We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Ah yes. Those were the days. While not toys in the true sense of the word, I had a friend with a chemistry set. Among the compounds in it were Ammonium Nitrate (an ingredient in fertilizer bombs) and some stuff that I believe was called ferrocyanide. The maker of the set warned you not to mix it with acid as cyanide gas would result. Circa 1951, Gilbert sold an 'Atomic Lab'. It came with radioactive materials. It was only on the market for about a year.
What about 'rubber guns,' my husband says, with a distant look in his eye? Down here in the South, it's so hot in summertime that kids can't play outdoors in the daytime. Instead, they use the long twilights for fierce battles with homemade rubber guns, made with sturdy sticks and heavy rubber bands. No one has been killed with one, as far as he knows, but each happy and satisfied macho youngster has gone home to supper many evenings with red marks on his face and arms from direct hits., and great stories to tell.
Have any of you Northerners ever made rubber guns?
Yes, Marianne. If I understand your post, I think we did. When I was 7 0r 8 we sawed light boards into the shape of small pistols. Stretched the rubber band over the 'barrel' and used clothes pins as a trigger to fire the rubber bands. At least in my area, they were never very popular. We tired of them fairly quickly.