Mail Order Investigator
1938
The Johnson Smith Novelty Company, in business since 1914, published numerous mail-order catalogs throughout the 1920s and '30s. Each catalog, numbering hundreds of pages, offered a fantastic assortment of practical jokes, magic tricks, bizarre books, live pets, toys, games, buttons, badges, party favors, gizmos, gee-gaws, gimcracks, and tchotchkes.

There were many items in the catalog which might be of interest to a Cthulhu Investigator. The HPLHS library contains a copy of the complete 1938 Johnson Smith catalog. Several selected pages are reproduced here for your browsing pleasure. Click on a thumbnail to download a full-size version in JPEG format. (Some of the larger pages can take a few moments to download.)

The Johnson Smith Company is still in business. Now operating out of Florida, they continue to offer an amazing array of merchandise. Regrettably, the items pictured here no longer remain in the catalog.

Photography Outfit
Spy Camera
Discreet Microphone
Microscope
Telescope
See-Back-Roscope
Crystal Gazing
Self Defense
Arcane Lore
More Arcane Lore
More Arcane Lore
Still More Arcane Lore
Before Kinko's?
Bogus ID Cards
Zener Cards
Skeleton Keys
Ordering Info
How to Be a Detective