The joy buzzer was one in a long list of prank toys produced by Soren Sorenson Adams, a Danish inventor whose novelty toy creations read like the perfect inspiration for the Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes joke shop run by the infamous twins from the Harry Potter series.
Invented in 1928 and named to Time magazine's All-Time 100 Greatest Toys list in 2011, the joy buzzer is a little round device that fits in the palm of the hand and delivers a loud vibrating noise when the user shakes the hand of an unsuspecting victim. It wasn't the first invention for S.S. Adams (that would be his Cachoo Sneeze Powder in 1906), and it joined his other famous gag items like the whoopee cushion, the exploding cigar, and the snake nut can, which featured a springy fabric snake that launched out of what appeared to be a can of mixed nuts [source: Townsend]. All of these gag toys as still available today.
Unlike the joy buzzer, which created a startling noise but no electrical current, the Electric Thriller, another joke toy popular in the 1920s, delivered an actual electric shock to any friends foolish enough to grasp two metal rods in their hands as you generated electricity by turning the manual crank of an attached device [source: The People History].