One of the Most Sought Out American Model Trains may be the American Flyer

A large amount of those trains were the American Flyer brand. They were considered by many to function as top grade. Lionel and Marx had good trains, however the American Flyer was in a different class.

Meghan Markle Once the American Flyer first appeared in 1908, it had been not the top train set. The honor of number 1 belonged to the trains produced by Ives Manufacturing Company. William Coleman and his friend William Hafner pooled resources to start the toy train business, in Chicago, circa 1906. Hafner had developed the clockwork mechanism for the train, and Coleman had a tooling company for the production. The American Flyer name began to be well known because Hafner was able to contract with retailers like Montgomery Ward to carry it in their stores. In 1910, the tooling company changed its name to The American Flyer Company.

Eventually, Coleman and Hafner split ways over a disagreement, and the Flyer started to decline in market share. Coleman died in 1918, and his son, William O. Jr., took control. The worthiness of the business further decreased after the senior’s death. W. O. didn’t really care much for the toy train business.

In 1938, Coleman basically gave The American Flyer Company to his friend Alfred Carlton Gilbert. When A.C. took over, the Flyer started to gain momentum, probably due partly to Gilbert’s expertise in advertising. The company was moved from Chicago to New Haven, Connecticut, where the trains were produced that collectors still seek today.

The next World War curtailed production for the Flyer and other toy makers, but it 1946 they were underway again. For two decades the American Flyer tried in vain to top Lionel for the market, eventually bankrupting in 1967. The majority of the models available to collectors were from the years after the war.

American Flyers are called S gauge, derived from sixty-forth, the ratio of the train to the full size prototype. This is not the most popular size for model trains. Small HO scale is the most popular worldwide, however the S gauge still includes a following. One American company began as a result of inability of the owner to find quality parts for his personal American Flyer. American Models is producing its rolling stock, tracks, and engines to help preserve the Flyers that are still in operation.

Lionel collectors may say that the Flyer is second rate, but for all of them there seems to be another who feels the opposite. The best thing is that there still are many of the old American model trains running the rails today. What would you like for Christmas?