Throwback Thursday: the Joy Buzzer!

As novelty items go, The “Joy Buzzer” was the opposite of the infamous “X-Ray Specs” or “Sea Monkeys” or how-to books on hypnotism.  It was a durable, well designed toy that actually worked as advertised.

There was no electricity in it; you weren’t actually shocking people.  There was just a simple wind-up mechanism that made it buzz violently in your victim’s handshake.

I was almost always the dork in the family who excitedly ordered weird things out of The Johnson Smith Company catalog, but I seem to remember one of my older siblings sending away for this one.  It was a fun gag.

It’s an old gag too.  This thing has been around since 1928, and was modeled on an even older product called “The Zapper.”  Because humor is timeless.

 

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