Airplanes and Rockets' history & copyright Google search American Modeler Air Trails American Aircraft Modeler Young Men Hobbies Aviation Flying Aces Saturday Evening Post Boys' Life Hobby Distributors Amateur Astronomy Engines & Motors Balsa Densities Silkspan Covering Comics Electronics My Models Model Aircraft Articles Plans Model Boat Articles Plans Model Car Articles Plans Model Train Articles Plans 1941 Crosley 03CB Radio Model helicopter articles & plans Crosswords Model Rocket Articles Plans Restoration Projects Photos Peanuts Collection Model Aircraft Articles Plans Sitemap Homepage Hints and Kinks Amateur Radio Archives of the homepage R/C Modeler Electronics About Airpleans and Rockest, Disclaimer, Terms of Use Model Topics Please Donate to Airplanes and Rockets Parole Plaza, Annapolis, Maryland Hobby Items for Sale Airplanes and Rockets Hero Graphic


Model Aircraft Museum, AMA - Airplanes and Rockets

Vintage Gilbert Erector Sets
1969 Sears Christmas Wish Book

Sears 1969 Christmas Wish Book CoverI bought a 1969 edition of the Sears, Roebuck & Co.'s Christmas Wish Book on eBay. It was the year I turned 11 years old, and was also the year of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Remembering how I eagerly awaited those pages filled with advertisements for model airplanes, boats, guns, Erector sets, and countless other things, I figured it might be nice to look through one again. Here is the 1967 Montgomery Ward Christmas Catalog, the 1969 Montgomery Ward Christmas Catalog and the 1969 Sears Christmas Wish Book. Enjoy!

Gilbert Erector Set #3, circa 1969 - Airplanes and RocketsOn page 511 of the Sears 1969 Christmas Wish Book are a few Erector Sets. This was probably the year (±a couple) that I got my first Erector Set. This was a step up from the Tinkertoy sets I previously owned. While not the largest set made, it had quite a lot of parts, including a motor. Although I already had a natural interest in assembling and - to my parents' dismay - disassembling stuff, it was gifts like this that really helped nurture what would become a life-long pursuit of things mechanical and electrical, eventually leading to my earning an electrical engineering degree. I remember getting a pretty good finger pinch by one of the motorize contraptions I built. Show above is Erector Set #3, similar to the one I received for Christmas in 1969. This one I bought on eBay since, as with most things I owned, the original did not survive my handling.

Philip with Erector Set helicopterErector Set in Sears 1969 Christmas Wish Book - Airplanes and RocketsTo the left is my son, Philip, with a helicopter that we built from an Erector Set given to him for Christmas back around 1990.

Using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' inflation calculator to see what items cost in today's dollars, I found that this $16.99 Erector Set would now cost $139.11 in 2032 money (718% inflation).

See the Gilbert Erector Set advertisement in the December 1935 issue of Boys' Life magazine.

 

Erector Sets from the 1969 Sears Christmas Wish Book --->>>

 

A.C. Gilbert Heritage Society

A.C. Gilbert Heritage Society - Airplanes and RocketsHaving been a typical kid in the 1960s and '70s, I had an Erector Set. It was Set 3 per my memory, based on remembering the box lid picture. You might recall a set or two of your own. Alfred Carlton Gilbert founded the A.C. Gilbert company in 1909 in Westville, Connecticut, and produced many varieties of Erector Sets, as well as other educational hobby items like chemistry sets (I had one of those, too). The A.C. Gilbert Engineering Society website has a really nice history on the company and lots of photos - including likely one of the Erector Set your parents gave you ...

 

 

Posted December 25, 2023
(updated from original post on 11/20/2010)

 

Sears 1969 Christmas Wish Book Pages:

.22 Caliber Rifles & BB Guns

AM-FM Clock Radios

Billy Blastoff

Color Televisions

Cox F4U Corsair

Cox Dune Buggy

Cox Sea Bee Boat

Erector Set

G.I. Joe Astronaut

Lite-Brite

Major Matt Mason

Minibikes

Peanuts, Astronaut Snoopy Toys

Planetarium

Slot Car Race Track Sets

Telescopes

Televisions

Visible V-8 Engine

Wish Books from Sears, Ward, JC Penny

About Airplanes & Rockets 

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and RocketsKirt Blattenberger

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)

Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...

Copyright  1996 - 2026
All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the Airplanes and Rockets website are hereby acknowledged.

Homepage Archives  |  Modeling News Archives

Webmaster:

Kirt Blattenberger

BSEE - KB3UON

Family Websites:

RF Cafe

Equine Kingdom

Plastic Scale Model Kits - Airplanes and Rockets

Drones - Airplanes and Rockets

Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) - Airplanes and Rockets

Academy of Model Aeronautics

Tower Hobbies logo - Airplanes and Rockets

Tower Hobbies

Horizon Hobby logo - Airplanes and Rockets

Horizon Hobby

Sig Manufacturing - Airplanes and Rockets

Sig Mfg

Brodak Manufacturing - Airplanes and Rockets

Brodak Mfg