In Atomic Age America, EVERYTHING was about Science. So naturally parents and toy companies lost no time in addressing the needs of that mid-century mindset.
This sweet chemistry set (#12066) in an all metal cabinet was made by the long-time premier name of science designed for the budding scientist, the A. C. Gilbert Company. Besides the long line of chemistry sets, the company also produced Erector sets, microscopes, and American Flyer trains.
The kit shown above are the remains of a set given to Brother Dear back when he was keen on science as many other kids back in the 50's and 60's. I got my little mitts on it when I found it in the family attic, forgotten for who knows how many years.
There used to be a experiment manual that fit in the left compartment, a complete set of test tubes, glass rods, chemicals and a little tube you were supposed to look through to discover the thrills and mysteries of the atom. I was old enough to be a bit wary of handling that tube since I didn't want to get any radiation on me. Sure, it said that the expirements were safe, but I knew better than to let an 8-year old mess around with atomic energy, even if that 8-year old was me... Such a smart kid, I was!
For a brief history of these sets, go to: The Chemestry Set Generation