Tagged: novelty


Planking (2010’s)

Planking is an activity where the person lies on the ground or across an object, arms straight at their side with palms flat and facing inward, toes pointed, and body as stiff as a wooden board and facing downward. It is typically done in a funny or unusual place to create a unique photograph of the planking. A picture is taken and posted online.


Car Stuffing (1950’s)

In late 1959, as bored students returned from summer vacation, the sport of phone booth stuffing morphed into a new form. Volkswagen stuffing became all the rage as students tried to stuff as many people as possible into a Volkswagen car. The fad began in 1959 and peaked in the mid 1960’s when a record 18 people stuffed themselves into a Volkswagen bug.


Phone Booth Stuffing (1950’s)

In early 1959, twenty five students attempted something nobody had ever tried before. The South African students of Durban tried to see if all twenty five could fit into a phone booth. They succeeded and submitted their achievement to the Guinness Book of World Records. Soon, others heard about the bizarre stunt and attempts at phone booth stuffing (or cramming) began all over the world.


Goldfish Swallowing (1940’s)

It began in the 1930’s, a fad so bizarre; some mistakenly believe it to be an urban legend. Goldfish swallowing, where a live goldfish is swallowed, started in the mid 1939 and sizzled out a few months later. Few fads can be traced back to one person but the origination of goldfish swallowing is well documented. It began with a single man.


Pet Rocks (1970’s)

In April 1975, Gary Dahl, a Los Gatos, California advertising executive, was in a bar listening to his friends complain about their pets. Although adorable and loveable, barking, dirty litter boxes, tearing up furniture, and constant feeding and care made messy pets somewhat of a nuisance at times. Gary said, jokingly, that a “pet” rock would be an ideal pet to own. He explained that a pet rock did not require feeding, walking, grooming, would not die or become sick and would not be disobedient. In short, they would be the perfect pet. When Gary arrived back home, he began thinking – maybe a pet rock was not such a bad idea after all. If it were marketed well, it just might work.


Send a Dime Chain Letter (1930’s)

In the spring of 1935, the United States was caught up in a chain letter frenzy. The chain letter craze clogged up postal offices nearly shutting down operations in several locations. Denver restaurant owner A. McVittle received 2,363 copies of the letter in just two days – April 26 and April 27. Public officials were enraged and vowed to catch the originator of the chain letter scheme and prosecute them in federal court.


Lava Lamps (1960’s)

A lava lamp (or Astro lamp as it was originally know), is a decorative light featuring various colored, oozing blobs of wax that rise and fall in a heated and lighted lamp. The lava lamp was invented by Englishman Edward Craven Walker in 1963 and grew in popularity during the 1960’s psychedelic craze.