Gee Whillickers!

Gifts You Wish You Could Still Give

He’s got everything, she’s so hard to shop for! Holiday gift shopping can be the bane of some people’s existence. Well, you won’t find a solution here but you might find some of the holiday cheer you had scoured away while window shopping or surfing online by perusing these items that were once for sale 30 to 100 years ago.

Fight Fire With Grenades!

The Harden “Star” Hand Grenade (circa 1880)

What cubicle dweller wouldn’t appreciate a handy means of delivering a flame-retardant fluid to those pesky office equipment or household appliance fires. The attractive cobalt-blue broken glass even adds aesthetic charm to an otherwise bleak clean-up of the charred aftermath of a fire. The Harden Hand Grenade is, er, was, um, would have been a lovely gift for the home or office.

Harness the Power of Air in Your Shorts

Inflatable Air Shorts (you woldn’t think it but, circa 1970)

Advertised as possibly the easiest, most comfortable trim-down method you may ever try. These spiffy, slenderizing shorts weren’t just filled with air, they were packed with guaranteed results! Providing pneumatic support and massage to help you slenderize where you need it most; all while you exercise, perform housework or any usual daily activity! What happens after that is likely to amaze you—they actually said this in their ads—visions of rashes and boils dance in one’s head.

Children’s Burn Ointment Not Included

Toy Steam Engine and Mechanical Figures (circa 1850)

Electricity, schmelectricity! We’ve all had our eyes and ears assaulted upon entering a toy store these days. The scourge of electronics has turned most toys into vibrating, flashing, bleeping, button-encrusted, anti-adult munitions—girls’ baby dolls included. This year, give kids the gift of steam! Yes, it sounds dangerous; steam is hot and it requires some form of combustion to get hot. That means fire, boys and girls. So, don’t forget to include some Harden Hand Grenades on your holiday shopping list!