The First Commercially Produced Glass Blowing Set?
Have you ever heard of the A. C. Gilbert Company?
According to our research, “The A. C. Gilbert Company was an American toy company, once one of the largest toy companies in the world. It is best known for introducing the Erector Set (a construction toy similar to Meccano in the rest of the world) to the marketplace. Gilbert was founded in 1909 in Westville, Connecticut by Alfred Carlton Gilbert, originally as a company providing supplies for magic shows. (Alfred Gilbert was a magician)” (wiki, 2014). Gilbert ultimately went out of business in 1967 after its founder, Alfred Carlton Gilbert, died in 1961.
In the way back early college years it was not uncommon to find chemistry students needing to know the art of glass blowing because they were tasked with making their own scientific glass.
Image Source: jitterbuzz
We managed to find an online resource in case you are interested in reading the manual for this set. It was part magic tricks and part science, which was the Gilbert standard. Gilbert also developed many other kits including chemistry kits, molten lead kits to make metal army men, miniature power tool kits, and much more.
The manual can be read in it’s entirety here: http://glassian.org/Making/Gilbert/fcover.html (a new window will open).
A. C. Gilbert Company. (2014, July 22). Retrieved August 6, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._C._Gilbert_Company