Kirk Demarais once wrote a book, Life of the Party: A Visual History of the S.S. Adams Company, that is now hard to obtain. But dig if you can because it’s filled with hilarious memories of the mischievous monkey business kids got up to with gags manufactured by the S.S. Adams Company.
While the book is out of print and expensive, this entry by Demarais on his blog gives you a taste of the fun kids used to be able to have in terrifying their elders. http://secretfunspot.blogspot.com/2006/05/mechanical-servant.html
The fabulous magician, manipulator, and historian Levent writes:
“Here’s a great film of the amazing French magician Jean Valton in 1964. He was a math teacher who, during the German occupation of France, spent five years smoking cigarettes and practicing card manipulations. He won first prize in Manipulation at the very first FISM convention (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques: The World Championships of Magic) held in 1948 in Lausanne, Switzerland. A lot of what he is doing is Cardistry before there was such a thing. And the manipulation sequences are superb.”
You can read more about Valton in an article by Jamy Ian Swiss at Magicana: