Although best remembered for the S gauge trains of the 1950s that it made as a division of the A. C. Gilbert Company, American Flyer was initially an independent company whose origins date back nearly a half century earlier. Chicago, Illinois-based toymaker William Frederick Hafner developed a clockwork motor for toy cars in 1901 while working for a company called Toy Auto Company. According to the recollections of William Hafner’s son, John, he had developed a clockwork train running on O gauge track by 1905.

Hafner’s friend, William Ogden Coleman, gained control of the Edmonds-Metzel Hardware Company, a struggling hardware manufacturer in Chicago, in 1906 or 1907. Hafner and Coleman began producing toy trains using Edmonds-Metzel’s excess manufacturing capability after Hafner was able to secure $15,000 worth of orders. By 1907, two American retailers, G. Sommers & Co. and Montgomery Ward, were selling Hafner-Coleman aka Edmonds-Metzel trains. In 1908, Edmonds-Metzel adopted the American Flyer brand name for the trains, and by 1910, Edmonds-Metzel was out of the hardware business and changed its name to American Flyer Manufacturing Company.

from Wikipedia

Model Trains History

The above quote shows only a small bit of the story of model trains. If you go to the link for Wikipedia, you’ll find even more interesting information. Today we often give a ‘ho hum’ response to the history of familiar items. But if you take the time to read a bit more about these items, there’s a new appreciation of how they even came about!

American Flyer S-Scale Trains

New, very collectible, American Flyer S-scale model trains

Our latest ‘collection of collections’ is this assortment of newly acquired American Flyer Showcase Line of S-scale model trains. You’ll want to stop by soon and check it out. Start someone on their collection or add to your own.

American Flyer S-Scale Model Trains

Plus we have other trains available including Lionel 0-gauge and S-scale trains, and some H0 as well. Stop in today and browse our collection. We’re here to help you find the perfect ‘starter’ for a new collection or to add to one you already own. We’re here and we’re watchin’ for ya!