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10 Engineering Toys From Your Youth

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TRCSr
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Re: Two more overlooked
TRCSr   10/30/2014 10:23:40 PM
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@Dave Palmer; I still had that set, and in working order, into the 70's and gave it to a high school student that was interested in the field and was overjoyed to get it. I hope that it was the start of a good carrer for her in nuclear energy. I wish I would have kept her name and followed her carrer.

I do remember that it was only made for a few years, but did not remember that it was only 2. I was really lucky that my parents could see the potential learning experience that it would provide. At the time I wanted to be a Chemical Engineer, but the Radio Shack electronics kit changed me to EE.

Dave Palmer
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Re: Two more overlooked
Dave Palmer   10/30/2014 10:18:23 PM
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@TRCSr: That's amazing that you mention the Gilbert Atomic Energy Lab; I just finished writing an article about that kit, which DesignNews will be running in the next week or so. Very intetested to hear your perspective as one of the few kids who actually got to play with this rare toy (only produced for 2 years).

TRCSr
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Silver
Re: Another Construction Toy
TRCSr   10/30/2014 10:11:33 PM
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I also had one of those sets, but darned if I can remember the name of it either!

TRCSr
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Silver
Two more overlooked
TRCSr   10/30/2014 10:07:17 PM
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Two engineering toys that I had in the 50's were;

1. A. C. Gilbert Atomic Energy set. I had several of their chemistry sets and about Feb. of several years I would collect others from kids that got them as Christmas presents and were tired of them already. Anyway, the Atomic Energy set included a cloud chamber, geiger counter, several low-level radiation sources, and several other related items. I did every experiment in the book and then abandoned it as it no longer offered a challange to me, like the multiple chemistry sets did.

2. Radio Shack produced an electronic experiment kit. It included 3 or 4 vacuum tubes, a transformer for a power supply and filament voltage, a buzzer, resistors and capacitors, an assortment of wires, and some other electronic components that I can no longer remember. This kit was my first interest in electronics and was directly responsible for me becoming and electrical engineer. It was a bit dangerous with the high voltage for the B+ and exposed AC line voltage and would not be allowed today because of the potential hazards.

I also had the other mentioned toys; Erector Set, Tinker Toys, electric trains, etc.

 

 

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Well Done
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   10/30/2014 8:16:34 PM
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Oh I had a mishap or two  – I remember rewiring a lamp socket that was still plugged in, and everything was going fine, until my idiot friend flipped-on the wall switch.  I was about 10 at the time, and got that first 110V shock.  Over the years there were several more to follow with varying degrees of humor.  My wife still tells of the story of the Dryer-220 mishap ,,,,, that one actually blew me back, airborne for a little bit. Still funny.  Dear God, thanks for saving the idiot that I (was/am).

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: The good old days!
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   10/30/2014 8:09:19 PM
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Wow BrainiacV – looks like you're digging thru the archives today.  I posted this 6 months ago!  But still entertaining; ---thanks for the recall ,,,,

BrainiacV
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Platinum
Re: Well Done
BrainiacV   10/30/2014 10:05:05 AM
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True, before being seduced by the dark side of programming, I was studying to be an architect.

Charles Murray
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Re: Well Done
Charles Murray   10/29/2014 5:55:43 PM
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I've often wondered how many Girder & Panel kids became civil engineers, BrainiacV. I suspect that toys like those have a real influence on eventual career choice.

BrainiacV
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Platinum
Re: Well Done
BrainiacV   10/29/2014 4:46:21 PM
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I loved my Girder and Panel set as well.

I used to cut up Christmas lights and rewire them to install lighting in them. No insulation on the splices, it's a wonder I didn't electrocute myself (I was 10 at the time) but I was careful and never had a mishap.

BrainiacV
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Platinum
Re: The good old days!
BrainiacV   10/29/2014 4:41:08 PM
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A friend of mine and I used to fill syringes with denatured alcohol, set up a candle in front of a Creeple People troll doll or plastic army man and then flamethrower them by squirting the alcohol through the flame to ignite it.

It was safer than holding a match in front of the aerosol nozzle of bug spray. :-)

Fun with fire. But I used to take the garbage out to be burned on the farm as a kid, so when it came to campfires I was the go to guy to arrange the logs to make a roaring fire. 

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