As NEI (Nuclear Energy Institute), the NRC and the nuclear Industry try to bring us the sequal to the Friendly Atom, they are using many of the same tactics to corrupt the minds of our children in the name of a Nuclear Renaissance that were used some 50 years ago. Infiltrate classrooms, and put toys into the market place that present the atom in a friendly light. Problem is, if you go back and look at some of those old toys and presentations, you suddenly realize just how perverse the nuclear industry was then, and how perverse they are today. This is the first of numerous posts that will be launched to share these old propaganda relics used to pervert our children's minds...the NRC, and the nuclear industry must not be allowed to perpetuate the same crimes a second time. Did your parents buy you this Atomic Energy Lab? Were you a part of some perverted National Propaganda Campaign visited upon the innocent children of the 50's and 60's? Talk about MIND CONTROL.
1951 Complete A.C. Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab (Complete)
A.C. Gilbert was a man of true inspiration, often compared to Walt Disney for his creative genius. Gilbert had high expectations of America's youngsters, and with such he tried to help the future engineers, doctors and leaders by providing toys worthy of their imaginations. As the inventor of the Erector Set, and seeing its commercial appeal, the he and his company set a higher goal. They became the leading manufacturer of scientific toys (chemistry sets) and construction sets (Erector), all of which gained wide acclaim at the retail level.
Interested in the joy of science more than remuneration, however, Gilbert created the Atomic Energy Lab U-238 -- with the help of MIT's able faculty. The toy was made to de-mystify the perils of nuclear energy and to encourage the understanding of chemistry, physics and nuclear science -- ultimately helping kids (and adults) become more open to the possibilities these disciplines offer.
This educational composite, which was marketed during 1950-51, sold for $49.50 -- a very high price for a toy set, even by today's standard. One such, Gilbert's "Atomic Energy Lab," is here available and it includes all the original componentry which detail:
1. U-239 Geiger radiation counter.
2. Electroscope to measure radioactivity of different substances.
3. Spinthariscope to watch "live" radioactive disintegration.
4. Wilson Cloud Chamber to see paths of electrons & alpha particles at 10k mps
5. Three very low-level radioactive sources (Alpha, Beta, Gamma).
6. Four samples of Uranium-bearing ores
7. Nuclear Spheres (used to visual build models of molecules)
8. The book "Prospecting for Uranium"
9. The "Gilbert Atomic Energy Manual"
10. The comic book "Learn How Dagwood Splits the Atom"
11. Three "Winchester" Batteries (size "C")
All of these components were retail-presented in a sturdy, hinged case that measures 25" x 16 1/2" x 5", all with an easy-to-carry handle. The case came in beautiful faux snake skin cover with "Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab" wonderfully stenciled on the cover, and atomic particles displayed below.
The set we offer here is truly amazing in that it has all the original pieces in remarkable and apparent unused condition. The case remains in its wonderful red color with minimal wear to the surface, and survives in very strong EX/MT condition. Inside the cover, there appears a full dimension, illustrated paper appliqué which is in Excellent condition, qualified only by a couple small stains and handwritten pricing. The remainder of the contents are still intact, and though appearing unused, they have lain dormant for over half a century and appear in EX/MT condition. The two books are still in EX/MT-NM condition, with the comic book in Excellent (taped spine). Last, but not least, included is an original Gilbert Toys catalog from 1951 which provides an ad for the Atomic Energy Lab. The book is in VG/EX condition.
Overall, the entire set (remarkably still complete) is a true find and though we can't physically go back to the time when atomic energy and toys were as fascinating as this, we may reminisce in how much fun it was to be a kid.