sea monkeys 2345

This was a classic comic book ad for many many years.

Did you ever order Sea Monkeys from an ad in the back of a comic book? The man behind the “Bowlfull of Happiness” was Harold von Braunhut, who’s life was so much more than sea monkeys…

The accounts Von Braunhut gave of his adventures in American kitsch are consistently winning. Granted, he makes some claims that a skeptic is inclined to independently confirm. At some point in the years after he raced motorcycles as The Green Hornet, von Braunhut worked as a talent agent of sorts. He tells Planet X about a stunt performer he used to manage—the article has von Braunhut calling him “a fella by the name of Henry Lamore”—who would dive from a height of 40 feet into a kiddie pool filled with 12 inches of water. I began to lose faith while trying to verify this doozy, but it turns out that the Internet allows you to watch a man named Henri LaMothe still pulling off this feat at 71 years old, as an opening act for Evel Knievel.

As anyone sold by the Sea-Monkey ads could tell you, it was hard to say exactly where von Braunhut was walking on the terrain between truth, embellishment and con. That was his gift. He convinced us to look at the jazz hands and lose sight of the footwork. Von Braunhut’s inventions were not quite what they seemed to be. Neither was he.

Von Braunhut was best known for his Sea Monkeys, but it was only one of his 195 patents. Even more unusual was his association with the Aryan Nation.


-via Nag on the Lake