A 'spin-off' thread........

patty_cakesMarch 3, 2010

After reading the "depression glass" thread and some of us remembering the "give-a-ways", I thought this would be a good follow-up thread. So what things do *you* remember, other than cracker jack/cereal toys? ;o)

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I am amazed about how some of the things I remember as give aways or given with a certain value in register slips, are now collectable.
Among them are big top peanutbutter jars, that post depression glass often called 'sandwich" which came in a box of laundry soap, Jewell Tea dishes, those English Staffordshire called Liberty Blue and some smokey glasses, made in France and given away with every gass fill up in the 60's....now that's a blast from the past!
Oh yes and I have a set of stainless I collected from the Gas station....after the glasses!
Things were different!
Linda c

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 8:39PM
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I also remember my Mother buying the colorful aluminum glasses with cottage cheese inside. I don't know if she got the pitcher free after purchasing so many glasses, or if she had to buy it. I see those glasses in many antique stores~whodda thunk!

She had a *real* carnival glass bowl~my brother actually threw several balls to win it. LOL No question how that particular glass got it's name. ;o)

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 12:09AM
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I wish I had saved all my carnival glass. This post reminded me of it so I googled. I ended up in the Carnival Glass Museum! Whoda thunk?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 10:27AM
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This is funny; I just suggested as much on the "dog" thread up at the top of the headers. OK. I remember DUZ laundry detergent having glassware in it in the late 60's, and being told by the parents about dish-night at the movie palace, etc. I remember some of the service stations had premium/promotions but can't recall any specifics. One of my favorite found objects (it rolled out of an attic ceiling during demolition at a project house) is a ship-in-a-bottle, about 1/2" long, that I'm pretty certain was a cracker-jack toy from the 50's. It's really neat, I don't know why I like it so much. When I was a kid, cracker-jack toys were really going downhill. I may have been there for the tail end of the put-together plastic toy, but mainly remember paper articles; there were some die-cut toys, the wax-tablet overlaid with a clear plastic sheet for sketching, perhaps temporary tattoos or stickers.

Cheerios used to have some good toys up until ten years ago when I stopped eating B-fast cereal. Like nascar models and stuff.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 11:00AM
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I remember the plates with a wheat design in Tide boxes. And glasses too. or at least I think it Tide. I wondered where we got those aluminum glasses when I was a kid! I knew they didn't have the money to go out and buy glasses that were all the same.
I also still have the lamp my Mom "bought" for my bedroom with Green Stamps. I have it in my bedroom, for sentimental reasons. She got quite a few things with them.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 11:00AM
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I still have most of a set of dishes with pink flowers...they came with gasoline. They also had some dishes with a wheat sheaf printed on them, but I didn't get those.
The blue glasses that came in Duz soap were really pretty with the star design in the bottom
ahhhhh Green Stamps...I am still using the card table that we got with GS
In Texas we also had some kind of Gold Stamp and I have several things bought with those.
I got all excited when Publix was starting a give away with a dish pattern made by Haviland.. Imagine my disappointment when the dishes came in..blue flowers and silver colored trim...not my style at all!
Cheerios still has a neat book or two that they give away in the big boxes. My Granddaughters always look forward to Pa getting them a new book to read!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 1:28PM
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Jaybird, I remember the Green Stmaps too~how funny! My Dad also smoked Raleigh cigarettes, and there was a coupon on each pack he would cut out, and when you saved so many, could turn them in for various things~same idea as Green Stamps. At least in those says you got something other than Cancer if you smoked a certain brand.

I remember reaching to the bottom of the cereal box to get the toy. One day I got 'wise' and opened the box from the bottom~same with Crackerjack. LOL I didn't know about the Cheerios. Would that be the big box you get from Cosco, Sam's Club, Etc.?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 5:32PM
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Wow have I had fun with this topic.

I was born in 1947 and grew up in the heyday of gimmicks and giveaways.

I can remember as a kid that we would chose our breakfast cereals by what prize was to be found in or on the box.

Nearly all children's cereal boxes had a cut out mask of our favorite cartoon or tv hero's printed on the back of the box.

In addition, you could collect two or three box tops and send them in with a quarter and get a Lone Ranger cap pistol.

When Alaska first became a state one of the cereal companies ran an offer where we could send in two box tops and a quarter and we got a real land deed to one square inch of Alaska. (I still have my deed, and out of curiosity about 15 years ago I sent an inquiry to Alaska and found it is still on the books as an official land deed),

One of the cereal companies used to pack a small plastic frogman or a submarine that had a hollow base with a small snap in metal cap. We put baking soda in the hollow and attached the cap, then dropped it in a jar of water. The baking soda would form a bubble making it rise to the top, then tip over, spilling out the bubble and it sank to continually repeat the action.

When we first went into the space race in the mid fifties the cereal companies packed a small plastic rocket with a spring launcher. The launcher had a spring similar to those in an ink pen and it would shoot the rocket about 10ft.

Duz laundry soap used to pack a bath towel in the giant size box and a hand towel in the regular size box.

I forget if it was Tide or Cheer soap that packed an anodized aluminum drinking glass in each box.

When I discussed this with my 83 year old mother she took me to her dining room and showed me a full set of Anchor Hocking Glass dishes. There are five separate pieces for each place setting and she has service for 8, plus a gravy boat, two serving bowls and a nice glass meat platter, all of which were freebies from "Sohio Gas Company" (Sohio was the local trade name for Standard Oil of Ohio, Later changed to ESSO (Eastern States Standard Oil) and is now Exon.

Log Cabin maple syrup was packaged in a metal can that was oblong and had a pitched roof and was printed to look like a real log cabin. The pour spout was on one end of the pitched roof and looked like a chimney. When the cans were empty we washed them out and used them for coin banks by dropping our coins down the spout.

Peanut butter came in a one gallon bucket that looked like a childs sand pail. They were actually very good quality buckets made from a heavy gauge steel with a heavy wire bale handle and on the farm we kept them for the kids to carry when we went berry picking.

When margarine first came out there was a lot of resistance from the dairy industry. In its natural state margarine is white like lard and in those days it came with a packet of yellow dye that the consumer had to blend into it. In order to boost their sales one of the margarine companies also packed a small tin mold that looked like a miniature muffin tin so you could form the margarine into decorative floral patties for serving. My Mother has about ten of those molds, some with floral designs and some that had seasonal designs for the different holidays.

Jelly was packed in nice glasses, but on the farm we very seldom got any store bought jelly. Ours was home made, packed in water glasses and sealed with paraffin wax.

When I first got out of service in 1973 I took a job as a long haul truck driver. In those days we were getting one S&H Green stamp for every $.10 of purchase and most drivers chose their fuel stops where they could get the stamps. When buying 200 gals of diesel a day at $.75 to $1 a gallon it didn't take long to fill a few saving stamp books, and the best part, the company was paying the fuel bill, LOL.

Most candy bars were a nickel and many had a coupon in the pack. Collect 5 coupons and you got a free candy bar.

Coke was a nickle at the drug store soda fountain but if you bought the large $.10 coke you got to keep the coke glass.

One of the freebies that I miss the most is calendars. Years ago every bank, insurance company, oil company, drug store and most retailers in our community passed out free calendars every year and I am sure some of the guys will remember the great girlie calendars that were passed out by Rigid Tool company and all the auto parts houses.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 5:42PM
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I bought my Revereware set of pots and pans with the last of my mother's S&H green stamps many years after her death.

We loved the Cracker Jacks premiums, and they were good toys for years. Mom used the little plastic animals to decorate our birthday cakes with a circus theme. In the end, they changed to cheap paper items that were a waste of time.

I remember the jelly glasses--was it Welch's grape jelly? Mom used them for our breakfast juice. We did have the aluminum glasses, but I thought Mom bought them. They lasted forever with us 4 kids, unlike the glass tumblers.

I also remember saving cereal box tops and sending away for decoding rings after learning about them during Sky King or Sergeant Preston of the Yukon on the afternoon radio.

We collected the Betty Crocker coupons for silver plate knives, forks and spoons too.

If you opened a bank account during a new customer drive, you could get an electric blanket, a toaster, or crock pot. I got a great Sunset Favorite Recipes cookbook from a bank.

We also had some stainless eating utensils from the gas station. I collected a set as recently as 20 or so years ago, and we use them between meals so our good stainless is clean and ready for sit down meals. They went off to college with the kids.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 6:52PM
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Anyone remember when banks would give you a Harrington& Richards 32 caliber revolver if you opened a bank account?

....lazypup....I still have one each of the frog man and the submarine. And how about the free maps at the gas station (and free air). When I was at college, I worked part time in an Atlantic (later ARCO) gas station. Besides checking oil, battery, coolant, fan belts and washing windshields for free, for each customer that bought gas, we gave a lot of stuff away. There were various themes for each campaign. We gave away the wheat design dishes....dinner plates, bread plates, cups, saucers, gravy boats, creamer. We also gave away glasses, green stamps, toy Dinosaurs, all kinds of stuff. What's ironic, many customers used to give me their green stamps as a tip. Little did they know I loved it. I saved up enough so our dorm had a 13 inch tv (for 25 people) from those things!!!

How about the offers on the back of comic books to sell seeds for prizes? I sold enough seeds one year to get a baseball glove. Not an easy feat living in a rural area!!! A whole bunch of bike riding!!!

One of my hobbies is old radios and have one of the small FADA radio's that came as a giveaway in laundry soap.

I think it was Twinkles that had the zip open story book about Twinkles the Magic Elephant on the back of the box?

I can't wait to see what other posters mention, to remind me of stuff!!!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 9:16PM
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I don't remember any banks giving away a handgun for opening an account, but I recall a distant cousin who used a handgun to make a substantial withdrawal from a bank....LOL

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 10:41AM
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Very cool thread! And yes, my husband's parents opened a savings account for him when he was six, and the bank gave him a handgun....1946, Deadwood, SD.

Green Stamps were a very big deal in our house.

This makes me wonder if any of my mother's stuff I have boxed in my basement is interesting. Some of it surely is so I use it, but other stuff - painted dishes, oil lamps, hair receivers, I don't know about, so it all stays in the boxes.
I'm enjoying this thread...more postings, please.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 11:07AM
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My gawd, I didn't realize there were so many giveaways, lazypup! Some I could relate to, others I never heard of, or maybe Mom didn't use that product, but being as frugal as most people were 'back then', that's hard to believe.

And all the cookies, candies, crackers, that came in those nice tins, also. Not really a giveaway, but a nice container to keep thread, or other notions in. I think the tin was an option though, and sold for a little more than a regular box. ;o)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 12:44PM
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There are some banks today giving shotguns and rifles for long term cd's. I think they shied away from handguns these days.

Remember when you bought a car, you'd get a set of tools with it (other than just a lug wrench and jack.)Of course that was before my time but I do have some of the tool kits they gave with the cars.

This makes me think of some of the "free" things that used to be the norm. Does anyone still give a "bakers dozen" without being asked? And the feed and grain sacks came with colorful designs. Housewives made things from them and the grocer had to make sure he didn't change a brand that came with a different design until everyone had finished their project!!

I've seen a lot of interesting decanters products came in that were "reapplied" in the kitchen. The only thing I have that's close is a couple of Mrs. Butterworths bottles.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 6:29PM
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In the 50's & 60's when you bought a new car you got a die cast metal model of the car. Those models were in limited production and buying the car was the only way you could get one so they are now very highly prized collectors items.

One of the funniest collectors items I ever heard about was an alarm clock. In the late 1920's Henry Ford was recruiting rural people from Kentucky & W.Va to come to Detroit to work int eh auto plants. He later found out that most of those people were extremely hard workers but being from agrarian backgrounds they were not accustomed to punching a time clock, many did not even have an alarm clock so they showed up whenever they got ready. Ford was so put out that he had huge "Big Ben" alarm clocks made with the Ford logo on the face and they issued one to each employer to insure they had no excuse for not waking up on time. Those alarm clocks are now fetching fantastic money on the collectors market.

I can remember when a man wasn't properly dressed unless he had a "Church Key" on his key ring. The term "church Key" was a vernacular title for a small steel can and bottle opener made of flat steel about a 1/2" wide and 3" long with a rounded end to lift bottle caps and a pointed end to cut v shaped holes in a beer or pop can, and more often than not the same opener was used to open the motor oil cans for your car. (Pop tops and plastic containers were not yet invented). (church keys were made by all the breweries and bottling companies and given away free at package stores, grocery stores and neighborhood markets that sold beer or soda pop.

Martha White & Pillsbury flour was sold in 25 & 5-;b cloth bags. Some were printed with a calico print as described above and some had a printed cutout design so you could make dolls and stuffed animals from the bags.

Shoe stores all gave out a free shoe horn with a new pair of shoes. (The shoe horns were made of wood. metal or bone because plastic was still in its infancy and not readily available).

Every fall we used to go to the county fair. At the fair all the local politicians had tents as campaign headquarters and they would give away heavy duty shopping bags, pens, pencils and 12" wooden or metal rulers, and for the ladies, a pocket sewing kit with 4 or 5 needles. 5 or 6 colors of thread and a few buttons that fit in your purse, plus many gave away 36" cloth tape measures which we all collected as school supplies or gifts for Mom. Then we would go around to all the farm machinery displays and get more pens and pencils and if we were lucky we got a hat or two.

I can remember Clabber Girl baking powder in a can that held about 1/2 gallon and they packed a free biscuit cutter in the can.

Originally baseball trading cards were packed inside the cellophane of cigarette packs. Then they started packing 5 cards a card size sheet of bubble gum in a pack for a nickle.

Redman Chewing tobacco had a series of 4"x4" trading cards featuring all the famous Native American War Chiefs. My Grandad chewed RedMan and I had a small scrap book full of the trading cards.

All the hardware stores used to give cloth nail aprons away free and some even gave hammers away.

here is a freebie I bet some of the ladies would appreciate again. How about a "Bagboy" at the grocer store who not only bagged your groceries, they also carried them out to the car for you, and many of them worked strictly for tips, average tip 10 cents.

Banks used to give out free dime banks that locked when you put the first dime in it and it would not open till it had $10.00.

In my hometown we got our first fast food hamburger joint when Burger Chef opened in 1964. For the first year every time we got our report cards from school if you could show perfect attendance you got a hamburger, order of fries and a coke free. ($.45 value..LOL)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 11:07PM
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I feel cheated!! My DH and I started our married life with a brand new 57 Chevvy and never got a die cast car....and then we bought a new '62 Chevrolet Corvair and a 65 Oldsmobile....all brand new and no little car!!!
And...if you walk around the varied Industry building at the Iowa State Fair, you can still get a tote bag with a monogram and all sorts of pens, pencils, rain hats, small package of band aids, calendars scratch pads, visors etc etc.
And I don't remember base ball cards in cigarette packs, but I do remember when Lucky strikes came in that flat tin case and Phillip Morris in a different sort of tin case.....all that was pre-war of course....
With the war came tinfoil rolls and cans of used grease, ration stamps and rope soled shoes...:(
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 12:15AM
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Burger Chef!!! I've been calling Burger King "Burger Chef" for years and didn't know why. Friends and relatives keep correcting me and to be honest, I don't recall ever seeing one. What part of the country were they and was it a nationally advertized chain?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 10:46AM
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Hey lazypup, I used to work at a Piggy Wiggly and remember those bag boys well.LOL Worked at an A & P also. Of course y'all remember those two. ;o)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 9:38PM
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When I worked for Burger Chef I was in Salem, Ohio, and like you, all these years I have thought that Burger Chef was either the forerunner or a division of Burger King, but I ran an online search and discovered they were never associated with each other. You can read the history of Burger Chef at:


Burger Chef made a flame broiled hamburger on a continuous feed chain conveyor broiler.

In those days there was no inside seating. All sales were through a walk up take out window and you either took it home or sat in your car. There was one picnic table outside but I don't recall very many people ever using it.

The entire menu was Hamburger, Cheeseburger or Fish sandwich, Chocolate, vanilla & strawberry Milk shakes and Fries. Everything on the menu was $.15 except the fish sandwich, which was $.19.

We are talking back in the days when fast food was actually fast. Our manager used to stand outside with a stop watch and he would time when the customer placed their order. Any order which was not filled in one minute was free to the customer and it came out of the pay of the guy on the serving window. The only exception was fish which took 90 seconds to cook.

My job was prepping french fries. We got 100lb burlap sacks of raw potatoes and they had an automatic peeler that would peel 25lbs per cycle. Each potato had to be cut, one at a time on a wall mounted, hand operated slicer, then the fries had to be rinsed with clear water 5 to 7 times before sending them up to the fryer. One Friday night I set the store record by prepping 2900 lbs of potatoes on one 9hr shift. (avg 70 servings per 100lbs).

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 3:34AM
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Ahh, the good old days when a french fry was made from scratch. I won't eat the fries they have today. They taste like cardboard.

After posting here, I too, went on a search to see if there was ever a Burger Chef in my hometown. Lo and behold there was one. It was opened when my kids were little and we had only one car. It was also the generation that didn't feed their kids fast food three times a day. This one store was way on the other side of town and I probably ate there only a few times. I still don't recall it but it stuck in my mind enough to forever call Burger King by the wrong name.

What I did notice was all the advertising material and the color scheme was very similar to a locally owned chain called Whataburger. The orange & blue motif reminds me very much of early Whatabuger material.

What's amazing to me today is that in a town of 350,000 people, they only had one location. I live in a much smaller town now and there is a fast food outlet on practically every corner.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 11:12AM
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Never mind the town, when they opened the Burger Chef in my home town in 1962 it was the only fast food restaurant in the entire county..LOL.

I was introduced to Wataburgers when I lived in Corpus Christi in the mid 80's and to this day, in my humble opinion Watabuger is the king of fast food hamburgers. I wish we had them here.

In the mid 80's Wataburger ran a promotion where you could buy a ceramic coffee mug for $.50 and they guaranteed a $.05 refill for life. I still have a couple of those cups and a friend of mine in corpus says they still honor the $.05 refills.

The color scheme on the Burger chef carry out bag was very similar to the Wataburger bags however Burger Chef used a color scheme to identify the burgers.

At Burger Chef one guy fed the broiler conveyor, a meat patty on one side and a bun on the other continuously. Ten met patties, then 10 meat patties with a slice of cheese.

on the other end of the conveyor the meat patties dropped into a pan and a guy prepped the sandwiches. Tap bottom of the bun on a dispenser and it got Ketchup and Mustard, drop a meat patty on, add onions and pickle and pass it to the wrapping station. They used different color coded wrappers for the sandwiches, orange-cheeseburger-Brown=hamburger-Red--ketchup only, yellow mustard only, green- special order (no pickle, no onion etc), Blue-Fish sandwich- or something to that effect, its been a lot of years and I may have the colors wrong.

The burgers where then set up on a heat lamp rack where the guys on the serving line could quickly grab what they needed for the order. The guy loading the broiler had to keep and eye on the line out front and try to feed at a rate anticipating demand. (No burger was allowed to remain on the ready line more than 5 minutes.)

As a side note, if any of you ladies would like the complete instructions for how to make perfect fries send me an email to LazyPup@yahoo.com and I will give you the procedures for whatever kind of potatoes you have. (The procedures vary by what type of potato you use.)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 1:02PM
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Oh ladies , thanks for the memories and the huge laugh with banks giving handguns and the cousin withdrawal story!!!!Hilarious...I live in an urban area where you get a gift for turning a handgun in, as in a giftcard or pair of gym shoes, as to get them off the street...Banks here wont be giving them out anytime soon CD or not...S and H green stamps gave our family of 12 such a higher standard of living!!!! My dad owned a service station at one time, and a lot of the customers didnt want the stamps, and he got to keep them!! Lots of pasting and shopping in my house LOL....

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 7:02PM
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Whattttttttt, no White Castle? I used to love those little burgers with the grilled onions and soft buns!!! ;o)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 9:45PM
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Patty cakes, you can get White Castle burgers in the frozen food section now, don't know how they are tho. I grew up on A&W Root Beer, 1st place to have carhops, really scary for Dairy Queen on next corner but I don't think it did too much damage to their business. I worked at place that was golf bucket of balls/drive-in! I was cook & carhop as he had just opened & was our neighbor, I was 12 no labor laws there, I guess!Worked all summer 7 days week 12 hr days & often cried myself to sleep legs hurt so bad.Oh, outside work was fun, beetles in June, mosquitoes soon as frost left, bugs in your face, in your mouth.Ugh! I made the shoestring potatoes & still prefer them to "french fries" Our malts(no shakes) were 3 full scoops real ice cream, choc, pineapple or strawberry flavoring or nothing for vanilla, except vanilla malt powder by Borden & some milk & you took the malt out to vehicle & poured the malt from metal container into the footed glass that got bigger all the way up & then you left the metal container there as it was still about 1/3 full!! 500-700 calories Maybe???So good!! Chili for chili dogs was Hormel's & it was in saucepan & longer it sat on edge of grill the better it tasted, no beans in it either. Wish I could get a good burger now!! They were 25cents can't remember rest of prices. Tips, almost nothing maybe 25 or 40 cents fri. or sat.Most of customers were young folks dating, outdoor drive-in movie across road so I saw a lot of movies & guessed what they were saying sometimes kids close to road turned it up full blast but they usually got caught & kicked out.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 11:43PM
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Thanks for the memories----(you have to imagine Bob Hope singing this)

I was grown and married before tasting a White Castle. Bear in mind I grew up on burgers with "the works". Lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, etc. So the White Castle was an initial disappointment. Not to worry, they grow on you. The Texas Hot Dog was also a disappointment but I didn't get over that one. Not at all like our footlongs and had some kind of sauce on it. Couldn't force myself to try another. There was also a sandwich with Canadian Bacon that was pretty good. It was my first experience with Canadian Bacon. My DH loved them and when we got back home I discovered it wasn't readily available locally. I ended up having his mother sending a care package so he could have his treat.

Jaybird, Texas Gold Stamp Co. was owned by the HEB Grocery Store Chain. My mother saved both kinds but I don't remember her getting anything very large. Mostly small things. I know there was a Gold Stamp Store in town where you could shop and pay with your books. I think that's pretty much what she did. The funny thing is, I workd for them in the accounting department for a couple of years when my kids were small. I left to return to school and several years later the stamp companies went out of business.

As far as banks giving guns away. I live in the middle of gun country and that completely blows my mind. I don't know that it was ever done here, but if it was, I never heard of it.

All I can say is, there are so many things mentioned here that I had totally forgotten. I must save this thread just so I don't forget again .

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 9:51AM
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Oh, such great memories, huh? I honestly wish life was like that again, I do.

My mom use to lick S&H green stamps until her tougue was numb.

And I use to love WC hamburgers, still do. I haven't had one in a long time because they don't sell them in the south.

Do you guys remember Big Boy hamburgers? Or do you remember Robert Hall department stores?

I remember on Saturday's my girlfriends and I use to go to Kreges the dime store. And at the soda fountain they had ballons, and if you picked the right ballon with a note in it you won a banana split. Those were wonderful times indeed.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 12:40PM
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Thinking back on these memories has brought to mind perhaps the funniest prank I was ever involved in.

When I was a Sophomore in High School there was a store in my home town called the Fiesta shop that sold all kinds of high end collectibles from around the world. In one corner of the store they had a small area with rare gourmet foodstuffs. One day while browsing through the store we found a can about 5" in diameter and 2" deep that contained a whole canned octopus. Understanding that it was at least 500 miles to the nearest sea shore it then goes without saying that we had never seen an octopus except pictures in a book or on TV. The can was $7.00 and this was at a time when men on top union labor contracts were only making $1.75/hr. At least once a week we went by the store to see if anyone had bought it yet, but it was still there so we got the silly idea to pool our money until we could buy it, just to see what an octopus really looked and felt like. It took us nearly three weeks but we managed to get the money together and we bought the can.

There we were walking down main street tossing the can back and forth and trying to figure out how we were going to open the can when my buddy Tom S. got the silly idea, lets go to the Sears store and use one of the can openers on their display rack. Off to Sears where we opened the can, then went out to the alley to pour the liquid out and see what an octopus looks like. We pulled it out of the can and took turns holding it, examining it, then it hit us, what in heavens name do we do with it now? We surely were not going to eat that nasty thing.

Suddenly my buddy Norm grabs it and say "Come on guys, I got an idea". Back into Sears we went, this time heading to the appliance department.

There it was, right in the middle of the appliance department, a brand new Kenmore wringer washing machine. In those days they used to put water in the demonstrators and drop some poker chips in so the ladies could see the action as the water sloshed around inside.

Norm casually walked by and dropped the octopus in the washing machine, then we went and sat on the stairs going up to the second floor and watched the action.

About ten minutes later a lady was innocently browsing through the appliance department when she happened to look in that washing machine and saw the octopus swimming around in the water. Instantly she went ballistic, screaming, hollering about monsters and such. The salesmen ran over to see what the problem was and they went nuts too. What the hell is that thing? How do we catch it? Somebody call the cops!

The cops arrived and by that time one of the sales clerks had gone to the hardware department and got a pair of huge pliers which he used to grab the octopus, heaving it out on the floor where the cops pounded it with night sticks, then stomped on it until they were sure it was dead.

By this time my buddies and I were nearly falling down laughing as we scrammed out the back door of Sears and ran home.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 3:20PM
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Too funny! the octopus in the wringer! My little brother got his arm stuck in the wringer once. I thought it was funny.
Whataburger- no one back east here knows what they were! They had the best burgers -55 cents were huge but a bit pricey. we used to buy the burgers and then go thru the drive in at Jack in the box for the sodas and fries( which were better)
We also had a dog n' suds drive in as well as A&W drive in with carhops on roller skates( I was too chicken to go for a job)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 5:33PM
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lazypup, that story had me rolling, absolutely hilarious, I wish I had been there!!!...you HAVE GOT to send that story to REMINISQUE magazine. It is sure to get published.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:28PM
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.....and who remembers Pork tenderloins from either A & W or Dog 'n Suds? I still make them, maybe once a year as i'm not a red-meat eater anymore. What about those Root Beers?? You can get Hires and A & W can/bottle/litre, but it isn't even close to being as good as I remember. What about Steak and Shake? Those milkshakes and burgers were great, too. Orders used to be delivered on roller skates.

Sunnyca, I used to love just plain vanilla ice with the malt! I remember buying what were called "Horlick's tablets" from a pharmacy~they were like malted milk balls, but w/o chocolate.

New dawn, I remember Kreske's too, and we also had a Murphy's. Years later Ben Franklin and Woolworth's came to town.

Cooperbailey, we still have Whataburger in Austin and they're the best, but no longer 55 cents!

It's a shame kids today will never experience anything like the good old days! I think my 40-something kids were probably the last generation. ;o(

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:52PM
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Patty cakes, you are right about our kids missing all this. I read an article in newspaper few years ago about guy who went all over U.S. & he said it was so disappointing that all the stores look the same, either box stores or Penny's or Macy's all look alike as what they do in 1 town is done in all the others & even some of malls looked the same. What was really great years ago were "mom & pop" stores & family owned. I had to walk about a mile to my piano lesson after school once a week, always seemed to be coldest day of the week. I was prepared & always made sure I had a couple of pennies or a nickel as about 2/3 of way was a tiny little couple's grocery store/candy shop in an old small house. The attraction was the pot-bellied stove, by the time I got there I was numb. I had to buy some penny candy as I was too embarrassed to warm up without a purchase. So. Dak. was very cold back then. As I warmed up I saw folks come in to get milk, bread,oatmeal,soup but I didn't see them pay, but the couple was real nice to them so I finally got up the courage after few weeks to ask how they could give all that food away. I learned that the customers had to charge the food until payday & folks were good about paying when they got their checks cashed. Lady said she just forgot about an item now & then for some folks as they were barely making it. Always someone poorer than you. Glad they helped out. Anyone know what went in a "Green River" drink? It was bright green. When I was 16, I talked my mom into going into "Sweet Palace" run by a man with a very heavy accent Swedish maybe,old (I thought)so wondered why he served such great stuff. This was a true soda fountain with stools high up that you stepped up on a ledge to get to,also tables & booths.The wall where he prepared everything had a mirror the whole length with fancy painting on top edge. Nothing in the place but cold drinks, sodas & flavored soda like cherry he made & malts, floats,sundaes, banana splits, nuts & cherries so delightful. Mom & I ordered & I had a talk with her because she did not think 16 yr. old was old enough to date. I had been telling her "everybody does" so had to prove it. Soon "everyone" made it in there & I was embarrassed but just told them I was treating my mom which I was...... So after a fun time & some kids coming over & talking to us..I got to date finally!!!We didn't live in town, we were at the Lake & mom only came in to get shopping done as I had 4 little brothers. I guess meeting some of kids kind of put her mind at ease. OH, next door was bakery they had elephant ears big round disks that had been rolled in a large circle(about 7 in.) baked & covered with a clear honey like glaze & sugar. Only 1 bakery around now that I like & they have a similar roll tho just isn't quite as tasty as back then.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 1:58AM
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Lazypup, The octopus story was funnier than the bank withdrawal!!!!! Now, My house is getting NO cleaner coming back to this thread to see if you have any more recollections!!!! Thanks again, you should have your own blog!!!!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 5:13PM
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Lazypup, that is too funny. The only things I can remember getting for free that hasn't been mentioned are records on the backs of cereal boxes that you could could cut out and they actually played. I rememeber "Sugar,Sugar" by the Archies. Also in the 60's when my brother and SIL were getting married,I remember cutting coupons for free Oneida teaspoons out of magazines and sending them with everybody's name and address we could think of to complete her flat ware service. I also saved and spent green stamps when I was first married, I still have a pressed glass basket that I bought and I see it regularly in antique malls.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 5:51PM
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