Green Stamps and other prizes
During the great depression in the 1930’s and into the 40’s and 50’s and 60’ merchants gave away many prizes to get people to trade with them. During the thirties I can remember my Mother buying oatmeal and she would get a cup or a saucer in the box of oatmeal.
I remember trading eggs for groceries and then depending on how many groceries you purchased you would get a dish with chickens pictured on it. My Mother traded with Wesley Bros in Hope Minn and think she got at least 4 sets of dishes. She gave me a complete set of dishes when I married Dale and I later gave them to Dale’s Mother as she needed them.
The depression glass which is so highly collectible was given away as prizes at movie theatres and also as you purchased groceries. My mother must have collected that also as she gave me a pink set which included a large sauce bowl and 6 sauce dishes. Needless to say I used the set and they broke quite easily. My sister Dorothy still has some of the depression dishes that she received as shower presents when she married in 1935.
Later on when I married green stamps were very popular. A lot of merchants gave green stamps, the grocery store, the shoe store, service stations and almost every kind of business. You got one green stamp I think for 10 cents of purchase. You then had a green stamp book in which you pasted the green stamps. There was a green stamp store in Ponca City and when you got enough books filled you could go down to the store and buy things with your stamps.
I have a nice card table and 4 chairs that I purchased with green stamps and it is probably 50 years old. I had gone to an auction one day and brought home 4 oak chairs that I had bought for a dollar each. One of our bus drivers wanted a couple of the chairs and she gave me a whole bunch of green stamp books for them. I had some other green stamps books filled and I went to the store and was able to get a nice oak butcher block table for Gail. That was probably about 27 years ago.
Leonard’s grocery store gave away a prize every week for trading with them. One time I won the weekly prize and it was a nice large set of Corning Ware. I still use that almost every day and that was over 40 years ago that I won them.
One of the drug stores here in town had a sign up sheet and they gave away a weekly prize. You had to sign up the week when the drawing was held. Got people in the store shopping. These a just a few of the things that were given away to get people to come in the stores and buy merchandise. Really don’t see much of that anymore. Probably the modern day coupons have taken the place of the give aways.