Enter the world of Johnson Smith & Company, or at least some of the more risque parts of it. In the beginning of the 20th century a family could have two catalogs to survive. One was the Sears-Roebucks catalog. From it you could buy everything from horse bridles to clothing and kitchen utensils. In fact, just about everything you absolutely needed to live you could buy right from the pages. And then there was everything you didn't need, but really wanted - and that's where Johnson Smith came in. From whoopie cushions to pistols, this thick catalog was truly the Necronomicon to Sear's Holy Bible.
Established in 1914, they produced all sorts of novelties, many of them quite cruel. If it didn't cause physical harm, it would send you home shamed. Hell, many of the products made fun of whole ethnic groups, and at a time when the Irish and Italians were just as open game as American Blacks. When WWII broke out, they quickly cranked out 1.5" novelty buttons that said 'To Hell with Japan', 'To Hell With Hitler', and even the phonetic 'Moider Dem Japs'. Johnson Smith was for the people.
In their product lines they had a number of publications of varying interests and quality. From money making idea guides to Minstrel Show routines, exposes of the Masons and the Klan, Black Magic and the dreaded White Slavery. Because JS & Co. was aiming for the mass audience, they knew that most people LOVED- the lowest common denominator, and that meant skirting as close to the issue of sex as possible in the open market.
Because they were printed on low grade paper, these booklets are rare to find in good condition, if you find them at all. Also, due to the fact they are thin booklets, book dealers will often just throw them away because they are difficult to display. It took me three years to get a hold of Confessions and Chorus Queens, and I'm happy to make them available in these low-priced editions.
These booklets below feature some of the closest JS & Co. came to the S word, and they provide fascinating glimpses of the times, unfortunately all but lost. These are facsimile editions, scanned and reproduced from original copies.