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I collect and use vintage atomic / molecular model kits eg by Catalin, Courtaulds, Sargent Welch etc. These all represent molecules but intrigued by this Sargent Welch set (link below) dated 1947 design by Henry D. Hubbard who was noted for a design of the periodic table. It is the only set have seen representing internal atomic structure but not fully grasping how this set was used.  Neutrons and protons each have four hooks on each cube so presumably building an interlocking nucleus. There's far fewer red electrons than blue protons so presumably these are just showing the outer orbitals all suspended on the rings and hooks supplied. A Google search does not reveal any examples of this in use. The built atom seem to be supported on rings presumably orbitals but unclear how the whole atom was displayed. Any insight appreciated!

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/296533944351?

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ A remarkable find. Image 4/4 here seems to implement Rutherford models. Perhaps your (perspective/described) kit misses some pieces and thus can no longer present the heavier atoms of many electrons. Is there a literature reference (e.g., Journal of Chemical Education) about it? Since it is about the popularization of science / a tool to assist lectures, could there be some assistance e.g., by the Smithsonian, The Royal Society of Chemistry, The Royal Institution? $\endgroup$
    – Buttonwood
    Commented Jul 10 at 14:54
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    $\begingroup$ Or (give the size of the trays for neutrons/yellow pieces, protons/blue pieces vs electrons/red pieces) and for mere reasons of stability/weight of the models to be built, the designer's focus «any way» was about the atomic nuclei with a schematic display of inner electron shells with (empty) metal bands, and to show case only the outer shells with bands .and. valence electrons flying around like gnats. $\endgroup$
    – Buttonwood
    Commented Jul 10 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ It says revised by W. F. Meggers. The archive of his works has an entry "11/3/1941 Meggers correspondence to Glenn M. Hobbs, representing W.M. Welch Mfg. Co.", which is prior to the model's date. $\endgroup$
    – Karsten
    Commented Jul 10 at 15:13
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    $\begingroup$ Sargent Welch is still in existence. You might contact them and inquire. They might have someone in charge of historical items. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn
    Commented Jul 10 at 16:06
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe the electron pieces (made of cork) rotted while the nucleon pieces (made of lead) aged better. $\endgroup$
    – Karsten
    Commented Jul 10 at 18:04

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manual pages showing how to build models with the kit

(source)

Judging from the photo of the manual Buttonwood found (see comments to question), the smaller ring represents the 2nd shell and the larger ring the 3rd shell. Both have space for 8 electrons (not entirely accurate with our current understanding, but good enough for electron configurations up to Argon). There is space for the two 1st shell electrons on the horizontal wire connection (at 1/4 and 3/4 position), and the proton/neutron blob is attached in the center of that wire.

The molecule on the left might be $\ce{HF}$, and on the right might be $\ce{SiF4}$. Unfortunately, the resolution of the picture is a bit too low to see the labels. If the molecule on the left is indeed $\ce{HF}$, it shows sharing of one electron instead of two.

One nice detail is that the electron pieces are made from cork (lightweight) and the proton and neutron pieces are made from lead (heavy), corresponding to the difference in mass of the actual particles.

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