We are Mardi and Stan Timm. We have been collecting novelties and novelty catalogues for more than twenty-five years. We’ve always had a fascination with things/objects that are unique and unusual, so it only seemed logical for us to start collecting. Things like jokes, magic tricks, and strange mechanical devices quickly became our prey. We scoured antique markets, flea markets, rummage sales, the Antique Trader, and finally the Internet auction sites for our stuff.
As a result we’ve managed to accumulate about 140 novelty catalogs, some dating as far back as 1874, plus we’ve also gathered an extensive collection of the novelty items that were sold in these catalogs. The majority of our catalogs are from the famous Johnson Smith & Company. In fact, we believe we have the largest collection of their catalogs and novelties in the world. The novelties range from ant farms to whoopee cushions and beyond.
We do a lot of research on these items. For example, when we acquired a 1930’s (original) Whoopee Cushion a couple of years back we did some investigating to find out where the classic joke came from and how the idea came about. So far we know the “where” but we are still working on the “how”. We’ll keep you posted in the coming months.
So, what will we be doing with this website? Well, we’ll be sharing our novelty collection, through a sort of virtual museum, and our knowledge about some truly unique items. We hope you will have as much fun as we’ve had putting this together.
So, for now, remember we’re under construction but be sure to stay tuned … and check back with us often.