American Flyer Displays & History

Return to Layout Memories
N.Y. Hall of Science Chicago Hall of Science Jordan Marsh Gold's
Hudson's Meier & Frank J.C. Penney Russian River, CA

Gold's Department Store, Lincoln, Nebraska

gold_lincoln.jpg (5201 bytes)
Courtesy Robert Bruennig

   By Mike Leahy

I grew up in Tecumseh, Nebraska, after being born in 1943 during WWII. At that time it was a town of about 1,850 people, so it was a real treat to go to Lincoln, Nebraska for shopping. Lincoln was a city of around 100,000 at that time, and was about 60 miles northwest of Tecumseh. No it was not a football factory then as Bob Devaney did not come on to the scene until about 1959.

Anyway, I fell in love with American Flyer trains in the latter 40s & early 50s. I took a paper route in Tecumseh to have the money to buy my first American Flyer train set in 1953. Naturally I bought it from Gold's Department Store on about 11th & O Street in Lincoln. The all A.F. layout was on about the 4th floor, and I could hardly wait to see the new trains and accessories each Christmas Season. The layouts were fantastic, especially for a kid from a small town. You could walk around the huge layout that was made by the Gilbert Company, and see all the accessories & mountains & the colorful diesel passenger sets. They also had neat shelves displaying the individual things they wanted to promote. I could spend hours there just taking in the sights. Upon leaving I would always pick up a current catalog, so I could circle the items I wanted for Christmas. Another thing I remember about the trip to Lincoln was the neat Burma Shave Signs just outside of Lincoln. That meant we were very close to American Flyer Heaven.

I would love to have a picture of one of the Gold's winter layouts if anyone has one they would share?