7/19/10

Catalogs #5: Green Stamps


Remember The Brady Bunch episode where the kids try to cash in their green stamps? The boys want a boat and the girls want a sewing machine. The Solomon-like Mr. Brady decides to settle the dispute by having the kids build a house of cards - the team that knocks the house of cards down is SOL. 

I remember those stamps all too well. They were immensely popular during the 60s and 70s. In fact, the S&H catalog was the largest publication in the U.S. and produced three times more stamps than the U.S. Post Office! As early as 1980, the green stamps were over, and didn't rebound until the green rewards program on the internet.

Little known fact: The inspiration for the names "Starsky and Hutch" came from S&H green stamps (Sperry and Hutchinson)..... just thought you needed to know.

I can't help but wonder if green stamps could ever have a place in our debt oriented society.  Everyone puts things on plastic - it's all about instant gratification, rather than saving up for something as mundane as a toaster or bath towel.

Anyway, I've got an old green stamp catalog from 1975 and thought I'd scan it in for posterity's sake.  I imagine a lot of you reading this post don't even know what a green stamp is - so, consider this a lesson in 1970s history. Enjoy!

16 comments:

  1. I'd probably have saved up for a portable radio, or one of those super-cool items from page with the money clip & cigarette accessories...and I don't smoke!

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  2. OK, this one really brings back memories. My mother had drawers full of these things with that exact cover. She also collected Top Value stamps which I believe were yellow.

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  3. That Brady Bunch Episode was the first thing I thought of when I say this post.

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  4. Ah yes, Green Stamps and Blue Chips. I still have a shoebox full of them along with the little booklets. For years my father did a lot of driving for business and he would search out the gas stations that gave stamps. He'd come home with rolls of them. My mother and I would then sit and stick them in the books followed by browsing in the catalog. Still have a very nice maple rocking chair and remember the day when she went to get it. Good times. Good times.

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  5. My grandmother collected these. She also collected these coupons that came in the packages of Raliegh cigarettes and I think Bel-Air cigs as well. How is that for tryig to get people to curb or stop their smoking? Offer them coupons and prizes for the more they smoked!

    BTW happy annivasry for My Retrospace. I think it is about that time of year again. I don't leave comments like I should but I still check in on your groovy stuff here on a regular basis.

    Bill @ the UCafe

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  6. Great post!I remember green stamps very well as my late Mother was a fan of using them. My brothers and I once got a set of plastic model airplanes courtesy of the green stamp folks.

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  7. Mom always had a book of green stamps to fill up! Thanks for the memory :)

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  8. BTW, S&H is still going & has a website. It says on there that if you still have the stamps, you can still redeem them!

    http://www.greenpoints.com/info/inf_help_faquse.asp#STAMPWORTH

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  9. I know my mom collected them, but I don't recall if she ever bought anything with them. Although that wooden card table with the black inset looks a lot like one we've had since at least 1970.

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  10. Ah yes. We kids always wanted to have a say in what the reward was, but we always picked something that took 500,000 stamps. Mom always got an iron, or a pipe stand for Dad or something like that.

    RetroHound.com

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  11. Loved the catalog here & hated those damn little stamps! I worked like a fiend to get enough together to get my dad a 'shaving cream warmer' in 1974 ("For hot foam like your barber") and I think he used the thing twice!

    I'm glad someone mentioned those Raleigh stamps--my dad collected those for umpteen years, there would be one on the back of each pack and "bonus strips" of them in the cartons. Big brown ugly things. When my dad passed away in 2001, and I was helping my mom clean out Dad's corner of the basment (old western paperbacks & hats and junk) there was an old cardboard box taped up very securely and it must've had 20,000 of those blasted Raleigh stamps. To this day no one knows what he was saving them for... well, he died of lung cancer at the age of 61, so I suppose he did get something after all.

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  12. My Mom saved the green stamps and the Raleigh coupons in the 1960s. I have memories of her redeeming the books but for the life of me I can't remember what she got.

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  13. In the old "First Family" comedy album (dealing with the JFK administration), one track dealt with the presidential motorcade, stopping for gas, then turning it down because the station did not give Green Stamps.

    It was the first time, in my young life, I ever heard of them.

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  14. Do I remember S&H green stamps. I remember helping mom paste then to the booklets and bring tons of filled booklets to our local S&H green stamp store. She got a lot of real good stuff from using green stamps. Oh wish those days could come back. Fun times right there!

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  15. AnonymousJuly 19, 2012

    I still have my telephone table brought with green stamps in about 1967

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  16. So nice of you to post this. I really miss the 70s.

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