American Flyer Trains were 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 sets and 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¬†foot and running on two rail track. 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. American Flyer "S" Trains 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 is produced by Lionel. Other manufactures, including RFG, produce parts, supplies, reproductions and other items, that can be used with American Flyer. 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. Many model railroaders, model in "S" Scale, which has it's foundations in American Flyer.    
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