March 8, 2013

Purchase of the day.

From the March 7, 2013 Amazon Associates Earnings Report:

3B Scientific W19721 50 Piece Organic Chemistry Molecular Model Student Set (Earnings to the Althouse blog = $2.40)

... and 62 other items purchased — at no additional cost to the buyers — through the Althouse Amazon portal.

To all who yesterday chose to use the Amazon portal as a way of supporting the work of a blogger called Althouse, whether or not you are organic or not even quite a model student: Many thanks.


rhhardin said...

I don't suppose the traditional Gilbert Chemistry Set is available, with the explosives.

Meade said...

Not to a young mad scientist boy like you, rh. Too risky.

Although, for a mere $27.95, I can score you an authentic 1918 vintage ad, if you'd like.

Ann Althouse said...

From Bill Bryson's "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir" (purchasable at Amazon):

"Even now in my mind’s eye I can see a series of ads in Boys’ Life from the A. C. Gilbert Company of New Haven, Connecticut, promising the most wholesome joy from their ingenious chemistry sets, microscope kits, and world-famous Erector Sets. These last were bolt-together toys from which you could make all manner of engineering marvels—bridges, industrial hoists, fairground rides, motorized robots—from little steel girders and other manly components. These weren’t things that you built on tabletops and put in a drawer when you were finished playing. These were items that needed a solid foundation and lots of space. I am almost certain that one of the ads showed a boy on a twenty-foot ladder topping out a Ferris wheel on which his younger brother was already enjoying a test ride.

"What the ads didn’t tell you was that only six people on the planet—A. C. Gilbert’s grandsons presumably—had sufficient wealth and roomy enough mansions to enjoy the illustrated sets. I remember my father took one look at the price tag of a giant erection on display in Younkers toy department one Christmas and cried, “Why, you could practically get a Buick for that!” Then he began randomly stopping other male passersby and soon had a little club of amazed men. So I knew pretty early on that I was never going to get an Erector Set.

"Instead I lobbied for a chemistry set, which I had seen in a fetching two-color double-page spread in Boys’ Life. According to the ad, this nifty and scientifically advanced kit would allow me to do exciting atomic energy experiments, confound the adult world with invisible writing, become a master of FBI fingerprinting techniques, and make the most satisfyingly enormous stinks. (It didn’t actually promise the stinks, but that was implicit in every chemistry set ever sold.)"

chickelit said...

Commercial chemistry sets have been dumbed down for safety reasons so as to be uninteresting, IMO. I don't see a Skilcraft chemistry set like I had out there.

On the other had, the Internet allows adventure for the curious: Here's a recipe for making pure white phosphorus from urine: link. I've never actually tried it, but it should work as it replicates the original procedure from the year 1669.

Unknown said...

I don't know how I missed The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, but I'm kind of glad I did because I now have a new Bill Bryson book to read.
I love it when that happens with a favorite author.

Christy said...

recipe for making pure white phosphorus from urine
Talk about enormous stinks! Did you by chance read Stephenson's wonderful Baroque Trilogy? Somewhere in those >3000 pages Jack and pals accumulate enough for a bomb.