About Us

Johnson Smith Co. Since 1914 | Value - Quality - Service SatisfactionThings You Never Knew Existed® is a division of The Johnson Smith Company®, one of America's oldest catalogs companies. In 1905, our founder, Alfred Johnson Smith, started selling his novelties and practical jokes in Australia. The company was officially founded in the U.S.A. in 1914, when Mr. Smith shipped his first package from Chicago.

Australia to Chicago was to be the first of several moves…

The Johnson Smith Company relocated to Racine, Wisconsin in 1926. Nine years later the company made a mid-depression move to Detroit, Michigan with the intention of starting a Canadian subsidiary across the Detroit River. Those plans were abandoned with the outbreak of World War II. The company remained near the Detroit riverfront for nearly 35 years, until it moved to Mt. Clemens, Michigan (a Detroit suburb) in the early 1970s.

In 1986 the company made an exciting move to Bradenton, Florida, to a specially-designed building that enables us to serve our customers with state-of-the-art technology and service!

Our story is not without sociological aspects and influences. During the 1920s and 1930s, practical jokes and home hobbies provided an escape for people wracked with economic struggle brought on by WWI and the Great Depression. Our 700-page catalog provided hours of "escape," fun and fantasy for the depressed nation, even without having to place an order! Even today we hear from people who remember our catalog and the "relief" we provided! Today, the Johnson Smith catalog is known as Things You Never Knew Existed (TYNKE) and still brings hours of enjoyment to people across the country.

BulletThe Growing Johnson Smith Family

I have been buying Johnson Smith & Company since the 1940’s.
The address then was Detroit Michigan!
Used to purchase itching powder and a liquid stink solution I’d sneak in and put on the old steam radiators. Wow! The math class was vacated, ha, ha.
I’m almost 81 years old! Used to buy smoke bombs, to a cars spark plugs and scare hell out of everyone!Bruce from Virginia

In 1979, we added The Lighter Side® catalog to serve a growing audience–from girls to grandmothers and boys to grandfathers. The Lighter Side is a unique collection of over 500 lighthearted gifts of "wit and whimsy, merriment and mirth."

Famous for its collection of licensed and nostalgic collectible merchandise, like Betty Boop™, Wizard of Oz™, Coca-Cola®, Looney Tunes™ and more, the catalog offers gift-givers some amazing choices that they won't find anywhere else.

The Lighter Side catalog has already won the "Best in Catalogs" Award and has delighted hundreds of thousands of mail order and Internet shoppers.

In 1998, we added Betty's Attic® to our family of catalogs, hoping to inspire and thrill even more American households. With its nostalgic and limited edition merchandise, Betty's Attic is a natural fit for the Johnson Smith Company. Its appeal is limitless, from "baby boomers" hoping to find items that remind them of times past to twenty-somethings admiring the atmosphere of another generation.

We hope that every person who picks up a Betty's Attic catalog or visits the Betty's Attic Web site will say to themselves "I remember that!" and will relive some fond memory.

If you remember it, we may offer it! Visit Betty's Attic.

In 2002, we developed Full of Life®, a catalog dedicated to living healthier and smarter. Full of Life features health aids such as advanced blood pressure monitors, medicated skin care, innovative air cleaners and therapeutic pillows for a good night's sleep. With every day helpers such as easy-to-hold utensils, the motion sensor wastebasket and the lamp switch enlarger, Full of Life can assist in almost everything you do. Visit Full Of Life.

In 2003, we launched HalloweenOnly.com, a web site dedicated to all things Halloween. HalloweenOnly.com is a one-stop scare shop for you and your home. We feature costumes, masks, party supplies like sound effects and decorations as well as a full line of funny and scary novelty items to make Halloween the spookiest day of the year.

Know of a Great Product that you would like to see on our Web site or catalog? Please tell us about it! Send us the name of the item, manufacturer's name and the complete address or phone number to our new products team at newproducts@jsls.com.

BulletProduct Samples

If you have a product sample that you would like us to consider for our catalogs and/or Web sites, please send a sample to:

Johnson Smith Company
Attn: New Products Dept.
4514 19th Street Court East
Bradenton, FL 34203

BulletJob Opportunities

The Johnson Smith Company has over 100 associates in Bradenton, FL. We are family, friendly, casual work environment. We appreciate our associates and ensure associates' needs are met through competitive compensation and a comprehensive benefits program.

For more information on the available positions at the Johnson Smith Company, visit the Job Opportunities section of our Corporate Web Site.