As time passes and technology takes over I find that there are many things we have let go to the wayside, disappear, and forgotten; simple things, fun things, and the not so fun elements of our daily lives. I have started this blog to catalog those "missed" things that when mentioned to a younger generation will cause knitted eyebrows, shaken heads, and a "what's that?” expression; now you have a place to show them just…What

This is a catalog of all the things that I and others miss from their younger days and olden times.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

special post ~ how old is grandma?

A friend sent this to me in an email, I do not know the origin, but when I read it I knew that it needed to be posted here on this blog. I am of this woman's generation and it is all true. Thank you Lois for sending this to me; and thank you to whomever wrote it. 

How Old is grandma?

Stay with this -- the answer is at the end.  It will blow you away.

One evening a grandson was talking to his grandmother about current events.
The grandson asked his grandmother what she thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general..

The Grandmother replied, "Well, let me think a minute, I was born before:
'      television
'       penicillin 
'       polio shots
'       frozen foods
'       Xerox 
'       contact lenses
'       Frisbees and
'       the pill
There were no:
'       credit cards
'       laser beams or 
'       ball-point pens
Man had not invented:
'       pantyhose 
'       air conditioners 
'       dishwashers
'       clothes dryers
'       and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and
'       man hadn't yet walked on the moon

Your Grandfather and I got married first, .. .... ... and then lived together.. 
Every family had a father and a mother.
Until I was 25, I called every man older than me, "Sir".
And after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, "Sir."
We were before gay-rights, computer- dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy.
Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense.  
We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.
Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege...
We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent. 
Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins. 
Draft dodgers were those who closed front doors as the evening breeze started. 
Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not purchasing condominiums.

We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CD's, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings.  
We listened to Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the President's speeches on our radios.  
And I don't ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.  
If you saw anything with 'Made in Japan' on it, it was junk  
The term 'making out' referred to how you did on your school exam....  
Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and instant coffee were unheard of.
We had 5 &10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents.
Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel.
And if you didn't want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards.
You could buy a new Ford Coupe for $600, . .. . but who could afford one?
Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon.  
In my day:
'      "grass" was mowed,
'      "coke" was a cold drink,
'     "pot" was something your mother cooked in and
'     "rock music" was your grandmother's lullaby.
'     "Aids" were helpers in the Principal's office,
'      "chip" meant a piece of wood,
'     "hardware" was found in a hardware store and
'      "software" wasn't even a word.

And we were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby.
No wonder people call us "old and confused" and say there is a generation gap.
How old do you think I am?
I bet you have this old lady in mind....you are in for a shock!
Read on to see -- pretty scary if you think about it and pretty sad at the same time.  
Are you ready ?????

This woman would be only 59 years old.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

#87 ~ jeans designed by wear

I am not sure just how much technology has affected this subject, except for being able to mass-produce something.  

I remember the day when you would go out and pay $6.45 for a pair of new Levi 501 button-fly shrink-to-fit jeans. They were dark blue and nearly as stiff as a board. I remember going home and washing them at least 20 times before wearing them- mostly to take out the stiffness. You would have to be careful of what you washed them with, the dye in the jeans turned everything if not blue, a light blue.
I even sometimes, if I needed them to age a little quicker than normal, would tumble them in my father’s old cement drum with a few rocks from the beach or back yard. Most of the time I would start preparing a new pair of jeans long before “I” considered the old ones ready for the fabric re-purposing pile.  (grew up recycling and re-purposing long before it became popular to “be green.”)

I can remember putting embroidered appliqu├ęs as patches, or just a fun fabric as a patch, sewing things on the pockets; the hems would become worn so there was a little fringe at the bottoms, or putting some decorative trim to repair and finish.  As I got into high-school in the sixties, I remember taking liquid embroidery tubes- all colors, and painting my jeans with flowers, animals, names- once I wrote “property of --my then boyfriend’s name” down the front of each leg.

But most of all, I remember the fun it was “designing” your own jeans. And… when you walked down the street with an extremely faded, decorated, frayed  pair of jeans…everyone knew YOU loved those jeans and were the designer just by living in them.
Now… you can pay upwards to $150.00 for someone else to do all that for you- and get this- look exactly like all the other people that have purchased the same jean.  No originality. And what about those Hip-hugger Bell bottom pants that they now call – Low-rise flares! Yea ,right.

Still to this day I buy the simplest pair of Levi’s and let nature and life put its design on them- I have a pair that is 10 years old, wearing them at the moment – thank you very much.

Let’s take the mass production out of the “MASS CHOICES” for said product and go back to basics where we can pay a reasonable price for a great product- and if we want it decorated…do it yourself.

Monday, May 9, 2011

#88 ~ drive-in "carhops"

A carhop was a waitress or waiter who brought food to people in their cars at drive-in restaurants. Usually they worked on foot but sometimes the restaurant would have them use roller-skates.  They would take your order, rush off and return with a special tray, that attached to your partially lowered window, piled with all the treats and yummies you were waiting for.  What was it about sitting in your car and trying to drink a coke and eat a hamburger, loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions?  It was fun! Defiantly more fun than a drive-through and pick it up at the second window and take off.
 My favorite place was A&W with their “baby burger”, which consisted of a simple beef patty,  a smaller than average bun, and some mayo. Not sure, what they put on that burger, but as simple as it was, it was tasty. Moreover, to top that off, don’t forget the Rootbeer Float, that made this company famous.

Carhops originated in the late 1930s when drive-in eateries were devised to draw in a more mobile society. It started as pull-up service to drug stores and eating establishments and was found to be a very effective way to draw customers.

Now carhops are only featured at a few remaining original drive-in stands and nostalgic fast food establishments. The few remaining drive-ins are mostly in small towns with local ownership.  Sonic Drive In still uses carhops, and one, personally known, existing A&W in Colorado features these wonderful attendants. There has been a resurgence with some franchises cashing in on the nostalgic aspect and tapping into the memories of the baby boomers.

The uniforms of early carhops were important, as many drive-ins were competing and something eye-catching was seen as gamesmanship. There was often a military theme, airline theme, space age theme or cheerleader theme along with any other whim an owner thought would get customers.

A carhop was the most prominent image on the poster for the film American Graffiti. They were also often seen in the first two seasons of Happy Days. –(a 1974 sit-com- info for those post millennium readers.)

Monday, May 2, 2011

#89 ~ the milkman

In the old days the milkman, traditionally a man,  would come by with eggs, glass bottles of cold whole milk, and other dairy products to your front porch or the special door in the side of your house. The milk came straight from the cow to your doorstep — always fresh and always with a smile.  I think  you have to be a baby boomer or older to remember those simpler times.

I remember those days, and good days they were. I remember when we had a little tab wheel that showed all the things we could order from the Milk Man when he would stop by our house in the wee hours of the morning. This wheel was colorful and full of every possible dairy product you could think of, even ice cream- three flavors! Also, orange juice and sometimes  fresh fruit.  We would have a little metal-sectioned carrier and yesterday’s glass milk bottle, which we would place the wheel marked with everything we wanted in the top, and when we woke… whalla, our delivery made. Fresh from the dairy~ guaranteed~

The U.S. Agriculture Department estimates that in 1963, 30% of the milk sold in the United States was home-delivered. That figure fell to less than 1% in the 1990s.

In some remote parts of the country the Milk Man is making a comeback and in some not so remote… I found a company in Manhattan; but the charm of the Milk Man Delivery has been diminished due to…. Orders made Online with a Credit Card, and the delivery is only guaranteed some time during that day.

In researching this week’s post I came across a fun site that has a few of the funny, but real, notes left for a milkman. There aren’t many, but they are fun.

Monday, April 25, 2011

#90 ~ public pay phones

Public Pay Phones? Are you nuts? Who would miss having to search for a phone on some obscure corner while driving, find the right change to make a call, find a phone that hasn’t been vandalized…?
 Again, I know you are asking if I have gone nuts.
What I really want to say is "get rid of cell phones"!
I miss being able to shop in a store, walk down the street, or sit in a park --- without having someone walk past me chatting away; unsure if they are talking to me, or talking to that contraption sticking out of their ear.

      (which baffles me in this gotta look totally beautiful all the time society- they're ugly, plain and simple, you look like you have some brain malfunction escaping through your ear .)

 Furthermore, I'll tell you about the rudeness of sitting in a restaurant and trying to eat a peaceful meal and have someone, again, chatting away, oblivious to any other person around. 
OMG, how did we survive not being able to pass away the hours going on and on and on about absolutely nothing of value. I have never been a talker on the phone. I remember once my mother-in-law saying I was too abrupt when on the phone. Hey, it’s a way to transfer vital information quickly….get it? Passing on “vital” information quickly.
The last time I was in the grocery store there was this woman trailing behind me that carried on a conversation, with an unknown brain without a body, about her daughter’s new boyfriend’s mother. As I was trying to shop and ignore her, here comes someone else from the other direction in the isle, chatting even louder! What was the emergency? ”Her neighbor wants her to keep her dog from barking all day—how rude is that- she can’t control her dog’s barking, it’s a dog.”

People… if you are one of those who have to be on their phones 24/7 – then, please for the love of sanity! Get help! Find some organization like DVCA (Diahrrea of the Vocal Cords Anonymous ) Be considerate and turn off  that phone when in public!

Better yet, get rid of these monstrosities and bring back the pay phone if there is a need for an emergent call. Look how cute this one is.

100 things I will miss- #?? ~cell phones --  is one topic you’ll never see here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

#91 ~ full service gas stations

---remember them?

The other day I was driving and I happened to look down and saw I was driving on gas fumes. I needed to stop and get some gas. Now there are a few things in life that are not my favorite things to do, and pumping gas is one of them. This chore it got me thinking about this week's 100 things i will miss.

Of course I don’t like pumping gas. It stinks, it can get dirty and it can be a pain. Maybe I’m just spoiled. I was raised in a time where people were trained and qualified not only to pump your gas, but to tend and care for your car and free of charge. Some of you know what I am talking about, it was called “full service gas stations” and it used to be all we had.

 Do you remember the full service gas stations? I sure do. Checking the tires, the oil, even the battery, belts and everything else. What I recall is that they did it with a smile as well. The gas station attendant seemed to take pride in their work. They enjoyed working with people and greeting them. It was a piece of American culture.

And as a kid, it was an adventure and was certainly an opportunity get pampered. My mother used to pull into the gas station and the attendant would greet her by name, fill the car, wipe the windshield, check the tire pressures, give me a wink and a piece of candy and check under the hood. I wanted her to get gas every day. I wanted her to get that tiger in the tank!

 Some days the friendly gas station attendant would let me pump the gas. He would hand me the silver nozzle and help me to pull the trigger. This is what makes childhood memories. Nonetheless, it baffles me why I enjoyed it then and not now, unless it was because I would get a reward then: sometimes a toy, sometimes a blow up tiger, sometimes just a chance to do it again.

 Plus, who can forget the soda machine that had bottled soda and for a quarter you could get a Coke or a Bubble Up and just for a few extra cents more... a great piece of candy at the candy counter. Gas stations as a kid were an adventure.

 Sadly as gas prices rose, in the early 70s, gas station owners gave people the opportunity to save a few cents at the pump and let them self serve their own gas. I know that in Oregon and New Jersey, you are not allowed to pump your own gas, someone does it for you; however, you do not get that service with a smile, nor anything else but your gas.

I never thought I would ever see these gas attendants go, but they sure did, they are a thing of the past, much like what is happening to our banker. I have no doubt that bank clerks will be a thing of the past and one day you will see an article that says “do you remember bank clerks?”

 So, back to the original statement, do you remember the full service gas stations?

Monday, April 11, 2011

#92 ~ recess

I am not sure this really is something that has gone to the wayside by means of technology as much as just a fact that when you become an adult—you stop having recesses. Although there are many schools that have eliminated recesses from their agendas. Do you remember the games you played during recess as a child? Think about all the physical activity that involved and what you learned from those recess games. While kids are playing ball games on the playground, they are also learning how to cooperate, work out problems, and exercise their bodies. They are figuring out math and physics problems and learning social skills. Did you know that more and more recess times are being replaced by testing and homework? While children are becoming fatter and fatter, schools are eliminating the time for them to exercise, socialize and think creatively.

I enjoyed getting outside and getting the exercise needed to stay healthy, burn off that extra stress energy that built up sitting in a classroom.  Today’s kids, not so sure they get physical when outside even if they could; they have their IPods, Nintendo games, or are busy texting each other on their phones. (here's the technology factor)

As adults, in the working world, we get breaks. However, do we get a recess? I don’t think so. I spend that 10 to 15 minutes of time rushing to the bathroom, getting a drink of water, perhaps a quick snack, and then rush back to the tasks laid before me. How productive would our adult work world be if we were made to go outside, play and interface with our coworkers in a challenging game atmosphere? Would that help with the everyday stress? It might.

I remember years ago, my husband worked for Honeywell, and in the afternoon, several of the engineers would go outside and play “hacky sack” for a short moment- return to their computers and work with a productive energy.  I worked for a company that required you to take 30 minutes (beyond your lunch break) and go next door to the gym to workout, play racquetball, anything active. I also remember that no matter how horrid the first part of my day was, after that break, nothing bothered me.

I vote to bring back recess into our adult lives. Therefore, out in the ambulance bay of my ER I think we should play some hopscotch. Dodge ball – there’s a good one; especially if you are little ticked at your boss- he’s IT!

What were some of your favorite playground games as a child?

Mine… hopscotch, four square, dodge ball, twirling the monkey bars, and…making mud pies. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

#93 ~ metal roller skates

The first roller skate I remember was a pair of metal skates that attached to the sole of your “buster brown” shoes; the best shoes were the oxfords, which had a ridge that the skate tightly clamped. You used a little tool called a skate key to tighten or loosen these clamps. The skates also lengthened or shortened to the correct size that you needed. I remember diligently keeping track of my “Key” but always knew that if it was lost not all was at a loss because you could use a pair of pliers.
Another wonderful thing about these skates was that they were lightweight; if you chose to stop skating, you simply pulled them off  your shoes and walked the rest of the way. With the shoe skates, you either trucked around in your socks, barefoot, or had a 2nd pair of shoes close by. Also, with these handy little skates you didn’t have to drive to a “skating rink” and could go anywhere there was a hard surface, not just around and around and around in a circle all day; or you didn’t have to plead with a parent to take you somewhere.

Then, if you grew out of your joy for these skates, they were easily turned into a “skate board”, scooters, or the best… attach four of these to the bottom of a fruit crate and had an instant “soap box car”.

The one thing that a shoe skate had an advantage was stopping or slowing power. Metal skates, if one needed to slow down you had to head toward some dirt, grass, or other soft ground material.  In addition, if you needed to stop suddenly… you simply sat down. I remember doing that quite a lot. My mother complained to my father that I kept ruining the seat of my Capri pants or shorts and when confronted as to why… I explained. His reply…. “Running into a tree will stop you just as fast.” Ha~!

Oh yes, these little metal skates carry many memories for me. I asked a friend what she remembered as the best part of metal skates…

“They had four wheels.” She laughed.

The other thing that always comes to mind when I think of my roller skates is a young folk singer in the 70’s named Melanie Safka, and her wonderful song “A Brand New Key”.

A little history?
The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | 2008 | Copyright

Roller skating gliding on a hard, smooth, durable surface on skates with rollers or wheels, in recent years has become a popular adult sport. Skates mounted on wooden rollers date from the 1860s, and soon wooden wheels replaced the rollers. The ball-bearing skate wheel was invented in the 1880s. The origin of roller skates is obscure (perhaps they were first used in Holland), but the sport became popular among children throughout the world. When figure skating and dance movements were adopted from ice-skating, roller-skating gained a large adult following. Numerous roller-skating rinks were built in the United States in the 20th cent., and several roller-skating tournaments are now held annually. Following World War II, the roller derby, a spectator sport involving team competition on banked indoor tracks, gained prominence. Since the 1980s in-line skates, which have their wheels, or rollers, arranged in a single line and afford the skater more stability, have largely superseded the older skates.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

#94 ~ wing vent windows

Before air conditioning became common, cars had vent windows that canted outward to provide a cooling, and deflected, breeze as you drove.  Wing vents had all sorts of uses and I really miss them. I don't miss that whistling noise that would inevitably appear as your vehicle aged, though.

So, what was a vent window good for? I remember watching cigarette smoke miraculously get sucked out of the barely-cracked wing vent as my mother would drive down the road. Every trace of smoke went straight for that vent window.

It was also perfect for sticking an eight  year-olds foot through on a hot summer day. You could direct as much or little air into the car, send it pretty much any direction you needed; unlike our modern day dashboard side-air vents. In addition, it just doesn't seem as cool inside on a hot summer day with regular windows rolled down. The air blast you got from wide-open wing vents on a hot summer day kept you cool. And… if another window was open, it kept the interior of your car completely free of small lightweight objects.

Then there's access to a locked vehicle. My mother had a 1961 Plymouth station wagon. I remember her leaving the keys in the ignition once with the doors locked. No prob. A kind man with a strategically placed pocketknife blade pried up the vent window's locking lever and she was able to reach in and unlock the car. If your wing vent was unlockable from the outside, it was also the cheapest window to break if all else failed. Today, there is nary a vent window to be seen. Lock your keys in the car and you're better off forking over 50 or more dollars to a locksmith than breaking a big window.

Wing vents disappeared gradually. Camaros and Firebirds were released without vent windows. Who needed them when you had air conditioning and 29¢ gas? As the 70's went on, more and more carmakers did away with the diminutive windows. My 1974 Ford Courier had them, but Ford removed them in the early 80’s. My husband’s 1976 Chevy Monte Carlo did not. Eventually manufactures started to install a Sunroof or Moonroof that were able to open slightly for circulation…and that is only because these items heated cars!

Without vent windows, your only choice is to roll down the windows and get a hair-mussing windstorm --or crank up the AC and waste a ton of fuel. To bring back Wing Vent Windows would add a retro touch and functionality to modern cars.

Monday, March 21, 2011

#95 ~ rainy day sessions

Rainy Day School Sessions  were the days when it rained and all the students would get to go home early; usually a half-day.  I’m not sure of the reasoning behind this practice; some thoughts, it gave parents the opportunity to pick up kids who walked to and from school or a bus stop. The other possibility was that the teachers just did not know what to do with all those kids during recess time when they would have to stay indoors and not out on a wet and drizzly playground.

I Googled “rainy day session” and got a ton of hits for a musical group named Rainy Day Sessions, but nothing about the ‘wonderful to all kids’ practice of half-day school sessions due to rain. I do know that in the snow areas, they have “snow days” but that is more due to heavy snowfall that has shut down travel back and forth a destination.

I loved rainy day sessions. I didn’t care if I had to do chores, extra homework, or simply play when I got home. All I knew was that I didn’t have to sit in a classroom and listen to my teachers drone on and on. Yes, I did have subjects I was interested in and loved, such as history, but still when you had the option to study at school or at home, I always chose home.
The memory of those rainy day sessions are still clear in my mind and filed in my “fun things I did as a child” right next to the most often performed entertainment for rainy days…. Building forts with furniture and linens—remember that? Furniture Fort building is a play that is still going strong to this day.

Too bad, we can’t have rainy day sessions as adults. Look what fun it would be to have your boss come to you and say, “due to the rain, I am giving everyone the rest of the day off.” Wow, that would get some hoorays, but then again what if you were the consumer and needed that business to be open.  There are always two sides to a coin.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

#96 ~ when cashiers could count

 I miss the days when a cashier could actually figure out in their head how much change you would get back during a purchase. Now they have a computer to tell them and they still can't get figure is out sometimes.

In my teens I worked in my father's pharmacy. I remember having to count back change to a customer starting with the amount of the charges and ending in what they gave you. Such as, the sale was 3.18 and they handed me 5.00. You started with 2 pennies, saying 3.20, then a nickel- 3.25, three quarters- 3.50, 3.75, 4.00, ending with a one-dollar bill- 5.00. They knew you had it correct, you knew you had it correct... End of sale.

Now you just get some money slammed into your hand; and, if you really want to know if it's correct you have to count it out yourself. One young cashier snapped at me, "Hey lady there's a line. Its right, computer is always right." I answered, "That may be true...but the computer didn't remove the cash and hand it to me...did it?" She glared at me for a couple of seconds, huffed out a "whatever" and waved me away. (okay, another issue for another day- rudness. I miss simple public decorum.)

New electronic cash registers are to blame for many cashier's inability to count back your change or even know if what they handed you is correct. I also wonder how many of the younger generation would even know if they got back the wrong amount when they are on the receiving end.

 And... have you ever given someone a strange payment, let's say for $17.00, you hand them a twenty and two ones. They almost freak and hand you back the one-dollar bills saying you gave them too much. You will really mess with their heads if you add one or two pennies to any amount you give them. HaHaHa!

     Yeah, I am afraid we have created a world where most can no longer figure numbers in thier heads. What will happen with it all crashes and the electronic gizmos fail?

Monday, March 7, 2011

#97 ~ hand-written letters, cards, & notes

with the new age of texting, emails, and instant messaging the hand-written word is soon to be lost.

I love writing, never have been a real fan of writing by hand, but there are those times when something from the written hand had that special meaning.

My mother taught me to always send hand-written thank you letters. I still do. I have my own stationery, a drawer full of unique cards, notes and letters so I am equipped to write at anytime. Think about how good it feels to find a card or letter in your mailbox amongst the mundane bills.

It worries me to think we’re the first generation to have no written record of ourselves. An article on the importance of writing humorously asks, “If Jefferson had sent text messages to Adams, think what would have been lost to history.” A valid thought, no doubt.

I find it ironic that we e-mail and text and all the massive amounts of information shared through YouTube, television, cameras, phones, networks and blogging which record every second of our lives, however, it can all be deleted or lost in translation. Newsweek author, Malcolm Jones finds the root of this problem “is sifting through the set of data. The most common complaint of our time is that we are overwhelmed by information, unmediated and unstoppable.”

I agree with Jones when it comes to lack of writing in our generation: “The decline in letter writing constitutes a cultural shift so vast that in the future, historians may divide time not between B.C. and A.D. but between the eras when people wrote letters and when they did not.”

Writing isn’t only a nostalgic feeling for us but “when we read a letter, we develop an image of the letter writer unavailable to us in any other way.” We are transported to the writer’s words, voice and personality. The written word is alive to me. It’s like comparing your favorite book, eloquently written and envisioned, to a movie. The two simply do not compare.

Writing is important and writing is real.

I write to clear my mind. I write to understand how I feel. I write to express myself. I write to show my love. I write love letters. I have a box of letters I’ve received over time; I will keep them forever. I write to give. I write lists and notes, everyday. I write what I want in life. I write and I don’t want to stop writing. Pretty soon (if not already) we will be comparing our eras – where people used to write and to now and the future, when we stopped the art of physically writing.

Have you thought about the historical context of hand-written versus online? Do you still write letters or cards or is this obsolete to you?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

#98 ~ trading stamps

I remember the excitement of coming home from the grocery store or gas station with a bunch of trading stamps, usually Blue Chip, and dashing to the box where I stored our stamps books and the catalog. I usually had several pages marked in the catalog of things I was going to get with our trading stamps once I had a certain number of books filled.  It made shopping fun. I, a person who hates shopping even to this day, would beg to go with my mother or father because if I carried in the groceries… I got to keep the stamps.

There were times that I saved and saved for that special gift for someone, a gift that my allowance would never have allowed me to purchase—those were the best. Yes, the use of trading stamps now would take some of the “OMG” out of seeing that ending shopping bill. The rewards programs of today…. “you saved XXX amount of $$$$” = boreing!

HISTORY: Trading stamps were small stamps given to a customer by a merchant in a type of loyalty program that predates our modern “Rewards” card. The stamps had no value individually, but when accumulated into a little book, they could be exchanged with the stamp company for premiums, such as toys, personal items, housewares, furniture and appliances. Some shoppers would choose one merchant over another because they gave out more stamps per dollar spent.

The practice started in the 1890s, at first given only to customers who paid for purchases in cash, to reward those who did not purchase on credit. It grew with the spread of chain gasoline stations in the early 1910s and the then-new industry of chain supermarkets in the 1920s, and merchants found it more profitable to award them to all customers. Trading stamps were at their most popular from the 1930s through the 1960s.

An example of the value of trading stamps would be during the 1970s and 1980s where the typical rate issued by a merchant was one stamp for each 10¢ of merchandise purchased. A typical book took approximately 1200 stamps to fill, or the equivalent of US $120.00 in purchases.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

#99 ~ five & dime stores

      Anyone who grew up before the 1960s remembers 5 & 10s, with their wonderful clutter of goods and toys affordable even to a kid with a dime. You could go inside with your 50¢ weekly allowance and be able to buy all sorts of cool toys, coloring books, comics. You mother could find everything she needed for the house:  kitchen towels, linens for the bedroom. And let's not forget those tools your father used for his fix-it list. As you stepped inside there was a smell of newness, somewhat relating to that scent you get the first time you open a shower curtain package. Because most dime stores were relatively small—at least by today’s shopping standards—they were often full of recognizable and friendly faces. Now you can find something called the 99¢ store-- however, the ambiance is not there, nor are the products as nice- even back then the cheap products had a certain quality to them.

     The concept of the variety store originated with the five and ten, nickel and dime, five and dime or dimestore, a store where everything cost either five cents (a nickel) or ten cents (a dime). The originator of the concept may be Woolworth's, which began in 1878 in Watertown, New York. These stores originally featured merchandise priced at only five cents or ten cents, although later in the twentieth century the price range of merchandise expanded. Inflation eventually dictated that the stores were no longer able to sell any items for five or ten cents, and were then referred to as "variety stores" or more commonly dollar stores. $0.05 in 1913 when adjusted for inflation is $1.15 in 2009 dollars

Some well-known dimestore companies included:
Ben Franklin Stores
Butler Brothers
J.J. Newberry's
S.H. Kress & Co.
S.S. Kresge Co.
Walton's Five and Dime

Thursday, February 17, 2011

#100 ~ penny candy stores

There was a day when one could go to the local candy store and for 5cents bring home treats to last all day. For 25cents...you had enough for the week. The aroma of all the sweet treats was enough to send you into heaven as you stepped inside the doorway that usually had a little bell which jangled to let the owner know someone had entered. Usually an older gentleman or woman stood behind the counter with bright smiles and never an unkind word. They knew how you felt, they remembered what it was to be a child in a candy store. It was hard to choose from all the glass jars, wicker baskets, and colorful packages, but somehow we did choose and would dash outside once the purchase was made to pop that first bite in our mouths.

a little history from ehow.com--
the term "penny candy," now refers to any candy invented and distributed more than 50 years ago, and does not refer to its price. Most candies in this category cost between 5 cents and 99 cents per piece. Many once-popular penny candies are no longer manufactured, although nostalgic candy companies are doing their best to find sources of the most popular candies of each decade. Gold-foil-wrapped candy lipsticks, Black Cow suckers, Dynamints and Wacky Wafers are just a few examples of once popular candies that can no longer be found.

Read more: When Was Penny Candy Invented?   @ ehow,com


where can you find some of those great "penny candy" products:

The Penny Candy store features; Old Fashioned Candy, Swedish Fish, Wafers, Sour Patch, Fruit Slices, Licorice, Nonpareils, Mary Janes, Mint Julep, Squirrel Nuts, Bulls-Eye Caramels, Red Dollar, Chocolate, Jelly Beans, Boston Baked Beans, Mexican Hats, Sour Belts, Bulk Candy and much more.