Thursday, April 19, 2012
COLLECTION #211: Vintage Savings Stamp Booklets
Back in the 'good old days', before Amazon.com, one way people saved money was by collecting and redeeming 'savings stamps'. These savings stamps, the largest of which was S&H Green Stamps, were given to customers by merchants, depending on the amount of money spent. Generally, they were acquired at markets, gas stations, and other retail stores. The heyday of these stamps was the '50s and '60s. In our family, we saved and redeemed Green Stamps and Blue Chip Stamps. I remember licking (not using a sponge, like smarter people did) countless stamps, and placing them into the little books to save for a variety of amazing things. The two things I proudly bought with my Blue Chip stamps were my Harmony ukulele, and a bonnet style hair dryer. This was probably about 1963. I sill have that ukulele, although the hair dryer went the way of all vintage Sunbeam bonnet hair dryers. (just in case you don't know what I'm talking about, here is a photo of one.)
I have a few stamp booklets, which brought back so many fond memories of this nostalgic time. I love the great illustrations on the cover, very modern, don't you think? Don't you love the ideal families portrayed on the covers?
S&H Green Stamps were a national brand, Blue Chip Stamps were regional.... they were available in California, Arizona and Nevada. In our family we preferred Blue Chip Stamps, because more merchants gave them out, and they awarded more stamps per dollar spent than Green Stamps.
Here's an example of a Blue Chip Stamp catalog page (which I found on the internet), to give you an example of how beautifully presented the merchandise was, and how many stamp books it might take to buy that camera kit of your dreams:
There were redemption centers in major US cities (for Green Stamps), and even small local cities (Blue Chip Stamps), so it was really easy to find a place to check out the latest merchandise and pick up your Sunbeam Hair Dryer close to home. This page shows the list of California and Nevada redemption centers for Blue Chip Stamps: