Vintage Halloween Noisemakers
Some people refer to us as Halloween and costume collectors. However, I like to consider our family the conservators of orange and black artifacts from spooky days gone by. (It has an eerie elegant ring to it, right?)
I prefer conservators as the pieces are only ours for a while. We appreciate and preserve them until it’s time to hand them off to the next person, who, we hope, will love them and their history as much as we do.
On The Hunt For Vintage Halloween Noisemakers
We enjoy the hunt for new pieces, and sometimes where we find an item is as interesting as the item itself.
We’ve discovered vintage Halloween pieces in the rafters of an attic, at the bottom of an auction box lot, hidden in an antique store curio cabinet, in an old jewelry box, and even in a pile of trash.
Antique shops are our favorite hunting ground, and this is where the hubby has become a pro at Halloween recon.
When we enter a shop, he circles the entire store looking for anything orange and then reports his findings. All of this will take place before I exit the first booth.
In addition to searching out these treasures, we also like to know a bit of the history. How old is the piece? Who made it? Is it complete?
If you appreciate the haunted history of Halloween pieces, I welcome you to check out these five vintage Halloween noisemaker horns tucked into our cabinet of curiosities.
Making Some Noise
Hard Plastic Horn Noisemaker
This horn is the most modest in the group, and we estimate this piece to be from the 1950s.
It is crudely made and features a simple black mouthpiece that produces a harmonica-like sound. The body of the horn is orange with a ruffle-look base.
However, the humble exterior is forgiven when we peek inside, where the horn reveals its best feature, the original price sticker: 5¢ from Duckwall’s.
Cardboard Blowout Party Horn Noisemaker with Fringe
The modern paper party horn, a staple at nearly every child’s birthday party, has nothing on this blast from the past.
This piece requires a robust set of lungs as, when blown, the length of the horn is nearly 24″ from end to end.
Jack o’ lanterns, bats, owls, and witches in traditional Halloween colors are exposed with each blow of the horn.
The striped cardboard body is surrounded by a crepe paper fringe that adds to its festive finery.
Pity there is no sound due to its missing mouthpiece.
*Estimate 1940s-1950s. Actual age unknown.
Tin Noisemaker Horn made by T Cohn Inc, US
We rescued this 1940s tall tin horn from the top shelf of an antique booth cabinet.
Probably used as an instrument of defense in a duel by rowdy youngsters, it now sports a multitude of dings and dents, and it is missing the mouthpiece.
Despite the damage, jack o’ lanterns still grin as owls keep watch in the trees. Witches, flying on brooms, and bats circling the laughing moon still harken back to a crisp Autumn night of frightful fun.
Tin Noisemaker Horn by US Metal Toy
The lithography artwork used on this piece from the 1950s dates back to the 1930s and features a delightful duo of trick-or-treaters carrying a jack o’lantern while a cat creeps along a picket fence.
A witch takes flight on her broom, and an owl hitches a ride while a bat flies toward the moon.
The kiddos look frightened. Is it because of the spooky scenes surrounding them, or is that jack o’lantern they carry ill-gotten gain? Hmmm……
The sound can best be described as typical – loud and squawky.
Ratchet Horn Noisemaker made by Marks Bros. Co. of Boston, Mass.
Patented Sept. 13, 1921
Given that we have a couple of horns that are currently silent, this next one makes up for it, as it pulls double-duty in the noise department.
Blow into the wooden mouthpiece, and it produces a sound that can best be likened to a loud donkey. Or, hold on to its handle and spin it to make a ratchet sound effect.
If all the noise this horn produces isn’t enough fun, it’s got a bevy of ghoulishly good graphics.
We’ve got grinning jack o’ lanterns, scary cats, spooky owls, a cackling witch on her broom, and a bat flying across the moon. There is so much to take in.
But wait – there’s more.
These horns were constructed with lithoed paper over discarded textile factory cardboard cones used for yarn and thread.
If you look inside, you’ll see that this horn still has its original mill label from the ODell textile factory, which means that this spectacular horn was fashioned from recycled parts, making it all the more endearing.
Vintage Halloween Noisemakers tucked into our Cabinet of Curiosities.
As always, we love to learn more about our haunted finds. So if you have more detailed information on any of these vintage Halloween noisemakers, we’d love to hear about it.
Until next time – keep hunting Halloween.