Lectron Electronic Dominoes
By James Grahame
Raytheon is a name most people associate with multi-million dollar defense and aerospace contracts. But back in the 1960s the company imported a fantastic range of Lectron electronic building block kits developed by West German model train maker Egger-Bahn and electronics giant Braun.
Each electronic component is housed in a small plastic box. The boxes contain magnets to connect them to each other or to a ferrous-coated mounting board that acted as an electrical ground plane. A typical kit included a variety of modules containing relays, speakers, variable capacitors, photocells and a battery pack. Prices in the USA started at $19.50 and ranged up to a whopping $128 for a full set (these were 1960s dollars, remember). It's a pity they didn't team up with LEGO -- I would have killed for an affordable modular electronics toy as a kid.
Lectron article in Sept. 1967 Electronics Illustrated [via matrix at matrixsynth]