Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hit Or Miss

I was looking through some more old Billboard ads - going deep into the world of bizarre retro carnival prizes and terrible novelties. I had no idea that there were all these strange little things. I was struck by this teeny ad, which has been enlarged here, somewhat at the expense of clarity, matter.

In the middle is our old friend the Electric Bow Tie - a tacky classic. We've been around the Electric Bow Tie block a few times, haven't we? If you missed out, you can wander over here and here.*

Now there's also a Magic Light Bulb, which lights up when you hold it in your hand. It doesn't do anything when it's in a lamp or a wall socket, though. That's useful. Just stand over there in the corner dear, right behind my chair. I just want to read the paper for a few hours.

But my favorite is the Zen-like nuttiness that is the Roll-Up Necktie. It is a TERRIFIC Fun Novelty. The capitals in the ad prove that it is the clear favorite of the three. It is "a necktie that ROLLS UP and hits your chin whenever desired."

See, I love that. Love it. Yes, they must have imagined loads of people who desired nothing more than to have their neckties roll up and hit them in the chin. And not just once, but again and again! Who are these people? Do they also wear shirts that slap them when they eat too much pie? Hats that fly off and bop them in the nose if they say something rude?

I'm thinking that D. Robbins and Co. of New York really missed the boat on this. You know that in Chicago they would have done a whole clothing line of reprimanding novelty clothes. Get with it, New York!

[From Billboard, October 4, 1947.]

*Probably this is the last time I'll mention the Electric Bow Tie, in case you're wondering.


Eric said...

I blame the nefarious 'Napkin Appreciation Dealers Association' for preventing the roll-up necktie product from ever really taking off like it should have.

ethereal heaven said...

hello,,,greetings of peace friend! your site is very beautiful and informative! would you mind if we exchange links friend?^__^

Shay said...

on another topic, Lidian; did you realize IE8 hates you?

Ever since I upgraded I have been unable to get to your blog. I have to shut down IE and open Chrome.

What did you do to piss Bill off?

Lidian said...

Eric - All very unfair!

ethereal heaven - Um, thank you.

Shay - I didn't, because I've been using Firefox for awhile...maybe that's why IE doesn't like me anymore.

And Bill and I are still pals - he tells me he's been having problems getting onto KR too, maybe IE issues. I can get onto your and his sites just fine...

Let me know if there's anything I can do, only I have a feeling there isn't - maybe if I gave IE a nice gift? Perhaps a novelty tie...

Relax Max said...

Great find. I have never run a chain of penny arcade cranes or pull the string carnival prizes, but if I did I would surely buy these. Especially since they are fast sellers.

Why am I now having mental images of Steve Martin as The Jerk guessing people's weight and explaining what prizes they get on that little shelf?

Lidian said...

Max - It's ironic because I really don't like circuses and carnivals in real life! And I've never seen The Jerk, but will put it on the list of movies to see in future...