7 science kits for junior geniuses (1961)

Note: This article may feature affiliate links to or other companies. Qualifying purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here.

Science kits for junior geniuses

Everyone’s talking about “competitive societies” and the “balance of scientific achievements” — but who’s doing anything about it? The toymakers of the country — that’s who.

The need for engineers, scientists, and technologists is lamented, and many wonder how a less-than-perfect educational system can fill the gap with the fresh, eager, young pioneer minds we will need. Well, your own bright-eyed youngster might have his intellect sparked this year with a kit he finds under the Christmas tree. And it won’t be by accident.

The companies making these kits are deeply concerned with our country’s future — and your child’s part in it. Not completely altruistic, some are also wondering where their own next wave of scientists is coming from. This, along with the hope of selling the kits like hot cakes, has encouraged them to combine their skills and resources to introduce a new type of educational kit that will start young people on the adventure of learning through play. In so doing, they have made an investment in America’s youth. You can make this investment pay off, because you are the one best able to spot and develop your child’s interests. You can put into his hands the tools to develop his special talents. What you will give him far surpasses the play value of most “toys.”

Seven science kit picks

We feel that the kits shown here, and others like them in the stores, are bound to turn many a bump of curiosity into a mountain of knowledge. But most important of all, the kids, not to mention their dads, are going to love them.

Transistor radio kit

One of a line of seven assembly kits that might prove to be a breakthrough into the subject of transistor electronics for a teenager, this kit teaches the basic principles of radio transmission. The child learns by building a 3-transistor radio transmitter with a microphone and whip antenna. With it, he can talk through his own nearby radio. As with many other kits, the neat packaging becomes and integral part of the project. $19.95. General Electric Co.


MORE  The retro-modern space-age house: The Home of the Future at Disneyland & other lifestyle predictions ('50s & '60s)

>> See 6 more science sets on the next pages!

More stories you might like

See our books

4 Responses

  1. I got one of the Weather Stations for Christmas in 1961. I had a blast with it. My dad was to go to England in January 1962. I didn’t have any luck for his help in getting the anemometer working right. I did lean a lot about clouds with the manual that came with it. Thanks for the memories!

  2. Wow! I’ve been searching for pictures of the Weather Station and Plastics Lab for years, and here they are together!

    They were both 10th. birthday presents, and my dad installed the outdoors portion of the weather station outside my bedroom window. The birds and squirrels made quick work of most of it, but the anemometer survived a few months.

    “Baking” the Mercury capsule and speedboat (P.T. 109, maybe?) was fun, but burning the numerous (probably toxic) “test samples” in order to create heavy soot and awful smells was heaven for a kid. I can still hear my mother’s voice from the bottom of the stairs, “What are you burning up there!?”

    Thank-you very so much for sharing these.

  3. Hello, many years ago I was responsible for the redesign of the SCALEXTRIC system and during that time, two or three of the Lionel invention kits came my way. For some time I have been wanting to find out more about these interesting products.When I saw them they were packed in a clear plastic case no doubt intended for display. Have they made any more? Bill PS Like your site

    1. Hi Bill,

      Hopefully this message will find it’s way to you somehow. I am a Scalextric historian and would be delighted to have the opportunity to speak to you. I am well aware of your name and role in general in Minimodels history :)

      I can be reached at [email protected].

      Many thanks,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest