Athlete, magician, marketing genius, millionaire- A. C. Gilbert was all of these, but he made his name by refusing to grow up. In 1913 Gilbert poured his boyish enthusiasm into a new toy. He called it the Erector Set, and the A. C. Gilbert Company sold 30 million of them. In this engaging book, award-winning journalist Bruce Watson tells the story of this amazing toy and its remarkable inventor-who, in 1918, became "The Man Who Saved Christmas" by convincing the U.S. War Resources Board not to ban wartime toy sales. Going beyond biography, Watson asks important questions about toys, boys, girls, science, and the way our perception of each has changed. The result is a quintessentially American tale of ingenuity, enthusiasm . . . and a marvelous invention that fit industrial America like a nut fits a bolt.