Elizabeth sez, "In the 1960s, my husband's dad taught him to program computers with a Bell Labs Science Kit called the CARDboard Illustrative Aid to Computation (CARDIAC). My husband was so nostalgic for his first 'cardboard computer,' that a couple of years ago I tracked down a guy who still sells the kits - manufactured in the '60s but still brand new and unopened - and bought my husband a new CARDIAC for Christmas. Today, I just found out that the owner of Comspace, the lone remaining dealer of original Bell Labs Science kits (they also have lots of other cool stuff besides the CARDIAC) will be closing his business at the end of this month and is selling off his inventory. You can read more about the Bell Science Labs kits at the URL above. That page also contains a link to the Comspace site, where you can order the kits. (Note, though, that some things listed on the Bell Labs page are no longer available. Contact Phillip Dixon at Comspace for the current product/price list.) He's also offering 5% discounts to anyone who buys 20 or more kits. (Please note - I have no connection to or interest in Comspace. I just think this is a really, really cool sale of vintage-but-brand-new geeky stuff.)"
My dad taught me to program with these in the mid-1970s as well -- it was incredibly engrossing. Link (Thanks, Elizabeth!)