By now, we are fully aware of the risks and dangers that the radioactive Uranium cause to one’s body when exposed to it: anemia, kidney damage, and cancers of the boner, lung, or liver, among others. When the United States detonated its very first nuclear weapon during the Trinity atomic bomb test under the Manhattan Project, it appeared to them that everything in this world could have a boost of nuclear energy at that time. Engineers in different fields experimented on how the nuclear reactor could be applied to anything: there was the Ford Nucleon concept car, nuclear-powered aircraft, and even a nuclear tank. The craze over the Atom had taken over the country and the imagination of the country.  They even made a nuclear science kit for kids that contained enriched Uranium.

The Man Who Saved Christmas

Alfred Carlton Gilbert was an American magician, inventor, businessman, and toymaker and was dubbed as “The man who saved Christmas” when he argued against the halt of toy production during World War I and successfully did so. He attended the Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, before transferring to Yale University. There, he financed his education by working as a magician until he earned his degree in sports medicine.

Alfred Carlton Gilbert as a young fraternity man at Pacific University in 1902. (Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

As an athlete, Gilbert had some accomplishments, like when he broke the world record for consecutive chin-ups in 1900, which was 39, as well as his distance record for running in 1902. He was also credited for the invention of the pole vault box and then setting two world records in the pole vault, one of which was at the Spring meeting of the Irish American Athletic Club.

Later on, he decided not to pursue a medical career and instead co-founded Mysto Manufacturing which manufactured magic sets in 1907. Soon, the company became the A.C. Gilbert Company, an American toy company that once was one of the largest in the world.