Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nostalgia frum yesteryear....

Well Sir, t'day, my good friends John & "Buster" Yowans frum out Chanute, Kansas way, sent me this E-mail containin the following write-up regardin a toy that was sold for only about 1 year or so back in the early 1950's.

Now, what was so excitin to Cookie after gettin this mailin frum John was that after I had performed every experiment in all the Gilbert Chemistry Sets, I wanted this set so badly that I bugged my parents literally on a daily basis to get it fer Christmas. Even though I was only about 6 or 7 years old at the time, I had a very intense interest in Chemistry and Nuclear Power. Hmmm....maybe this explains why I eventually went on the "Nuke Boats" in the Navy.

Now Sir, I never did get it fer two reasons, one being that my hard wurkin folks couldn't afford such an expensive gift back in those days, and even though I managed to eventually save up the $50.00 by mowin lawns, shovelin driveways and sidewalks fer folks, and just about any other hard yard work that earned me a buck or two, they stopped sellin these kits, precisely because most folks couldn't afford to get them fer their kids. I cain't help but wonder how many kids would do that in t'days world??

Maybe one or two of Y'all out there remember these toys....

This was the most elaborate Atomic Energy educational set ever produced, but it was only only available from 1951 to 1952. Its relatively high price for the time ($50.00) and its sophistication were the explanation Gilbert gave for the set's short lifespan. Today, it is so highly prized by collectors that a complete set can go for more than 100 times the original price.

The set came with four types of uranium ore, a beta-alpha source (Pb-210), a pure beta source (Ru-106), a gamma source (Zn-65?), a spinthariscope, a cloud chamber with its own short-lived alpha source (Po-210), an electroscope, a geiger counter, a manual, a comic book (Dagwood Splits the Atom) and a government manual "Prospecting for Uranium."

Other Gilbert sets (e.g., the No. 11 Atomic Energy set) continued to carry the spinthariscope, the ore and the manual. In addition, the Geiger counter could be purchased separately.

Thanks John & Buster fer the great memories.....