A sampling of unusual novelties from the 1937 Johnson Smith Catalog

I loved getting the Johnson Smith Catalog in the mail as a kid. I'd pore over every page of fine print and tiny line drawings to find patches, smoking monkeys, magic tricks, practical jokes, puzzles, and instructional booklets. The catalogs were over a hundred pages long and I would spend days going through each one. Steve Banes has a 1937 Johnson Smith Catalogue of "Surprising Novelties, Puzzles, Tricks, Joke Goods, Useful Artifacts, Etc…" and it is an astounding 575 pages long.

Banes said he is going to post items from it throughout 2021. He got started with a bunch of items, some of which I've included below.