January 3, 2012

Everything the Junior Atomic Scientist Could Want

"Hey Mom! Can I have my very own atomic science laboratory and play with alpha particles in my bedroom? I promise to use it on the dog like last time" Maybe, but it looks like no good can come out of atomic power being put in to the lap of this child. But that's just what happened back in the 1950's thanks to the genius's at A. C. Gilbert Company.

I'm not sure if Mother is completely buying the whole "harmless" line, but I bet Dad can't wait to get it away from Junior's hands!

And here it is, the Gilbert Atomic Energy Lab - highly sought after and covetted by Dad and Junior alike. A.C. Gilbert Co. sold this kit from 1950-51, for $49.50 (kind of steep for a toy set!) which included the following highly scientific components:
  • U-239 Geiger-Mueller radiation counter
  • Electroscope - to measure radioactivity of different substances
  • Spinthariscope - to watch "live" radioactive disintegration
  • Wilson Cloud Chamber - to see paths of electrons & alpha particles at 12,000 mps
  • Three very low-level radioactive sources - Alpha, Beta, Gamma
  • Four samples of Uranium-bearing ores
  • Nuclear Spheres - used to build models of molecules
  • The book "Prospecting for Uranium"
  • The "Gilbert Atomic Energy Manual"
  • The comic book "Learn How Dagwood Splits the Atom"
  • Three "Winchester" Batteries - size "C"
Geesh! What a mouthful. Just repeating the names of some of these components is guaranteed to boost your I.Q. by 10%! My brother didn't have the Atomic Lab kit, but he did have a Gilbert chemistry set that included the 'spinthariscope' for viewing radioactive decay. When this kit finally was passed down to me I remember treating the scope with extreme caution. I was smart enough at an early age to know that radioactivity wasn't a plaything to be taken lightly!

And if Junior should ever get bored with his alpha particles, he could always go out and do some urnaium prospecting, to build up his atomic pile.

Science so simple that even Dagwood can teach you how to split the atom. I wonder how many U.S. nuclear physicists today got their start by reading this material?

There's that "harmless" word again.... and Mother still isn't buying it. "Absolutely not, Jimmy! I've just gotten these floors scrubbed and the laundry all put away. I will not have you messing-up this home with any radioactive fallout."

This has been another bulletin from
Atomic Living's Emergency Broadcast System

Please tune in again - Same Atomic time - same Atomic channel!


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