This Gilbert No. U-238 Atomic Energy Lab on eBay is a pretty fabulous bit of science education history: a children's science kit that included a Geiger counter, electroscope, cloud chamber, spinthariscope, and, of course, radioisotopes.
Gilbert was a man of true inspiration, often compared to Walt Disney for his creative genius. Gilbert had high expectations of America's youngsters, and with such he tried to help the future engineers, doctors and leaders by providing toys worthy of their imaginations. As the inventor of the Erector Set, and seeing its commercial appeal, the he and his company set a higher goal. They became the leading manufacturer of scientific toys (chemistry sets) and construction sets (Erector), all of which gained wide acclaim at the retail level. Interested in the joy of science more than remuneration, however, Gilbert created the Atomic Energy Lab U-238 - with the help of MIT's able faculty. The toy was made to de-mystify the perils of nuclear energy and to encourage the understanding of chemistry, physics and nuclear science - ultimately helping kids (and adults) become more open to the possibilities these disciplines offer. This educational composite, which was marketed during 1950-51, sold for $49.50 - a very high price for a toy set, even by today's standard.
Markets don’t solve all our problems, but they sometimes produce remarkably efficient systems for producing and distributing goods, and the internet traded on that promise with marketplaces like Ebay (anyone can sell, anyone can buy); Google (anyone can publish, anyone can read), and Amazon (one marketplace where all goods are transparently priced and ranked).
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