The April Fool Archive

Kaufmann’s for Everything Out of this World    (April Fool's Day - 1949)

Kaufmann's department store in Pittsburgh ran an ad in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette featuring a variety of "out of this world" items for sale in the store, including "zip-on wallpaper" that could easily be zipped on or off, a "mirro dress" with mirrors at the side for a slimming effect, a garden hat with real flowers growing out of it, a sun-tan umbrella with built-in ultraviolet lights, and ceramic paste guaranteed to grow handles on cups overnight.

In the past, businesses had created ads that acknowledged April Fool's Day — usually along the lines of "We're not fooling around with these prices!" or "Don't be a fool and miss these bargains." However, the Kauffman's ad marked possibly the first time a business created a spoof ad in honor of the day. In the 21st century, spoof ads have become omnipresent on April 1st.

New Whatsis Contraption
has all of us baffled too! 19.95

We don't know what it is either, but my the fun you can have with it! Keeps hubby occupied for hours... lets you lose yourself... our dog went crazy over it! Absolutely unbreakable... absolutely unfixable. Complete with tools, instructions. Seventh floor.

Cultivated-Flower Straws
sprout right on your head! 15.95

Instead of a window box, own a garden hat! Just think... roses, orchids, gardenias plus 20 other varieties grow in pots that set in the brim of these straws! Water them... prune them... pick them to wear on lapels! Hedda Hopper note. Fifth Floor.

For-Keeps Hair-Do* 89¢
One spray, coiffures last forever, at 60 you look same as now, at least your hair will!... The secret: fish-oil, alcohol and glue! Fifth Floor
*Disapproved by our Scientists

Plastic Union Suit 2.93
Plastic... contracts in warm weather to short sleeves, short legs. Expands to long ones in cold weather. Try to find this in our Downstairs Store!

Sun-Tan Umbrellas 8.98
Umbrella ribs are ultra-violet lights! You get Florida tan easy way. If walking in rain for over 30 minutes we advise sunglasses. First Floor.

Conduct Capsules 9.93*
20 assorted... labelled Hilarious, Dignified, Coy, etc. Take one and you will act as the label promises!
*Plus uncomputed tax. First Floor

Grow Cup Handles 1.30
Cup handle mortality is ghastly! Paste new ceramic on wound... handle grows overnight. Why believe this? See it today! ... Seventh Floor

New Menu Master Range
supplies the food it cooks 799.95

You no longer need run to the grocery store. The 11 pushbuttons on this range offer you 11 varied menus. Just pick the menu you prefer... push button... relax in comfort 'til range whistle blows... then "Come and get it." No Club Plan Terms! Seventh Floor

expressly for fatso figures 17.95

Wear our enchanting mirro dress and your friends will see landscape where they used to see you! Glass threads make flexible mirrors at sides of dress... slimming you as shown. Fourth Floor

Try Our Zip-On Wallpaper
with unpredictable results 7.95 roll

If anyone eyes your paper critically... ZIP! ... and you change patterns. This trick scared the earrings off the girls at a bridge party last week... broke up the game in time for them to go home and get their husbands' suppers for a change! Ninth Floor

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