When you offer your friend a cigarette, and they take it from the cigarette pack, it explodes in their hand. To set up this alarming joke, all you have to do is pull back the spring-loaded clip, put a percussion cap underneath, and then replace the end of the cigarette so that the spring-loaded clip is held back. The cigarette is now all ready to be taken by an unsuspecting friend.

Fountain pens were common in the mid 20th century. When you lend this pen to a friend, there is a loud explosion as they take the top off. To ‘load’ this pen you need to pull back the spring-loaded metal plate and put a percussion cap underneath. Then carefully put the top of the pen in position, so stopping the spring-loaded metal plate from impacting the cap. When the top of the pen is next removed, the metal plate is free to flip round and land on the cap, causing it to explode. The advertisement is from a Davenports catalogue.

This item is probably no more than an ordinary pencil, but the fact that it is so long makes it most suitable for using the line; “I bought this pencil for you because I know you like to write long letters.”

Give the pencil to a friend and they will be surprised when they try and write with it. The pencil has on it: Demon Series L.D. London Foreign.

A diary is seen left behind on a table. Sticking out from between the pages is what looks like a bank note. But when a light fingered person looks inside, they see a dummy note with the message ‘Hard luck – better luck next time’.

As the Davenport advertisement says: ‘Excellent fun when dropped into a friend’s beer! Causes great amusement at Evening Parties.’

One end of the pencil is the usual lead point, but the other end is made of rubber – a surprise for anyone who tries to write with it. The advertisement is from a Davenport catalogue.

When an unsuspecting person pulls the pointed metal cap off the end of the pencil, the pencil suddenly explodes in their hand. There is no explosive cap, but it is certainly a surprise. Made in Germany.

Many people struggle with eating spaghetti without making a mess. With this fork all you need do is hold the fork in one hand and push the prongs into the spaghetti. With your other hand wind the handle on the end of the fork and the spaghetti is neatly wound on to the prongs, ready to be popped into your mouth.