This blog is dedicated to the sublime instruments called nose flutes and which produce the most divine sound ever. We have chosen to discard all the native models from S. Pacific and Asia, for they need fingering to be played. We'll concentrate on "buccal cavity driven" nose flutes : the well patented and trademarked metal or plastic ones, plus, by a condemnable indulgence, some wooden craft or home-made productions.

Sep 15, 2014

Other Humanatone Ads from Popular Mechanics

We previously posted an article about the advertisement campaign that the Johnson Smith Co. launched in Popular Mechanics (we were interested in the pages including a Magic (Nose) Flute or Humanatone).
But during those years, the Johnson Smith company was not the only novelty mail-order company to advertise for the Humanatone. Indeed, I found 3 other competitors selling the tin nose flute through Popular Mechanics.

Oaks Magical Co.

The Oaks Magical Co. was settled in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and was selling novelties, gadgets and magic tricks, exactly as Johnson Smith. It was founded (1913) and run by the magician John H. Oaks (1889-1918), known as "The Mighty Oaks, the Handcuff King", and by his family after his death.

In the following ad, note that the text is very similar (if not identical) to the Johnson Smith text: it was coming from the Humanatone Co. itself. The illustration is the "clogged" version, the ones without visible stampings, as it appears from Nov. 1928 in the Johnson Smith ads, meaning this modification probably came directly from the Humanatone Co.

October, November and December 1929 Oaks Magical Co. advertisement


Scientific Novelty Co.

The Scientific Novelty Co. was based in Greenwich, New York, and was specialized in optical and electric novelties and gadgets. Again, the text of their ad is a rewritten version of the "official" one. Here, the nose flute is called Humanatone (and not "Magic (Nose) Flute"). The engraving is different from J.S. and Oaks. I don't know where it came from (a music instrument catalog? which one?), but not from the Humanatone Co., as far as I know. Could it be possible it was original? (I doubt of it).

November 1929 Scientific Novelty Co. advertisement


Heaney Magic Co.

As Johnson Smith and Oaks Magical, the Heaney Magic Co. was base in Wisconsin (Berlin). As Oaks, it was specialized in magic tricks and novelties. It was founded by Gerald Heaney, a magician known as "Heaney the Great". It is very interesting that the catalog pages are hand written and the illustration drawn (see the full page below). The Humanatone advertisement illustration are reinterpretations of the engravings printed on the Humanatone user manual. The price, 20c. in 1924, is 5c lower than in Johnson Smith ads.

February 1924 Heaney Magic Co. advertisement



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Scientific Novelty Co. and Heaney Magic Co. pages in Popular Mechanics

2 comments:

  1. Very interesting hand-drawn ad. Don't know about the "nigger-outfit" though. Seems like a lot of competition for the nose flute. Did the Johnson Smith Co. have monopoly on the branded, stamped version?

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    1. Dear Maikel,
      Yes, I agree with you about the "Nigger-outfit" ad. At this time, any mail-order catalog proposed such props from another age, and some even more racist. Any.
      On the Jonhnson Smith Co., no, they didn't have any monopoly, as far as I know, and there was not Humanatone "unstamped". If you talk about the illustration itself: same answer: the engraving was "stolen" from the user manual, I suppose, because if you look well, they are badly cut (with a pair of scissors!). Even the text is chosen from the user manual.

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