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, 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.