Whatever Happened To S & H Green Stamps?
If you have no idea what S & H Green Stamps are, well, you're just a bit too young. For the rest of us, we grew up with them!
Off we'd go to the store (just about any store if memory serves...seemed like it anyway) with dad and mom. Up and down the aisle's, getting a little canned this and a little fresh that. Some bread, some milk, and some breakfast cereal (AlphaBits please mom). A pretty decent cart full.
Up to the counter, a friendly 'Hi' from the cashier, visiting while counting up the bill (just a wee bit more than dad thought). Money exchanged, bags filled, and finally...
Green Stamps. Always the green stamps.
Properly called S & H Green Stamps.
Put the role in the purse and head home. And after we had a certain number of these little greenies, into the Green Stamp book they went, stuck nice and firm, and then check out the Green Stamp catalog and see what cool thing we could get!
Technically they were a kind of 'rewards program'. We'd redeem the stamps (once we had about a million of 'em) at a redemption store and walk out with...well, just about anything, from a windbreaker to a coffee pot. Yes, valuable stuff!
So how big were these 'Green Stamps'?
Really big, at least from the 1930s into the 1980s. The peak for these beauties was in the 1960s. In fact, the company that produced the catalog said it was the biggest publication in the United States and stated they issued three times as many stamps as the U.S. Postal Service!
Oh and by the way, if you're wondering what the 'S & H' stood for...the Sperry and Hutchinson company, the business behind the stamps.
Alas, with the rise of the internet and technology, Green Stamps are now largely relegated to the dusty corner of the memory bin. But a good memory.
Remember those rubber bands wrapped around those Green Stamp booklets, bulging at the seams? Time to make those babies pay off!
Wikipedia Contributed To This Article
Randy's Minnesota Memories
Gallery Credit: Randy McDaniel