Monday, July 23, 2012

Erector Set

Today's picture was taken in 1924, and it shows a child playing with an erector set. I can remember having an erector set as a child, and it was my all time favorite toy. It was basically a set of metal beams, cogs, pulleys, gears and other mechanical elements from which you could build your own toys. It required imagination and careful thought. To me it was the ideal toy.


If you followed the blog, you remember my efforts recently to help some children in Africa by getting them a water well, and a chicken coop. The lovely Ms. EAM called on the children yesterday to  see how things were going. One of the things she found is that one of the children had taken scrap building material from the chicken coop and had built himself a toy truck.

When I first saw it I found it heart breaking becuse it as such a poor looking toy. Then I started looking at it in more detail, and saw the boy had really put some thought into it. You can see it is made of wire, sheet metal and bottle caps. He has made it with a push stick, so he does not have to stoop over to push it. Then he has designed it where the push stick is connected to the front wheel axle, so that as he twists the push stick, the front tires are steered. If you click on the picture for a larger view you will see that this is a dump truck, and the back end where the sheet metal is will actually dump.

I can just imagine this little boy staying awake at night in his bed thinking about his design and what he would do with it the next day. Lets keep our eyes on this young man . . . maybe an engineer in the making.

Also, I am pleased to announce that Chickie Town, East Africa Edition now officially has chickens. They have the initial installment of 20 chickens. The chickens are not laying eggs yet, as they are young, but we are all eagerly awaiting news of the first eggs.


  1. Those chicks must have been nice sized before they got them.

    I say, he must have put a lot of thought and work into making his truck . I like the way he fashioned wheel wells for both the front and rear wheels. And they are the same on both sides. Such a good job.

    Thanks EAM for the photos

    1. I would like to purchase it.

    2. Gig,
      Wouldn't it be neat if the children could make things like this as sort of a primitive art, and sell them in US? I would love to figure out a way for these children to support themselves.

    3. That would be wonderful.

  2. So happy to see this toy truck. This boy does have the makings of an engineer. Reminds me of the boy from Kenya in the book "The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind."
    World Vision needs to be involved with these orphans.

  3. That really is a fantastic truck! This young man has a talent for making something from pretty much nothing at all.

    I always wanted an Erector Set, but never got one. I did get a set of TinkerToys. I suppose my parents didn't think an Erector Set was "suitable" for a little girl in the 40s. (That or they figured I'd misplace most of the small parts!)

  4. That truck is so neat. What an imagination that young man has. I've been gone for a bit but just wanted to say God bless you sir for the fantastic job you and your daughter do in Africa. Truly inspiring my friend.

  5. So great that you and your daughter are giving so much hope to these children. Once I had the privilege of taking toys to a village of children in Chiapas, Mexico who didn't even have a ball to toss around--they were playing by tossing an old sandal. We gave them lots of one dollar inflatable balls. I also brought a Barbie doll which the Moms in the village treated as if it were an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. They wouldn't even take it out of the box, although I told them it was for the children to play with. Is there any way I can send money to help these kids in Africa? Tell me where to send it.


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