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07 July 2012 @ 11:36 am
The secret of the Sensitive Mermaid  

From 1886. I guess this novelty reacts to body heat. Maybe it is made of rubber with a Mexican jumping bean inside?
John Halljhall1 on July 7th, 2012 06:00 pm (UTC)
I'm intrigued by the heading to the next advert, which appears to read "THE LIGHTNING SAUSAGE OR THE MAGIC BOLOGNA". I can't imagine what that could be about.
dochermesdochermes on July 7th, 2012 08:50 pm (UTC)
The Lightning Sausage is like those toy snakes that spring out of a box when you open it. I would rather have a little mermaid wriggling about on my palm, to be honest.
John Halljhall1 on July 7th, 2012 09:06 pm (UTC)
Ah, I see. So would I.
full_metal_oxfull_metal_ox on July 7th, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
In short, a Victorian mood ring!
dochermesdochermes on July 7th, 2012 08:54 pm (UTC)
That`s a good way to describe it. Of course, you see how much more whimsical that era could be than our 1970s.
full_metal_oxfull_metal_ox on July 8th, 2012 01:04 am (UTC)
I'm particularly intrigued to see the doctrine of humors still in colloquial use here, in a context that suggests some residual awareness of its original meaning. (Note that one segment of the potential market is mysteriously unaccounted for: how would the Mermaid react to a melancholic temperament?)
ShadZ: Ariel Postershadzane on July 17th, 2012 06:24 am (UTC)
I've seen something similar in stores, but just a fish, not a mermaid: http://www.amazon.com/144-Fortune-Teller-Miracle-Fish/dp/B000OF0EY8

So the technology is still around, but sold as an old-timey curiosity...
dochermesdochermes on July 17th, 2012 05:04 pm (UTC)
That's interesting. If similar novelties are being made today, it should be possible to find out how they work. My guess is two packets of heat sensitive gel that react to being held in a person's hand?

Thanks for looking into this.