Saturday, May 5, 2007

King Novelty Curio Catalog

American folklore, and American history; John The Conqueror Root, Van Van Oil, and The Lucky Mojo Bag. Hoodoo Charms and The Seven Keys To Power.

For a large portion of the 20th century, these items and many more were available from the King Novelty Co. out of Chicago, as well as dozens of other similar outfits. They were popular in the '30's and '40's, (when this catalog was likely printed) but several products continued to be advertised into the '60's and beyond.

I find the pages of this old catalog to be a juicy treat and fascinating to ponder. You could probably guess this by my inability to choose any of it to edit out for this posting.

Looking through the various curios, I half expected to see other folkloric wares, like tombstone bullets, cobra snake neckties, or a kit for building your own chimney out of human skulls. No such luck. Maybe that was a different catalog.

(Click on images to ENLARGE to a grossly huge and unwieldy size in a new window. You WILL want to be able to read the fine print.)

















(Click on images to ENLARGE to a grossly huge and unwieldy size in a new window. You WILL want to be able to read the fine print.)

So are these products a thing of the past? No, not quite. In doing just a tiny bit of research, I happily discovered the online catalog for The Lucky Mojo Curio Co.

Go to the website, where you can learn *so much more* about these items and their usage. You can see images from similar vintage catalogs, some of the packaging for the original curios, as well as their modern descendants.

The homepage and *vast, extensive, and scholarly* affiliated pages are written by cat yronwode, whose name I've not heard since back in the days of the Eclipse Comics publishing company. Nice to see what she's been up to since.

The breadth and detail of info available at her site is amazing. One page that stood out in particular for me included facts about the interesting history of King Novelty, and the definition and history of Hoodoo Rootwork in general. Don't confuse it with voodoo, and do take a look.

- - And for just a wee bit of further enlightenment, listen to this sales testimonial for the Mojo Bag. (click for audio)

10 comments:

MrBaliHai said...

Absolutely fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

Peter said...

Wow...I wondered what Cat Yronwode was up to these days. She used to participate in a pre-www Sacred Geometry forum.

Thanks for sharing the great scans!

Sir Real said...

WOW! Gawd, I love the designs of these old ads. So cluttered, yet so enticing! Thanks for posting 'em.

Il Dottor Due Teste said...

This is awesome thanks for sharing.
I got into hoodoo thanks to Cat's Hoodoo Correspondence Course.
I have a lot of the courios listed here and even more.
The quality of Cat's curios is incredible.

Darwination said...

Wow, what a beautiful scan! The browns and reds are just stunning. Do you know the date of this catalogue? From a cursory investigation, I'm guessing 30s or early 40s?... I saw mention of these products in relation to hoodoo and such, neat stuff. Thanks!

Mr. Sean said...

Holy Mackerel! Thanks for scanning those. I wanna just spend hours copying this graphic design style now. I thought it was particularly weird that they showed putting oils on the lucky rabbits foot, does this mean that mine have been defective all this time? Yowza!

thombeau said...

Two words: rectal cones.

Karen said...

My Dad actually has a bottle of the Lucky Mojo Perfume. It was given to him by a guy who rented a house from him back in the 70's. It's been a running joke with our Family for years. Its awesome to finally see an ad for this that is so clear. The label on the bottle we have has gotten a little worn over the years. Thank you so much for posting this!

Eyang Kasmin said...

really fantastic.

akan silas said...

please someone should give me a direct contact with king novelty