The Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab was a toy laboratory set produced by Alfred Carlton Gilbert , a guy who, in addition to being a toy maker, was an athlete, magician, businessman, and inventor of the well-known Erector Set .
The set came with four types of low radiation uranium ore (Pb – 210, Ru – 106, Zn – 65, and Po – 210), an electroscope, a Geiger counter (to measure radioactivity), a spintariscope (to measure observe nuclear decays) and a cloud chamber (used to detect ionizing radiation particles).
Forerunner of Toy Labs
The Atomic Energy Laboratory was just one of a dozen chemical reaction lab kits on the market at the time, long before Quimicefa and the like became fashionable .
Gilbert’s toys often included instructions on how the child could use the set to put on his own "magic show." For the parents it was the belief that the use of chemical reactions by the sets directed their children towards a potential career in science and engineering.
The Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab included a manual for looking for uranium and a comic, where it was assured that the government would reward with 10,000 dollars to those who discovered new sources of the precious mineral .
Fortunately, fewer than 5,000 kits were sold, and the product was only offered between 1950 and 1951.
Given how little awareness there was yet of radiation hazards, here is this ad from a USA Boy Scouts magazine from 1947. Real uranium ore: