Scan of 1960s novelty catalog

Karswell is co-editor of the Chilling Archives of Horror Comic Books series (including Zombies, excerpted on Boing Boing). He also runs the fabulous blog, and everything else too. He recently scanned a circa-1960 novelty catalog, which is loaded with intriguing objects from a bygone era.

If you've ever read a silver age comic book in your life, chances are you've seen the ad for World Wide Diamond Co., once located in windy wacky Chicago IL. And if you sent away for one of their smallish, 48-page, newsprint mail order catalogs then you absolutely uncovered a world of REAL hidden treasure! For buried there among all the other pages of cheap, gaudy jewelry and marked down wristwatches are the NOVELTY gift and gag pages, crammed packed with a jaw-dropping assortment of magic tricks, prank gadgets, monster masks, 'bop' style glasses, toys and other various instruments of endless enchantment and far-out fun! Man, there's seriously so much good stuff to share from this guide that it'll take two entire posts to deliver it all-- ENJOY!!

I wonder how many people bought the tiny donkey tie clip, which emits a loud fart when the wearer squeezes a rubber bulb?

WWD Co., Novelty Catalog (PT. 1) | WWD Co., Novelty Catalog (PT. 2)


    1. What don’t you get? The gag is SHOWN in the illo. You open the box, expecting to find fake tits….and you find false teeth instead. Har har.

  1. Why do the “babies” keep coming in threes? Strange idea of the nuclear family. Or maybe it’s different for animals.

  2. When I was a kid I had the severed finger, but I’m pretty sure it came from Johnson Smith. I wonder if World Wide Diamond had the same, high-quality foam-rubber digits. 

  3. What I love about these are the old southern style magic formulas that are preserved and re-labeled here. 

  4. I love the nose razzer.  You can just get use one of those little reeds from the dollar store party  blowers, put it in your handkerchief and blow. I used one at a camping weekend years ago and had people convinced I could make that sound with my nose..  This is also in one of Sam Bartlett’s (a ver y talented musician) Stuntology trick books, along with saving up those pistachios that don’t open and then putting them out in a bowl at a party, or putting marbles in your medicine cabinet and when a nosy guest peeks to see what you have in your cabinet they come spilling out.  My favourite is during a long drive if you are the driver and the passenger is nodding off.. slowly lean over and ask if they would like to let you drive for a while.

  5. Another fun trick is to take a banana and a pin. Take the pin, push it into banana and move it in a sideways motion and take out. Repeat this several times and you have sliced the banana into little slices without peeling it. Then give to an unsuspecting friend. As they peel the banana it will fall apart into little slices. And they will say hey.. just look at this…

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