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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

Microscopes from Gilbert Toys (1965)

In 1965, Gilbert re-designed its hands-on microscope kits, which the company originally introduced in the 1920s. The die-cast metal instruments were given a new, ruggedized, professional look and shipped in higher-visibility packaging.

Gilbert shipped five Microscope Lab sets, each with a plug-in electric illuminator and optical system. These sets included:

  • Microscope Lab 1: a 75-power instrument with glass slides, mirror, Protozoa Pack, Growth Chamber, and plug-in electric light.
  • Microscope Lab 2: a triple-turret instrument with 60-, 90-, and 475-power magnification; a modular component rack, Protozoa Pack, Growth Chamber, and plug-in electric light.
  • Microscope Lab 3: a zoom microscope with 75-, 250-, and 500-power magnification. The Protozoa Pack, Growth Chamber, and plug-in electric light were augmented with additional lab equipment in the form of slides and other testing apparatus.
  • Microscope Lab 4: an instrument with 100-, 250-, 500-, and 1000-power magnification complemented by a Group Viewer attachment, Protozoa Pack, Growth Chamber, plug-in electric light, and three modules containing specimens, apparatus, slides, and shrimp eggs.
  • Micro-Projector and Microscope Lab: a combination instrument that paired a Zoom microscope with 100-, 250-, 500-, and 1,000-power with a Micro-Projector attachment that provided direct viewing of enlarged images on the screen for tracing and study. Additional equipment included specimens, color transparencies, dissecting kit, stains, slides, and needles.

The new sets were on the market for two years before the company went out of business in 1967.

Remember the toys and games of years past through vintage advertising – for better and for worse!