Posted by Word Camel on December 22, 2003
In Reply to: Seller of sea monkeys is dead posted by ESC on December 22, 2003
: December 21, 2003
: New York Times online
: Accessed December 22, 2003.
: Harold von Braunhut, Seller of Sea Monkeys, Dies at 77
: By DOUGLAS MARTIN
: Harold von Braunhut, who used comic book advertisements to sell whimsical mail-order inventions like Amazing Sea Monkeys, tiny shrimp that pop to life when water is added, died on Nov. 28 at his home in Indian Head, Md. He was 77.
: His wife, Yolanda, said that he died after a fall but that the exact cause was not known.
: Mr. von Braunhut was to quirky inventions what Barnum was to circuses. His X-Ray Specs, which advertisements said allowed wearers to see through flesh and clothing, are still selling after 50 years of guffaws. Hermit crabs as a pet? Thank Mr. von Braunhut for Crazy Crabs.
: And yes, perhaps only this verbally snappy holder of 195 patents could have realized that what the world needed was Amazing Hair-Raising Monsters, which allow a child to add water to a card and watch hair grow on the previously bald pate of the monster depicted there.
: But Mr. von Braunhut's pièce de résistance was Sea Monkeys - which come from dried-up lake bottoms, not the sea, and are not monkeys but brine shrimp...
Thank you for this ESC. Truly. This is the end of an era. I can not recall who sent off for the the happy sea monkey family, but I remember peering at them through the magnifying glass try to see their faces. I also saved up my money for the 100 - dolls - WITH CLOTHES!!! I drew the pirate to see if I could make it as an artist. These were all disappointments in a way and yet not because it was fun to fill out the little slips to mail off the order and to watch the post every day.
I sometimes wonder what is in the back of comic books these days, if there is a distributor of sea monkeys and x-ray glasses. What an innocent time it was...