Gilbert, A. C.
- Frederick J. Augustyn Jr.
Gilbert, A. C. (15 February 1884–25 January 1961), toy manufacturer, marketer, and lobbyist, was born Alfred Carlton Gilbert, the son of Frank Gilbert, a banker, and Charlotte Ann Hovenden Gilbert, in Salem, Oregon. A sickly boy, according to some (although he himself later denied that story), he built himself up into a muscular physical specimen after his family relocated to the frontier town of Moscow, Idaho. The 5-foot 7-inch, 135-pound dynamo was a college football player, during his one year (1902–1903) at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, and a pole-vaulter and coach while in college and medical school at Yale from 1904–1909. Gilbert perfected a vaulting device—a bamboo pole that used a vaulting box instead of a spike to anchor the pole. He took home a gold medal in the sport from the 1908 London Olympics, where he tied for first place. (After his own gold medal triumph, Gilbert was long involved in the games, serving from 1924 to 1948 as a member of the American Olympic Committee and helping to manage the American Olympic Team in 1928, 1932, and 1936. His authorship of an article on pole-vaulting in the ...