Since so many people have asked, here is the basic idea of the "Little Wonder" prop as I made mine for a long-ago production of "Oaklahoma!"
This also doesn't quite match the description given in the dialog. But it is fun to look at and when it works, dramatic. Since mine had the inner pipe of metal and of course the rod has to be 1/4" metal as well, it made a nice dramatic metal-on-metal "kaclank!" when activated. Although I forget if it is Ali Hakim or Judd Fry who demonstrates the thing.
If I did it today, I'd make TWO -- one firing, that Judd would purchase in the first scene, and a second non-firing that Curly could play with in the second scene.
Paint it up like a Victorian kaleidoscope. Or, considering the risque nature of the supposed thing, in red or burgundy flocked paper and gold filigree to make it look properly tawdry.