On page 511 of the Sears 1969 Christmas Wish Book are a few Erector Sets. This was probably the year (±a couple) that I got my first Erector Set. This was a step up from the Tinkertoy sets I previously owned. While not the largest set made, it had quite a lot of parts, including a motor. Although I already had a natural interest in assembling and - to my parents' dismay - disassembling stuff, it was gifts like this that really helped nurture what would become a life-long pursuit of things mechanical and electrical, eventually leading to my earning an electrical engineering degree. I remember getting a pretty good finger pinch by one of the motorize contraptions I built. Show above is Erector Set #3, similar to the one I received for Christmas in 1969. This one I bought on eBay since, as with most things I owned, the original did not survive my handling.
To the left is my son, Philip, with a helicopter that we built from an Erector Set given to him for Christmas back around 1990.
Use the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' inflation calculator to see what items cost in today's dollars. That $16.99 Erector Set would cost $101.25 in 2010 money.
See the Gilbert Erector Set advertisement in the December 1935 issue of Boys' Life magazine.
Erector Sets from the 1969 Sears Christmas Wish Book --->>>
Having been a typical kid in the 1960s and '70s, I had an Erector Set. It was Set 3 per my memory, based on remembering the box lid picture. You might recall a set or two of your own. Alfred Carlton Gilbert founded the A.C. Gilbert company in 1909 in Westville, Connecticut, and produced many varieties of Erector Sets, as well as other educational hobby items like chemistry sets (I had one of those, too). The A.C. Gilbert Engineering Society website has a really nice history on the company and lots of photos - including likely one of the Erector Set your parents gave you ...
Posted November 20, 2010