in 1961, the family sold its remaining shares in the A. C. Gilbert Company to Jack Wrather. It went out of business six years later.[ citation needed ]
A museum in Gilbert's birthplace of Salem, Oregon, A. C. Gilbert's Discovery Village, is named in his honor. The museum comprises several historic structures, including the house of Gilbert's uncle Andrew T. Gilbert. It opened in 1989. A biography titled The Man Who Changed How Boys and Toys Were Made was published in 2002.
The television movie The Man Who Saved Christmas is a dramatization of Christmas during the years 1917 and 1918 when America was involved in World War I. He was portrayed by Jason Alexander. The film takes several historical liberties. It debuted December 15, 2002.
Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, has a residential hall named after him that was opened in 2009.
Lionel, LLC is an American designer and importer of toy trains and model railroads that is headquartered in Concord, North Carolina. Its roots lie in the 1969 purchase of the Lionel product line from the Lionel Corporation by cereal conglomerate General Mills and subsequent purchase in 1986 by businessman Richard P. Kughn forming Lionel Trains, Inc. in 1986. The Martin Davis Investment Group (Wellspring) bought Lionel Trains, Inc. in 1995 and renamed it Lionel, LLC.
O scale is a scale commonly used for toy trains and rail transport modelling. Introduced by German toy manufacturer Märklin around 1900, by the 1930s three-rail alternating current O gauge was the most common model railroad scale in the United States and remained so until the early 1960s. In Europe, its popularity declined before World War II due to the introduction of smaller scales.
The A. C. Gilbert Company was an American toy company, once one of the largest in the world. Gilbert originated the Erector Set, which is a construction toy similar to Meccano in the rest of the world, and made chemistry sets, microscope kits, and a line of inexpensive reflector telescopes. In 1938, Gilbert purchased the American Flyer, a manufacturer of toy trains. The Gilbert Company struggled after the death of its founder in 1961 and went out of business in 1967. Its trademarks and toy lines were sold to other companies.
American Flyer is a brand of toy train and model railroad manufactured in the United States.
Standard Gauge, also known as wide gauge, was an early model railway and toy train rail gauge, introduced in the United States in 1906 by Lionel Corporation. As it was a toy standard, rather than a scale modeling standard, the actual scale of Standard Gauge locomotives and rolling stock varied. It ran on three-rail track whose running rails were 2+1⁄8 in apart.
The Ives Manufacturing Company, an American toy manufacturer from 1868 to 1932, was the largest manufacturer of toy trains in the United States from 1910 until 1924, when Lionel Corporation overtook it in sales.
Erector Set was a brand of metal toy construction sets which were originally patented by Alfred Carlton Gilbert and first sold by his company, the Mysto Manufacturing Company of New Haven, Connecticut in 1913. In 1916, the company was reorganized as the A.C. Gilbert Company. The brand continued its independent existence under various corporate ownerships until 2000, when Meccano bought the Erector brand and consolidated its worldwide marketing with its own brand. The coverage here focuses on the historical legacy of the classic Erector Set; for current developments under the "Erector by Meccano" brand name, see the Meccano article.
A toy train is a toy that represents a train. It is distinguished from a model train by an emphasis on low cost and durability, rather than scale modeling. A toy train can be as simple as a pull toy that does not even run on track, or it might be operated by clockwork or a battery. Many of today's model trains might be considered as toy ones as well, providing they are not strictly scale ones in favor of a robustness appropriate for children.
S scale is a model railroad scale modeled at 1:64 scale, S scale track gauge is 22,48 (22,5) mm, 0.885 in. S gauge trains are manufactured in both DC and AC powered varieties. S gauge is not to be confused with toy train standard gauge, a large-scale standard for toy trains in the early part of the 20th century.
The Hafner Manufacturing Company was a maker of tinplate clockwork-powered O gauge toy trains, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1914 to 1951. It was formed when its founder, William Frederick Hafner, a co-founder of American Flyer, left the company in favor of creating his own company.
MTH Electric Trains, a privately held company based in Columbia, Maryland that is formerly known as Mike's Train House, is an American toy train and model railroad designer, importer, and manufacturer.
Lionel Corporation was an American toy manufacturer and holding company of retailers that has been in business for over 120 years. It was founded as an electrical novelties company, Lionel specialized in various products throughout its existence. Toy trains and model railroads were its main claim to fame. Lionel also produced the diecast cars for NASCAR. Lionel trains have been produced since 1900, and their trains drew admiration from model railroaders around the world for the solidity of their construction and the authenticity of their detail. During its peak years in the 1950s, the company sold $25 million worth of trains per year. In 2006, Lionel's electric train became the first electric toy inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. In 1969, they sold their model train lines to General Mills, but continued to operate until 1993 as a holding company for their toy stores. Its model trains are still in production as a separate company.
The men's pole vault was one of six jumping events on the athletics at the 1908 Summer Olympics programme in London. The competition was held on Friday, July 24, 1908. 15 pole vaulters from seven nations competed. It is the only one of the 111 events featured in 1908 to not have any competitors from the host nation. NOCs could enter up to 12 athletes. The event was won by Edward Cook and Alfred Carlton Gilbert of the United States, the nation's fourth consecutive victory in the men's pole vault. The tie was permitted, rather than a jump-off being held, due to the length of the competition. Similarly, bronze medals were awarded to all three men who had cleared 3.58 metres for third place. Sweden and Canada thus received their first medals in the pole vault, while the United States had the unusual distinction of winning three medals in an event but not sweeping.
A chemistry set is an educational toy allowing the user to perform simple chemistry experiments.
Edward Tiffin Cook Sr. was an American athlete who shared the gold medal in the pole vault at the 1908 Summer Olympics.
LeRoy Perry Samse was an American athlete who competed mainly in the pole vault. Samse represented the United States in the 1904 Summer Olympics held in St Louis, United States in the pole vault where he won the silver medal.
The Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab was a toy lab set that was produced by Alfred Carlton Gilbert, who was an American athlete, magician, toy-maker, business man, and inventor of the well-known Erector Set. The Atomic Energy Lab was released by the A. C. Gilbert Company in 1950. The kit's intention was to allow children to create and watch nuclear and chemical reactions using radioactive material.
The Man Who Saved Christmas is a film based on the true story about the efforts of toymaker Alfred Carlton Gilbert of the A. C. Gilbert Company to continue making toys during World War I. First broadcast on CBS television in 2002, it was released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2008.
The Multnomah Athletic Club is a private social and athletic club in Portland, Oregon, United States.
William Louis "Colonel Bill" Hayward was a track and field coach at the University of Oregon for 44 years, and a track coach for six United States Olympic teams, from 1908 through 1932.