S Scale is one of the oldest model railroading scales. The earliest known 1:64 scale train was constructed from card in 1896. The first working models appeared in England in the early 20th century. Modeling in S gauge increased in the 1930s-1940's when CD Models marketed 3/16" model train sets under the name American Flyer Trains. Later American Flyer was purchased by A.C. Gilbert Co., and the term S Gauge was adopted by the National Model Railroading Association (NMRA) in 1943 to represent that gauge that was half of #1 gauge (1/32). And as they say, the rest is history. A.C. Gilbert's improvements in 1/64 modeling and promotions of S gauge largely shaped the world of 1/64 modeling today.

The first trains marketed as S gauge appeared in the 1930s when American Flyer marketed a 1:64 scale train that ran on 3-rail track similar to that of Lionel. In 1946 following the end of World War II, A.C. Gilbert's American Flyer introduced an S-gauge train running on two-rail track for greater realism, and S gauge entered what many consider its heyday (although there is more available in S scale today than was available during this period) . However, during that period, Lionel outsold American Flyer nearly 2 to 1. American Flyer's parent company went out of business and the brand was sold to to a holding company that also owned Lionel in 1967.

Lionel re-introduced S gauge trains and accessories under the American Flyer name in 1979. Another S manufacturer, American Models, entered the marketplace in 1981 and is now also one of the major S suppliers. S-Helper Service, another major S gauge manufacturer of locomotives, rolling stock, track and other products, began operations in 1989 and delivered their first S products in 1990. And while the S scale market has seen a number of brass model manufacturers, today the major brass model supplier in S scale/S gauge is River Raisin Models. Today's S gauge/S scale modelers have a greater selection and higher quality products, from a wide range of manufacturers, that at any time in the past. In addition to the basics of locomotives, rolling stock, and track, various manufacturers now offer S scale structures, detail parts, figures, other scenic items, bridges, and more.

S Gauge value and price guide

What's your 'S Gauge' worth? Here are some recently sold items (UK):

Item Title Date sold Price
American Flyer 336 Steam Locomotive Apr 2019 £ 178,65
American Flyer 302 4 4 2 Locomotive Af Mar 2019 £ 51,83
Of American Flyer Postwar Freight Cars Apr 2019 £ 47,90
American Flyer S Scale Pennsylvania Apr 2019 £ 37,69
American Flyer 4 6 2 Engine 282 W Tender Apr 2019 £ 27,48

Take a look at all sold S Gauge items on eBay for a value indication. If you're not sure what you have, you can post your question below.

Books

Do you want to dive into the fascinating world of collectibles, and want to learn about value and identification? Discover more with these price guides on Amazon.

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