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Thread: Virginia vs the Austin Magic Pistol (A cautionary tale for collectors and hobbyists)

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    Administrator John Pierce's Avatar
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    Virginia vs the Austin Magic Pistol (A cautionary tale for collectors and hobbyists)

    Recently, a friend sent me a link to a Cracked.com article about vintage toys that would be considered wildly irresponsible by today’s consumer safety standards.

    The article itself was a hilarious read but what really caught my attention was the #2 toy on the list; the Austin Magic Pistol. This marvel of 1950′s engineering fired a ping-pong sized plastic ball by igniting the combustible gases generated when you added water to the provided ‘magic crystals.’

    While I was doing the research for my article on Virginia’s air gun laws, I discovered that, back in 1950 when the Austin Magic Pistol and its progenitors were all the rage, Virginia passed a law prohibiting the selling or gifting of such toys. Originally passed as § 18.1-347, the law is still on the books ...

    Excerpt ... read more at http://monachuslex.com/?p=1204

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Interesting thread John!
    I remember them well. You could buy them ay Glens Fair Price in Harrisonburg.

    I doubt anyone knew about the law then and since it's a class 4 misdemeanor, I doubt anyone would have cared if they had known.

    In those days every hardware store carried carbide and carbide lanterns, We did marvelous things with acetylene (what the carbide and water forms) and used it for everything from cannons to scare crows away from crops, to fishing (Don't ask).

    Thanks for sharing!

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    We used to celebrate a touchdown in high school with a blast from a carbide cannon. Was great punctuation!!
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Not to steal anything from John's thread, but the Austin was #2 in an article called
    http://www.cracked.com/article_19481...tage-toys.html

    The 8 Most Wildly Irresponsible Vintage Toys


    It's a trip down memory for the Old Man's Club and yeah, I had 3 of the 8 and my sister had 1.

    Never mind. John linked the article...
    Last edited by peter nap; 08-08-2012 at 04:47 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    Not to steal anything from John's thread, but the Austin was #2 in an article called
    http://www.cracked.com/article_19481...tage-toys.html

    The 8 Most Wildly Irresponsible Vintage Toys


    It's a trip down memory for the Old Man's Club and yeah, I had 3 of the 8 and my sister had 1.

    Never mind. John linked the article...
    thats why you were swimming around surry power station the other day wasn't it? wanted a life size atomic energ lab.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 67GT390FB View Post
    thats why you were swimming around surry power station the other day wasn't it? wanted a life size atomic energ lab.
    I needed supplies. Dumpster diving!

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    Regular Member riverrat10k's Avatar
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    I ruined lots of things with my old chemistry set!
    Remember Peter Nap and Skidmark. Do them proud. Be active. Be well informed. ALL rights matter.

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    Administrator John Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    Interesting thread John!
    I remember them well. You could buy them ay Glens Fair Price in Harrisonburg.

    I doubt anyone knew about the law then and since it's a class 4 misdemeanor, I doubt anyone would have cared if they had known.

    In those days every hardware store carried carbide and carbide lanterns, We did marvelous things with acetylene (what the carbide and water forms) and used it for everything from cannons to scare crows away from crops, to fishing (Don't ask).

    Thanks for sharing!
    Those were the days!

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