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Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I first saw this years ago and thought I'd never run across it again, but thanks to "Frank Zappa" I can now share its horrid wonders with you, the innocent general public.

Here's an ad, purportedly from the Johnson Catalog (whatever that was), for a disguise kit that, well, it's pretty much self-explanatory:

Have you picked your jaw up from the floor yet? I have no idea when this ad saw print, but it's a good bet that it's from the days of minstrel shows and other such accurate depictions of black American culture. The text below the "No Burnt Cork or Muss" header reads as follows:

The outfit comprises of a black stockingette mask, that can be slipped over the head in a moment, odd eyes, buck teeth, and imitation plantation straw hat. The entire makeup can be removed or concealed in your pocket "as quick as a wink." Great fun! The parts may be used separately if preferred, and the eyes can be adjusted to any angle.


What with those eyes, charcoal-black complexion, and those fucked-up teeth, is it just me or does this look like a burn victim or a low-budget mutant or something? And am I wrong, or can it be inferred from the text that this disguise would be ideal for anonymously committing crimes? They stress the easy on, easy off aspect of usability a bit too much for my comfort...

And all that for seventy-five cents! What a bargain!


Anonymous said...


Does he comes with a "barrels o'laughs" lynching kit, too?

Somedays, I hope there IS a hell - for all the right people, of course.

Anonymous said...

I can picture it now....

A chilly autumn afternoon. The neighborhood 5 and 10. A father comes in with his young son, looking for a nice Halloween costume.
"Excuse me Miss, can you please tell me if you carry the Nigger make up kit?"

Aaah fond memories of childhood

Zoola said...

Holy crap!!!! Maybe it's me, but for some reason the most twisted thing about this is the "complete with hat" detail they felt the need to include. Like they thought that this was just the incentive necessary to tip the scales for the hesitant consumer. "Well, I wasn't really in the market for 'nigger makeup', but since it comes complete with hat..." Yikes!!!

John Bligh said...

Well, there IS no burnt cork or muss... That's reason enough to buy several!!

Woo Hoo!!

eggs mayonnaise said...

Makes me wanna buy a kit, and some 5-inch stilettos, and begin my drag career as Miz Blackened Catfish.

Declan Shalvey said...

What a bargain indeed!

Plus, 'Without blacking'. That's a relief.

....Jesus, you couldn't make up this shite.