An Old Man and Old Toys

It was 16 degrees below zero the other morning so I decided to avoided being outside for the day. I started sorting through some old Erector Sets I had tucked away. When I was a young boy they were my favorite toy. We had no TV to watch and radio didn’t totally fill your mind. ¬†With the Erector Set I would be totally occupied.

My oldest brother was 18 years older than me and he had left Me a fairly large Gilbert Erector Set. I also received two or three newer sets. A very small one to start with, when I was about six, then bigger ones as I got older. These I of course saved.  Then in my adult years, I would stop at Garage Sales and invest in Erector set parts or partial sets if the price was right. Then these would be brought home tucked safely away and forgotten.

I have spent some time before sorting and cleaning parts, but I still have a way to go. I dug out a batch of stuff that morning, as you can see in the photo below.
I wasn’t quite in the right mood for sorting and cleaning. As I looked at the parts, I started to see a truck.

Erector truck among the parts

Erector truck among the parts

It was like being back in time. I had only my imagination to guide me. I put pieces together and dug through the parts for ideas. I did back up a few times to do things a bit different. By dinner time I thought it was looking pretty good, so I brought the camera out.
When I was a small boy there weren’t many toys in small town stores. The last page of the Gilbert Erector Set instruction book had a list of parts you could order. So one year with my birthday money I searched the list and ordered The hood and radiator. I don’t remember ever ordering anything else but I am sure I did. Mail order was fun. It was exciting waiting for the Mailman to come by every day.
This picture shows the red hood and chrome radiator on the truck. The hood has a lot of patina. I used it many times, not only on trucks and cars but to cover the electric motor on stationary set ups. I have never seen it in a set but it must have been once.

On the right side of the picture are plastic boxes where I have sorted out small parts. This is my attempt to bring some order to my collection. Many times the Erector parts I bought were mixed with other toys or just in bags or old boxes.

Erector Truck in Progress

Erector Truck in Progress

The picture below is where I did the assembly work. I can sit in a comfortable chair and I have an electric heater under the desk by my feet. It is an excellent spot on these real cold days. My fingers aren’t as nimble as they once were. Putting in the small bolts was a bit more time consuming than it used to be. I wish I had taken more pictures but I hadn’t planned ahead. I would assemble pieces and then take the truck back to the table with all the parts and search for what else i could add or change. It really was enjoyable just following your imagination.

Erector Truck in Workshop

Erector Truck in Workshop

The picture below is where I displayed it among my other toys. I can enjoy it more here then when it was just parts tucked in a box.

Now Part of the Fleet

Now Part of the Fleet