This Day in Pop Culture for July 8

Erector Set

1913: The Erector Set Gets a Patent

It was on this day in 1913 when Alfred Carlton Gilbert received a patent for his Erector Set which became an incredibly popular toy. The metal toy construction set was originally sold in wooden boxes by Gilbert’s company, Mysto Manufacturing Company of New Haven, Connecticut. The sets included metal beams of various lengths but with regularly-spaced holes. Using bolts and nuts, the beams could be used to create different buildings and structures, taken apart and then used to building something new. By 1924, the sets featured over 70 different types of parts. When Gilbert passed away in 1961, his company began to lose sales which led to a filing for bankruptcy in 1967. New colorful plastic parts were added, but it was hard to compete with other building sets. In the late 1990’s, a Disney engineer, Mark Sumner used his set to build a working model for what became the “Soarin’” ride at Epcot and Disney’s California Adventure.(Image: Wikimedia)


  • 1831: John Pemberton (inventor of Coca-Cola)
  • 1885: Hugo Boss (fashion designer)
  • 1944: Jeffrey Tambor (actor)
  • 1947: Kim Darby (actress)
  • 1948: Raffi (children’s song-writer)
  • 1949: Wolfgang Puck (celebrity chef)
  • 1951: Anjelica Huston (actress)
  • 1958: Kevin Bacon (actor)
  • 1961: Toby Keith (singer)
  • 1968: Billy Crudup (actor)
  • 1970: Beck (singer)
  • 1977: Milo Ventimiglia (actor)
  • 1982: Sophia Bush (actress)
  • 1998: Jaden Smith (actor)

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