February 12, 2013 11:18 AM   Subscribe

"If you've ever read a silver age comic book in your life, chances are you've seen the ad for World Wide Diamond Co., once located in windy wacky Chicago IL. And if you sent away for one of their smallish, 48-page, newsprint mail order catalogs then you absolutely uncovered a world of REAL hidden treasure!"
posted by griphus (16 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Every mod deserves a Space Pilot Helmet! The Glo Kitty looks too scary, though.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:21 AM on February 12, 2013

posted by The Whelk at 11:24 AM on February 12, 2013

My personal favorite is the "Alleged Chinese Good Luck Ring inscribed with Chinese alleged LUCK symbols."
posted by griphus at 11:26 AM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

You can place Blonde figure in Bathtub. Others cannot. Figure will pop out. Only those who know the Secret can make mysterious Blonde Stay in Bathtub.

If I saw that written anywhere else I think I'd immediately call the police.
posted by theodolite at 11:29 AM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:32 AM on February 12, 2013

I just always assumed these companies were fronts for something, the strange thing is you can still find some of these things, with the exact same packaging and design.
posted by The Whelk at 11:34 AM on February 12, 2013

I would like three pages of this catalog blown up to poster size to hang in my den for next Quonsmas, please. One page should be the one with REAL FRENCH TYPE PERFUME, but the others are left to your discretion. TIA.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:38 AM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh god, the snapping gum. I had forgotten about that.
posted by smidgen at 11:57 AM on February 12, 2013

Seattle's own Archie McPhee has this about covered.
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:04 PM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

A fun book on a similar topic.
posted by primethyme at 12:06 PM on February 12, 2013 [3 favorites]

My favourite one is the switchblade. You're expecting it to be one of those joke novelty switchblade combs, but, nope, it's the real thing. One dollar and forty-nine cents.

Looks like their mailing address, 2451 S. Michigan Avenue, was bulldozed to make room for the Stevenson Expressway. That would seem to date these to pre-1964.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:59 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Primethyme beat me to it, but that book is fantastic. He gets the actual objects that were advertised and compares them to the advertisements.
posted by wittgenstein at 1:03 PM on February 12, 2013

I didn't know those ties were supposed to be joke ties.
That explains a lot from the job interviews.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:25 PM on February 12, 2013

That thing is like eight months' worth of the back pages of Boys Life.
posted by Madamina at 3:11 PM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

This brings back memories of when being skinny was a problem I had.
posted by srboisvert at 6:50 AM on February 13, 2013

One of the switch blade knives (a Dixie switch) is selling on ebay for $125. It would have been a good investment!
posted by bystander at 2:30 AM on February 18, 2013

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