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January 22, 2017

The Austin Magic Pistol


Sold in the 1940s, the pistol fired ping pong balls at what can only be described as, for a toy, high velocity.
The firing mechanism was calcium carbide, loaded into the back of the pistol and activated with a few drops of water. It also shoots flames. The largely smoke-free reaction nevertheless caused much more than a ping pong ball to come out of the gun. And because toys weren't constructed with the best methods back in the day, the reaction usually meant sparks flew out of the back, too, where there was nothing more than a flimsy screw-top sealing the back. Retro Fails: 10 Most Dangerous Toys for Children - Urban Ghosts

Posted by gerardvanderleun at January 22, 2017 8:20 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Evidently it was slightly stronger than a cadre of lawyers.

Posted by: Vermont Woodchuck at January 22, 2017 9:03 AM

Back when toys put hair on ya.
Today's boy's toys make em *identify* with their "soft" side.

Posted by: ghostsniper at January 22, 2017 10:40 AM

Back when toys put hair on ya.

Or burned it off.

Posted by: waltj at January 22, 2017 10:49 AM

I had a carbide cannon when I was 15. The best toy ever. We also put the carbide into water balloons and lit them. Lost several sets of eye brows. Good times...

Posted by: TomS at January 22, 2017 5:56 PM

I looked at the link. Those were awesome toys. What a bunch of sissies we've become.

Posted by: el baboso at January 22, 2017 6:19 PM

The most dangerous toy I ever had was a Vac-U-Form. Even at the time I was amazed we were allowed to play with it. Bare metal that got so hot it would melt plastic. Best thing about it was the smell. Like a new-plastic-doll smell greatly magnified. Other than the smell and the danger it was pretty boring. What was the point of making little molded plastic things? There was no point!

Posted by: Sarah Rolph at January 23, 2017 7:07 AM

I made a pipe bomb in my bedroom as a young teen. Cut open a couple 16 gauge shotgun shells, bunch of firecrackers and ground up some sparklers for the charge, stuffed into a 10" piece of copper pipe. Had a fuse from an M80 in the middle with plaster filled with broken glass and small screws and nuts on each end. I was just about done with my project and ready to try it out in the countryside when it "disappeared" from my room. I never asked my Dad about it and he never said anything about it. Haven't even thought about it in a decade or more. Next time I see him I'll ask him if he remembered saving me from myself. Heheh.

Posted by: Snakepit Kansas at January 23, 2017 5:22 PM

Any boy that had thoughts about bombs, cannons, guns or rockets and stupidly let those thoughts leak out today, they will immediately be chemically neutered and made to wear a 'pink pussy' hat.

Posted by: Vermont Woodchuck at January 24, 2017 7:55 AM

All too true, Vermont. As for me, I didn't just have thoughts about them. I made them, all of them, at one time or another, and got them to work. I managed to keep all my fingers, never hurt anyone else in the process, and didn't destroy or damage any objects I didn't own. I had a great time, learned more about practical physics and chemistry than I ever did in a classroom, and never saw the inside of a cop car, courtroom, or jail cell. I doubt I could do the same today.

Posted by: waltj at January 24, 2017 7:47 PM

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