Johnson Smith Company

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Early 20th century Ventriloquism Guide and novelties catalogue

The Johnson Smith Company is a mail-order company officially established in 1914 by Alfred Johnson Smith in Chicago, Illinois, USA (but originally began in 1905 in Australia) that sells novelty and gag gift items such as x-ray goggles, whoopee cushions, fake vomit, and joy buzzers. The company moved to Bradenton, Florida in 1986 after having been in the Detroit, Michigan area since 1935 (and Racine, Wisconsin before that).[1]

The company would normally put 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).[citation needed]

In 1970, humorist Jean Shepherd wrote the introduction for the reprint of The 1929 Johnson Smith & Co. Catalogue.[2]

In 2004, the company marked its 90th anniversary.[3]

Johnson Smith Timeline[edit]



  1. ^
  2. ^ Shep Bibliography: The Works and Career of Jean Shepherd, Jim Sadur and Joe Berg, 1998-2004,, retrieved 30 March 2010
  3. ^ Mail Stream: A Report on Incoming Direct Mail, Direct Magazine, February 17, 2004
  4. ^ Mad #21, March 1955, Doug Gilford,

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