Alfred Carlton Gilbert was something of a 20th-century Renaissance Man. He received a medical degree from Yale University, won an Olympic medal for pole vaulting, and even worked as a magician. In 1909 he became a partner in the Mysto Manufacturing Company, producing supplies for magic shows. Gilbert's true forte, however, lie in the toy-making industry. In 1913, he introduced the famous Erector set, an American version of the popular British-made Meccano toys. Three years later, Gilbert bought out his Mysto business partners and founded the A. C. Gilbert Company. The company, guided by Gilbert's strong belief in importance of science, technology, and invention, created toys to introduce and interest children in these fields. In addition to the Erector set, A. C. Gilbert produced toy trains (under the name American Flyer), microscopes and chemistry sets, building blocks, and other toys with educational value. Though the company went out of business in 1966, Gilbert earned a spot amongst the most popular and successful toy companies in American history.