Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


October 16, 2013

The toy that changed the way children play

The commute from New York City to New Haven by rail was tedious, at best, in 1911.

Yet, it would be on one such trip that manufacturing mogul Alfred Carlton Gilbert would find the inspiration that would garner him a spot in toy making history.

Taking his idea from the equipment used by workmen electrifying the tracks along his daily route, he envisioned a conglomeration of miniature metal beams, pullies, gears and wheels that could be assembled and disassembled into dozens of differing forms. A motorized toy that would be “educational, instructive and amusing” – a toy that would become the heart of the first major advertising campaign in American toy manufacturing history.

In 1913 that toy was released as the “Erector Structural Steel and Electro-Mechanical Builder.” Today we know it as the “Erector Set.”

While building sets had existed for some time, the erector set produced in 1913 by the Mysto Manufacturing Company (reorganized in 1916 as the A. C Gilbert Company) was the first to include a motor. This innovation to steel building sets would be just one of many transformations the toy would see through its long history.

Knowing these changes through the years can be most helpful in determining the age. One of the easiest way to identify older sets is by their packaging. From 1916 to 1932, the sets were sold in wooden boxes; from 1933 to 1962 those were replaced by steel boxes painted in red, green or blue, and from 1950 forward all boxes were painted red.

Age can also be approximated by the changes in Erector sets through the years. 1924 saw the introduction of the first curved girders which allowed for the construction of trucks, Zeppelins and Ferris Wheels. The largest Erector ever produced {and a must have to collectors} came with the release of the 150-pound #10 set, appropriately nicknamed “The Climax of Erector Glory.”

Text Only
  • 2014 Decatur County 4-H Fair Baby Show CRAFTSDASHING THRU THE SEASONS:Class 1: Valentine1st - Debbie Jones 2nd - Pauline White, Clinton ClubClass 2: Spring & Easter1st - Rita Hellmich, 2010 Sewing Club2nd - Vicki Schwering3rd – Lori SpearsClass 3: Summer & Patriotic1st – Rita Hellmich, 20

    July 25, 2014

  • ag-gb072514 farmers market week pic August 3-9 is National Farmers' Market Week WASHINGTON - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared August 3 through 9, 2014, "National Farmers Market Week". Throughout the week, USDA will celebrate our nation's thousands of farmers markets, farmers who make them possible and the communiti

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws-gb072514 Bunting fulbright award pic Bunting receives Fulbright Luke Bunting of Butler University has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant to Korea for an English Teaching Assistantship, the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced recently.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • biz-gb072514-carquest ribbon cutting pic CarQuest celebrates grand opening GREENSBURG – New Point native Bob Morton has spent years in the auto parts business, setting up shop in locations as far away as Minnesota.He’s back home now, and opened his latest endeavor, CarQuest, to the public for a festive Grand Opening Thursda

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws-gb072414-mainsource mug 2 MainSource income rises 5.9% GREENSBURG — MainSource Financial Group reported second-quarter net income of nearly $7.8 million, up about 5.9 percent from a year earlier.Higher net interest income more than offset slightly lower noninterest income.Greensburg-based MSFG is the par

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick Holiday World to Unveil $22M ProjectOfficials at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus will announce details Thursday of a $22 million investment. The project represents the largest amount ever spent on a single ride in the attraction’s nea

    July 24, 2014

  • nws-gb072414-meth bust couple mug 2 Indy couple arrested on drug charges GREENSBURG – An Indianapolis couple has been jailed in Decatur County Jail on felony drug dealing charges following a lengthy police investigation.Zachariah Long, 33, and Christina Cowles, 32, both of Indianapolis, were arrested around 4 p.m. Tuesday

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Decatur County Events Calendar Local clubs, service groups, fraternal organizations and others are encouraged to send their Coming Events information to the Daily News at or Daily News, PO Box 106, Greensburg, IN 47240. All July – International Crafts

    July 24, 2014

  • nws-gb072414 DCCF pic DCCF names Scheidler to Decatur Society Although, it could easily have been mistaken for a Scheidler family reunion, the Decatur County Community Foundation was actually hosting its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, June 24. The Decatur County Schools Administration Building was the perfect setti

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws-gb072414-Kids Closet pic Kids Closet to hold fashion show at next opening GREENSBURG – The Kids’ Closet of Decatur County has made quite a name for itself in the relatively short time it has been in operation.In just two years, the organization has grown significantly, outgrowing the basement space at First Christian Churc

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo