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(established 1913)

The highly popular Erector constructional toy was invented by the American inventor A. C. Gilbert in 1913. Originally marketed under the name ‘Mysto Erector Structural Steel Builder’ it soon became one of the most popular toys in America, selling more than 30 million sets over the next 50 years. Its perforated miniature girders (said to have been inspired by skyscraper construction in New York) could be attached to gears, pulleys, bolts, and screws. This range was expanded in the 1920s to include curved girders which allowed the construction of more elaborate models, including Ferris wheels, lorries, and airships and, in 1940, the famous Parachute Jump set. Ten years later the Erector Amusement Park set was introduced. In 1930 Gilbert had bought the rights to the US manufacture of the English constructional toy Meccano, although this aspect of Gilbert's operation only lasted until 1938. After Gilbert died in 1961 the company became bankrupt in 1966, the rights to the company name and Erector being taken over successively by the Gabriel Toy Co., Ideal Toys, and others before being purchased by Meccano SA in the late 1980s.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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