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For 50 years, Alfred Carlton Gilbert put his signature on toys for children. He built a world of learning tools that were unified by a distinct, personal vision. No toymaker's name in history is better known.
Gilbert, like Eli Whitney, was a pivotal figure in the history of hands-on education. From his factory complex in Hamden, Eli Whitney influenced training and education in the 19th century; at Erector Square in New Haven, Gilbert built the toys that defined it for the 20th century.
The Eli Whitney Museum collects and studies the products and legacy of A.C. Gilbert and his company. Between 1909 and 1964, the Gilbert Company was the premiere producer of learning toys in the world. Its showroom in New York, the Gilbert Hall of Science, was an emporium of experimental learning and a forerunner of the modern science museum. The Eli Whitney Museum’s workshops still nurture that experimental learning.