A Boy and His Bomb

Toys are awesome. Not only are they fun playthings for the wee ones, they represent a snapshot of the world.  Art, design, and even function influenced by the zeitgeist of a moment in time.

Look at Star Wars. The classic trilogy features rickety, overly complicated space ships. They are incomprehensible in intricacy and fragile in nature; They are an owner modded Mustang.  Ships from the prequel trilogy feature sleek, enclosed designs. They are secure and insulated; They are of an Apple Computers inspired era.

Now, gaze upon the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab from 1951:

GilbertAtomicOpentrimmed

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."

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