Magic History 101: Johnson Smith Catalogs

Posted by Peter Monticup on 9/12/2020 to Magic History 101


JOHNSON SMITH CATALOGS

The Wish Books of my youth!
From Wikipedia:
The Johnson Smith Company (Johnson Smith & Co.) was a mail-order company established in 1914 by Alfred Johnson Smith in Chicago, Illinois, USA that sold novelty and gag gift items such as x-ray goggles, whoopee cushions, fake vomit, and joy buzzers.
The company moved from Chicago to Racine, Wisconsin in 1926, then to Detroit in the 1930s, and finally to Bradenton, Florida in 1986.
The company placed its ads in magazines devoted to children and young adults such as Boys' Life, Popular Mechanics and Science Digest.
Their ads appeared on the back cover of many historically significant comic books, including Action Comics #1, June 1938 (first appearance of the character Superman) and Detective Comics #27, May 1939 (first appearance of character Batman).
On December 31, 2019, the company's website announced that they had ceased operations and closed.

Here are my recollections of ordering from Johnson Smith...

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Date 9/15/2020
art stawecki
Johnson Smith was located in Detroit during the 1940's and was my first contact with magic. Although you could go to the warehouse and buy some things, there was no showroom or demonstrator to perform. This led me to Abbott's downtown magic store were I spent many Saturday afternoons watching the local pros. I even met Harry Blackstone Sr. in 1954 when he was appearing at the local Cass Theater. He stopped in to say hello even though there was no love between him and Percy Abbott. A fond memory.

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