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Life of the Party: A Visual History of the S.S. Adams Company Makers of Pranks & Magic for 100 Years Hardcover – 2006
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Commemorates the 100th anniversary of the S.S. Adams company. History of the company in full color photos, original artwork, promotional material, and rare ephemera.
Top customer reviews
As an avid comic book reader and browser of novelty and souvenir stores, I already knew the Adams name well. I'd written messages with Adams' "invisible ink" and had fooled nobody with my Adams "Mr. Magic" set that included the deathless vanishing ball in the vase trick. It's all but impossible, in the electronic media age, to conjur up the sense of mystery and legerdemain conveyed by the Adams merchandise and its brilliant advertising. If you couldn't overpower your friends (and enemies) with your magical ability to make billiard balls multiply or smoke curl from your fingertips, you could always reduce them to suckerdom with hot pepper gum, a peep scope that delivered black eyes, or plastic candy. Never the snake in the can, though; EVERYBODY knew that one.
For those of you who missed the golden age of Adams, as well as for those of us who miss it today (the company still exists and prospers, though not at the level it enjoyed when the Johnson-Smith Co. sold its wares via comic book ads or in its own gigantic catalog of you-can't-live-without-it junk), Kirk Demarais's visual history is a treasure trove of memories that may, in the off-moment, rekindle juvenile notions of power and triumph. The Adams' paraphernalia may not have launched too many careers in magic, but they did kindle a lot of daydreams. If you yearn to revisit those pleasures, this book will give you more than your money's worth, something that was not always true of Adams' merchandise.
I think I could write a corollary: God will introduce you to the illusions and tripe of the world at an early age, if He really loves you. In this way, you will find out what cheap tastes and buffoonery prevail among men.
Yes . . . rubber doggie doo-doo, plastic vomit, humorous toilet paper, magic tricks that require no skill.
That is the supreme illusion: Convincing gullible people that they will become popular by buying one of these products and surprising people with it, whether it is the rubber doo-doo or the disappearing ball in the vase.