Erector Punk

Before Punk and later Steampunk there was Erector punk. Well, it wasn’t called that. Yet there were punk kids who loved toying with Erector sets. The kid above is the personification of joyful madness that many Erectorphiles experienced. Erector, invented by A.C. Gilbert and director of the eponymous Hall of Science on 5th Avenue and 25th Street (right next door to Pentagram today), was so much more satisfying than Lego (debate anyone?).

Sadly, indeed tragically, not every kid with desire could erect a bridge, wheelbarrow or bench, no less a parachute jump, merry-go-round or electric turbine. Such is life, I guess. Yet for those of us who where erectorily challenged, the kid above was a taunting specter – the smart ass who knew geometry and algebra before anyone else. Erector sets separated the boys from the smart boys, the punks from the gifted, the future hippies from the future Kiwanis Key Clubers.

3 thoughts on “Erector Punk

  1. Graeme

    Erector? ah! a copy of Meccano, and later bought out by Meccano of England, now owned by the French.
    I love my Meccano set as a kid, saved up to buy new gears and drive parts when we visited the city.  We made our own sheet metal parts out of tree seedling tubes which were sheet metal then ( My father was a forester), My brother and I made cars mostly.

  2. Chris Kluge

    My older brother & I had erector set(s) (mid 1950’s)……  though thy didn’t dominate our playtime, they did foster interests that bloomed later (hotrodding old fords for my brother, and, for me, designing marionettes in my mid forties…
    Whatever infliuence Erector Sets did/didn’t have on us, they most certainly heped many kids experience working with tools and creating something…..  something completely alien to most “game-bound” kids today…   and that, I think, is a huge loss for our individual and collective ability to make ideas tangible…   using our hands and brains…..   rather than being passive “consumers” of other peoples’ ideas, gaming, whatever.

  3. Jeff Barton

    I have to admit I had an Erector Set (or two). Sometime in the sixties I got a new set for Christmas. Then a friend of the familiy gave me an older set much like the one you pictured. Sadly it didn’t have all the parts to build a Parachute Jump.
    I wasn’t as smart as the kid on the box, because i later majored in Art in college and became a graphic designer.
    Legos vs. Erector? I found Legos to me more fun. Maybe It’s because I was creating stuff with my young boys. Legos are more instantly gratifying. But that might just be a reflection on today’s society. It seems that an Erector Set is a leftover from the Industrial Age.
    Jeff Barton