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.
About Steven Heller
Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →