Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oh (Ho Ho), it's Magic!

Sorry for the song title subject heading today, but that's the first thing I thought of when I saw this catalog!  :D

Isn't it fabulous?  I just got it from Old Stuff Only!  It's put out by the Warwick Press, makers of magic tricks, bingo games and novelties.  Don and Chris from OSO say it's circa 1950, but I'm going to put it at a little earlier, judging by the hairstyles - maybe 1945?

One of the neat things about this little catalog is that it contains a lot of "freebies" - fun "tricks" you can show your friends at school or work, like match tricks and illusions with cursive writing.  (Incidentally, "magic" tricks were pretty big when I was in grade school, but they seem to have disappeared themselves!  Is it too geeky?  Or are kids looking for Harry Potter-quality magic tricks now?)

You can most certainly tell that this is an older catalog; not only is it printed on newsprint, but there are a few novelty cigarette items for sale.  I remember seeing these at a store in the Port Plaza Mall in Green Bay called Joker's Wild, but they were in the "adults only" section of the store, along with the "nudie" ice cubes and those pens where the lady's clothes fall off when you flip the pen upside down.  Yet here they are, available for any kid to buy, no questions asked!  I would think that you'd try and find a very understanding adult to try these tricks on;  I don't think kids' jokes were tolerated as well back then.  (My mom tells the story of how her younger brother put "loads" in her cigarettes when he was a kid, but he was about 10 and my mom was 19, so she didn't get upset at him.)  :D

Speaking of magic tricks, I do have some vintage "snapping gum" packs, probably also from the 40s.  They're in MINT condition (hee hee!  Get it?  "Mint" condition because of the mint-flavored gum?  I kill me!).  I believe these also came from Old Stuff Only a few years back.  Brian and I tried them out and DANG!!  They hurt!  I love how they maneuver around the copyright by spelling Wrigley's "Wriggeyl's" - clever!  :D

I'll admit - I'm not really into magic tricks.  But there is one that intrigues me so, and it's not even real.  It comes from a movie called "The Illusionist", with Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti.  In it, Edward's character makes an orange tree grow onstage from a seed.  I love orange trees, so this fantastical illusion would be wonderful to see.

My non-magical Orange Tree ATC.  :D

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