The Electric “Worm Getter” of 1992

In 1992, the Handy Marketing Company offered the WG6-S and WG8-L electric “worm getters” for sale at Kmart, Cabela’s, and Bass Pro Shops. These electric worm probes were used by fishermen to shock fishing worms to the soil's surface. The probes sold for between $11 and $28, depending on the model. The probes were energized by household electricity at line voltage — typically 110-120 volts alternating current. The metal rod of the probe was designed to be inserted into the ground with one or more extension cords connecting it to an electrical outlet. Unfortunately, consumers were being electrocuted by contacting the exposed metal shafts and shocked by touching the ground in the vicinity of the probe. The Consumer Product Safety Commission discovered more than 30 deaths involving the functionally deficient worm probes and issued an immediate recall. Needless to say, the Handy Marketing Company is now out of business.