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Who We Are

We are a group of collectors who focus on products produced by and information about the former A.C. Gilbert Company of New Haven, Conn. These include Erector sets, chemistry sets, American Flyer trains, and many others products. Our goals are to showcase and celebrate the works of A.C. Gilbert, and promote the Heritage Society by educating the public and by sharing the works of our members.

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February 20, 2014 · by David Gilbert · Events, News

The Fourth Annual Mid-Atlantic Region Meet is scheduled for Saturday, November 12, 2016 at the First Presbyterian Church, 101 S. Decatur Street, Strasburg, Pennsylvania. Tables are available at this time, but please contact Den Cannon at cannoncrew1@verizon.net to reserve. To learn more about this event and all our events, visit our Calendar of Events page.

Visit our National Convention page to learn more about all our recent ACGHS National Conventions.

March 24, 2016 · by David Gilbert · News

Stewart Evans writes (September 27, 2016):

I have a Polar Cub Type G 110v fan made in New Haven, Conn. July 5, 1921 it states other pat. pending. The plug is no longer with the cord but I did use it many years ago, so did my father. No damage except some of the black paint is worn off in some places on the cage surrounding the blades. The cord is still attached. I would like to sell it if you can connect me with a potential buyer. I have not cleaned it, should I? Stewart Evans (jsehoo@bellsouth.net).

Ted Leonard writes (September 23, 2016):

I recently acquired a vintage Erector set for which I can find no information. I emailed “Doc” at Girders & Gears. I also attached a couple of photos of the set. I would have included them with this message, but could find no way to do so. Doc responded that he didn’t recognize the set. I am hoping that you can offer some help. The set comes packaged in a metal blue and white tool box type case. The builder guide, which I “believe” goes with this set has a date of 1975. If you would like to see some photos I would be glad to send them if you would provide a means of doing so. Thank you for any help. Ted Leonard (Ted@PaysonRealtor.com).

Tim Schoenenberger writes (September 19, 2016):

Hello, I was hoping to use Erector sets to make a neat  AF layout. I had some  personal issues and now this won’t be happening. I’m wandering now how to sell the sets and items, or maybe exchange the sets for one good 10/12 set for my grandson. Any ideas on how to do that? I’m going to look through your site, maybe I can get other ideas. Thanks for any info. Tim Schoenenberger, central Ohio (tds12054@gmail.com).

Bill Reagan writes (September 4, 2016):

I am restoring number 8 1/2 Erector set. I need a reproduction label for inside of the lid, and the round label for outside of the lid. Do you know anyone who sells these reproductions? Thanks, Bill (billreagan1@hotmail.com).

Robert S. Bruns writes (September 4, 2016):

I have a 1945, 9 1/2 Erector Set that is 95% complete that I want to give to my great grandson, but I am missing the instruction manual. My brother and I received the set for Christmas in 1945. Could you give any help as to where I might obtain a photo or PDF copy?  Would the Library of Congress have these and how would you find out? Thanks, Robert S. Bruns (robert83134@gmail.com).

Follow the Comments link above for additional Gilbert Exchange questions and comments. Items posted to The Gilbert Exchange will be removed after 30 days.

October 6, 2016 · by David Gilbert · News

Tony Brown of the UK just died today far too young of a brain aneurysm. Tony was born in Soham on April 14th 1963, and attended Warwick University in Coventry, having graduated in 1984.

He had an extensive collection of early Meccano sets as well as 20’s era brown box Gilbert. He also had a very rare 80% stocked Meccano’s dealer’s extra parts cabinet with many rare Short lived parts, it caused quite the stir in England as many of those parts just could not be found. Naturally he set about rounding it out to be 100% stocked, that dealers cabinet was his pride and joy. He was very fond of feeding the wildlife in his back yard and was a lifelong Shakespeare fan.

He was also quite fond of all things steam powered traction engines and locomotives in particular. He was quite excited when I told him about the west coast restoration project for the Union Pacific “big boy” 4-8-8-4 locomotive and we both followed that project closely. I remember him speculating how many Hudson sets would be required to make one like it.

Tony Brown

Tony Brown

He was not at all into Football (soccer) even though I was, his hometown team Cambridge United had just won the FA trophy and been promoted back into the professional league a few years ago but Shakespeare was his main passion outside of metal construction toys. Every time I tried to talk about football he adeptly changed the subject.

When I first met Tony I had only been into type III 70’s era Gilbert, he introduced me to Joel Perlin and the joys of the 1927 #8 Trumodel set in particular and the brown box sets in general. He had followed me into the #12 1/2 50’s era Robot sets and had he bought Joel’s last one that I needed to complete an inside straight of five consecutive years, my 12 1/2 collection will now be a four-flush as Joel so aptly put it. When we had first met he was very proud of a Hudson locomotive set he found in Cambridge that was missing many parts, I remember selling him on joining our group so he could have access to the graphics and manuals. He really wanted to build that locomotive, Joel helped him part it out and naturally he then wanted the tended. Just before he passed away he had started on parting out a Zeppelin set.

He really did like his extensive collection of early Marklin and Meccano sets being quite the expert in the subtle colour variations. He had a lot of them and was proud of their completeness with proper period parts, he was especially fond of the high end early larger Marklin & Meccano sets having built on his father’s collection adding the larger sets from other years I remember him being quite proud of a batch of early American Mecano painted metal pieces he found in England which had distinctly different shadings. He was a regular contributor to the New Zealand Meccano group and there are many albums of his rather large models there. He remarked to me once that with Meccano the models were so large that they needed their own room so he had to take them apart after their builders shows over there in the UK, he seemed to always be getting ready to go to one.

He passed away yesterday, we had received news of it shortly afterwards and it was like a punch to the gut. My thoughts go to his widow Marie and all of the many outstanding sets and parts she is now faced with. They had no children but he did have a niece Kayliegh  His favorite dog Timmy had just died a few weeks before he did which gives me pause to consider just how fragile life is, perhaps there is something to be said for living for the moment as the here and now will never come again ?

– Greg Guidarelli, Sylmar California

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