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Erector Set manual cover 1959


Dr. Alfred Carlton Gilbert created the Erector Set in 1912. He was 25 years old.

He was inspired by railroad workers along the New Haven-Harlem line as they built an electrical system out of steel girders.

A national advertising campaign, the first ever for a toy, in The Saturday Evening Post, Popular Mechanics and Good Housekeeping launched the Erector Set in 1913.

Slogan: “Hello Boys! Make Lots of Toys.”

Dr. A.C. Gilbert won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1908 for pole vaulting.

Wartime metal shortages in the 1940s forced the company to introduce wooden Erector Sets.

Erector Sets were originally sold in wooden boxes. In the mid-30’s the wooden boxes were dropped for the now familiar red metal boxes.

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