In his regular column, veteran journalist A. Craig Copetas asks if Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin are the modern-day equivalents of sneezing powder and whoopee cushions.
Samuel Soren Adams reckoned it was time to stop hustling in a New Jersey pool hall. So he put down his billiard cue and in 1905 took a job selling coal-tar soap.
“Dad noticed distilled coal tar possessed a tremendously high sneeze potential,” his son Bud recounted thirty years before the iPhone “Sneeze App” arrived on the scene. “So for fun, dad squirted the powder through hotel-room keyholes and inside cafes.”
The elder Adams bottled and marketed his carcinogenic concoction under the name, Cachoo. Within three months of its introduction, a Philadelphia retailer had bought 70,000 bottles. That triumph was followed by the Snake Jam Jar, which, when opened, let loose a metre-long imitation serpent. Then came the Dribble Glass, and then, of course, the…