De Moulin Bros. & Co. Wireless Trick Telephone, Greenville, Illinois, c. 1920, disguised as an oak magneto wall telephone, with crank, bells, ear and mouthpieces, the interior containing coils, mechanism for detonating blank cartridge and bellows for blowing white powder into the face of the unfortunate operator, ht. 23 1/2 in., with maker's instruction label (part torn).
Note: Copies of an original advertisement included in the lot read: "Any one can 'tel-a-phone' from a street car, but a Thomas Edison or telephone manufacturer cannot tell the differene between this 'phone and any other 'phone unless he either attempts to make a call or receive one, and even then he will wonder if he has been struck by lightning or if the 'durn thing' was really loaded with a shell ... No one need be by the 'phone when the bells ring, hence tghis gives the attendant a cinch to lead the victim on. When he attempts to answer the call, or should he attempt to make a call, a 32-callibre blank cartridge will be exploded with a loud report, and at the same time white powder will be blown with a strong blast from the transmitter into the face of the party at the 'phone."
Originally retailed for $16.54, with additional cartridges available for 25c. See Lot 247 for a pair of disguised squirt cameras by the same maker.