“…the small boy squooshing his nose against a toy shop window grows into a man gazing wistfully at the wondrous contrivances that he’d never buy for himself.”

From the November 21, 1935 Wilkes-Barre Times Leader – Evening News

Gadgets Works Best As Man’s Christmas Gift 

A man’s Christmas morning without gadgets to the right of him and gadgets to the left of is all folly and blunder. So a word to the wives is sufficient to remind them that the small boy squooshing his nose against a toy shop window grows into a man gazing wistfully at the wondrous contrivances that he’d never buy for himself. 


There are marvels to delight the ritualistic hobbyist and surprisingly simple solutions of gift “problems.” Consider the homely coathanger. No longer a thin wooden slat or a shoulder poking wire legacy from the dry cleaner, it is now a scientifically designed device whose wishbone wings hold the coat without damaging the set of shoulders. Painted or plain, they come six in a smart triangular box, and can be monogrammed to make them snitch proof.

 Bridge-hounds on your list will like the new automatic dealer, which speeds up the game. In shape, a miniature cash register, it has a hopper in the rear where a pack of cards is inserted. You turn the crank and in six seconds produce four mathematically shuffled hands. New washable and practically indestructible cards will make the same hit with your friends that they have made with professional players.

 For the Tabacco Addict

Santa Claus must be a great tobaccophile, judging by the number of gifts his gadgeteers have created for the worshipers of the weed. Cyril Gorainoff, noted painter of sporting subject, has decorated a whole line of smoking accessories, from tile-topped leather cigaret boxes to pocket match cases and table lighters. Speaking of automatic lighters the popular flameless flintless one that actually works better in the wind appears in some new models; a key chain combination handsome enough for evening wear, and a cigaret case containing a lighter.

The pipe-smoker who dislikes having his pipes exposed in an open rack will welcome a new one of fine walnut with a closed front and a porcelain lined compartment that holds a pound of tabacco.

For the outdoor, all-weather smoker, there’s the “hurricane pipe, whose closed bowl is guaranteed not to shower sparks like an acetylene torch. The latest model has a grinning golf ball bowl for linksman 

Ways to Please Golfer

Golfers will go ga-ga over the new nub iron, with a 12-inch handle. This short grip is perfectly legal, as the U.S.G.A. says it’s quite O.K. to use for those “impossible” shots. It is also handy to throw garrulous galleries.

Golfers who prefer open-top bags will be delighted with a set of soft leather hoods line with flannel to protect the wooden club heads. A bouquet of four of these is stemmed on a steel spring that holds them taut.

If you want to go to town in a big way for a horseman pal, get him one of the brand new riding crop racks. Gun racks provided the inspiration for this grand gadget made of fine leather with spur steel hooks that are removable for cleaning.

There will be an end to boot wrestling by the horseman to whom you give a “rider’s companion,” a compact pigskin case containing boothooks, jockey lifts and everything needed for donning boots with ease and dispatch.

A hunt-breakfast host who receives a set of beautiful dinner plates, decorated by Gorainoff, will be your friend for life. The set includes twelve different sketches each depicting in color an incident in the life of a foal.

For Fisherman

About all a fisherman needs except tackle, bait and luck seems to be contained in a new angler’s pocketknife. IT has a broad blade, a corkscrew, and such unique features as a pair of scissors and a tiny scale that weighs up to twelve pounds (but takes no affidavits!). 

If you know a bait fanatic who mush have minnows where no minnows grow, make him happy with a few jars of pickled minnows. No relation to vinegary delicatessen herring, these are pickled in brine, and are supposed to be Hot Stuff. The same shop has whole dried grasshoppers in packages.

The ideal gift to a hunter is, of course, a gun. If you can afford that splurge, your Nimrod can profitably practice bulls-eyes with an automatic target which operate like a paper cup dispenser, supplying a fresh colored wafer “pigeon” the instant its predecessor is blown to smithereens.

For duck hunters there’s a closed season reminder of their hobby in a series of metal duck-head paperweights, painted in he natural iridescence of mallard, teal, and red head.

A clever addition to a yachtsman’s flag-locker is the new cocktail flag. A cocktail glass silhouetted in red against a white background is a masthead signal to thirsty friends (and gangway crashers) to organize boarding parties.

First aid to such convivial goings-on is the clever “Hootch-owl” corkscrew and bottle opener. This and a swell French wooden corkscrew have the flat, wide blades that pull a cork with a minimum of effort and no damage.


I would love to add the bladed worm version of the Hootch Owl to the collection…




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