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S&H Green Stamps


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#1 Giraffe

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 08:49 PM

The late Christian comedian Grady Nutt (he appeared on "Hee Haw" sometimes) had a wonderful gag about growing up in a small town: "We used to steal the S&H Green Stamps sign and put it in front of the funeral home at night. The next morning, everybody would drive past it, and there it was: 'We Give Green Stamps!'"

It just occurred to me that some folks reading this may not know what Green Stamps were. The gimmick was this: Go grocery shopping at your favorite store, such as Kroger. When you got to the checkout counter, the clerk would total up your purchase and then give you a long strip of "Green Stamps" that you would take home. You could get blank books into which you would lick & paste your Green Stamps, and when you filled up enough books with these stamps, you could take them to a Green Stamp Redemption Store and turn them in to get various household items such as lamps, furniture, kitchen appliances, etc.

I remember my mother getting S&H Green Stamps from Kroger in the middle 1970s and helping her lick & paste them into the collection books. I do recall once we actually went to that big S&H Redemption Store on Seminary Drive but I don't remember exactly what we got with those stamps. I ought to ask her about that. What all did everyone else here ever get with those things? (Mom kept those stamps and books in a pull-out drawer in the kitchen counter. She even had a handful of "Scottie Stamps," which I guess were a competitor to S&H. No idea where she got those or who offered them. Any info on that?) The cashiers at Kroger's had these green boxes with finger dials to get the Green Stamps with your food purchases. They resembled stamp machines at the Post Office.

I'd like to hear from anyone who has any information on that S&H Redemption Store on Seminary Drive, particularly the big warehouse it was a part of. That is one of the biggest warehosues I've ever seen in my life and while I don't think S&H uses it anymore (who does?), the building is still there. Was it a regional warehouse or something? When was it built? When did it close?

IIRC, I think "S&H" stood for "Sperry & Hutchinson." I oughta look that up, too. smile.gif


#2 Papaw

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 09:09 PM

It's still there and I think it was a toy manufacturer for several years and I think is for lease now. It's only a few blocks from my house and I will check it out and report back. I also licked many of those stamps for my grandmother, I liked the 5, 10 and 25 denominations as it filled the book up faster and took a lot less licking. They used to have catalogs of what you could buy and the number of books needed. Cox's and Striplings were some of several that gave the stamps - and seems like some days were "double green stamp days".

#3 cajunmike

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 09:24 PM

I do remember the S&H stamps and the last time I was in the S&H building on Seminary it was shutting down and they had a sale on the inventory. I bought some sleeping bags. If you have been around Fort Worth for awhile you may also remember the Scottie Stamps that were given out at some of the stores.


Mike

#4 bailey

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 09:39 AM

The S&H distribution center on Seminary was first built in the late 50's. It was later enlarged and the redemption store opened there. We lived right down the street on Standish road and the manager of the center was one of our neighbors. In 1958, just about everyone on our street, including the manager of the center bought houses and moved to the newly developed Wedgwood area. For those old enough to remember, before the Seminary Drive redemption center was opened, the redemption center was located downtown on Seventh street. It was just right down and in front of what was then the First National Bank, just as you were entering downtown. The S&H distribution center on Seminary is currently not in use with a for sale sign in front of it, at least it was a few weeks ago.

There were three kinds of stamps given back in the 50's through the 70's. Green stamps were the most popular and were given by Worth Food Mart which later became Piggly Wiggly. Wyatt's, which became Krogers gave a gold or yellow colored stamp but I can't recall the name. Buddies gave Scotties. Many drugs stores and gas stations also gave the stamps. Stripling's did not give Scotties stamps but they were the distribution outlet. Each book was worth $2.50. I recently sold a redwood patio chaise lounge we got my father at Striplings at Seminary South in the early 60's with Scotties stamps.

#5 Dismuke

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 12:54 PM

QUOTE (bailey @ Mar 29 2008, 10:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wyatt's, which became Krogers gave a gold or yellow colored stamp but I can't recall the name.



They were called Top Value Stamps. The booklets and advertising material always featured an elephant. When I was a kid mother had a drawer full of the stamps and even some of the books that she had accumulated and ended up not redeeming after Kroger stopped giving them out.
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#6 Dismuke

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 01:07 PM

Sperry & Hutchinson, by the way, is still around.

http://www.greenpoints.com/

A few years ago, I heard that they only had a handful of small retailers still handing out stamps. No mention of them still doing so on their website. They now operate a program called "Greenpoints" which is all electronic with redemption by mail order. They have a handful of supermarket chains participating - though the only one that I have ever heard of or been in is D’Agostino in New York City. It looks like most of their other stuff is arrangements with online retailers - you sign in to your account and enter the online retailer through the S&H website in order to qualify for the points. My guess is S&H gets a certain percentage of the sale for the referral and passes it along in the form of points.
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#7 bailey

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 03:46 PM

QUOTE (Dismuke @ Mar 29 2008, 01:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (bailey @ Mar 29 2008, 10:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wyatt's, which became Krogers gave a gold or yellow colored stamp but I can't recall the name.



They were called Top Value Stamps. The booklets and advertising material always featured an elephant. When I was a kid mother had a drawer full of the stamps and even some of the books that she had accumulated and ended up not redeeming after Kroger stopped giving them out.


Funny, I laid in bed last night trying to remember and Value kept sticking in my head. Thanks for settling this as I would have gone crazy until I remembered.

#8 cjyoung

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 03:29 PM

I absolutely hated going to that redemption center with my grandmother in the mid-70's. angry.gif

#9 Giraffe

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 08:30 PM

QUOTE (cjyoung @ Mar 31 2008, 03:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I absolutely hated going to that redemption center with my grandmother in the mid-70's. angry.gif


I recall there not being very much of interest to little kids in that store. They must not have carried much in the way of toys or anything like that.

I was chatting about S&H Green Stamps with friends at work this week and it was only then that I remembered that each page in the redemption book allowed you to fill it up with different denominations. I forget exactly how they were spaced... it was either 1, 5, 10, 25, or 50... something like that. You could "fill up" a page with just a few "50s" or a whole sheet of "1s" or something similar. There were blocks on each page to point out where you could paste whatever denominations you had.

#10 Dismuke

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 10:06 PM

QUOTE (Giraffe @ Apr 3 2008, 09:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was chatting about S&H Green Stamps with friends at work this week and it was only then that I remembered that each page in the redemption book allowed you to fill it up with different denominations. I forget exactly how they were spaced... it was either 1, 5, 10, 25, or 50... something like that. You could "fill up" a page with just a few "50s" or a whole sheet of "1s" or something similar. There were blocks on each page to point out where you could paste whatever denominations you had.



The way it worked was for every 10 cents you spent at a participating merchant, you received a 1 stamp. If you spent $1 they would usually give you a 10 stamp instead of ten 1 stamps - spend $5 and you sometimes get a 50 stamp though not all stores gave them. Above the cash register was a green box with two dials on it. The inner dial had finger indentations for 10 cents, 20 cents, 30 cents, etc. up to 90 cents. The outer dial had indentations for $1, $2, $3 all the way up to $20. Thus if you spent $2.52 on merchandise, the cashier would place her finger in the $2 indentation and dial it and the 50 cent indentation and dial that to dispense the stamps.

When it came time to stick them in the book, each page had squares to place the stamps. It took fifty 1 stamps or five 10 stamps or one 50 stamp to fill a page. There were 24 pages per book - which meant that it would take 1,200 1 stamps to fill a book. There were also books that were strictly for 10 and 50 stamps as well. You could redeem the completed books for prizes or you could redeem them for cash at $1.20 per book. In other words, whenever you spent $120, you got a book's worth of stamps worth $1.20 or 1 percent.

The independent grocery store near where I grew up continued to give Green Stamps well into the 1980s, long after the chain stores in the area stopped giving them. I remember Wednesday was double stamps day - which meant that they would give double the usual number of stamps. I guess Wednesday was a slow shopping day for the store or something.

My mother was not one to immediately stick the stamps in the book. She always tossed them in a drawer in an antique buffet we had - and then ever so often she would pull them out and fill up a bunch of books. I remember enjoying sticking the stamps in the books - but I always used a sponge to wet the stamps.

Back in their heyday, the stamp companies would publish decent sized color catalogs of all the prizes one could redeem them for. Top Value Stamps catalogs had Norman Rockwell illustrations on their cover. I remember this because my mother kept one particular year's Top Value Stamps Catalog long after Kroger stopped giving the stamps out - one of the people in the cover illustration happened to have a strong resemblance to my mother. My guess is she still has it somewhere.

I am not sure how much retailers had to pay for the stamps - but one of the ways that S&H undoubtedly made money was from the knowledge that a good many stamps would either sit in drawers or else be tossed into the trash.
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#11 mbdalton1

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 02:29 PM

As a child in the 1970's I would visit my grandparent's in Fort Worth in the summers. My grandmother always accumulated the green stamps and saved them for me to stick into the books. (I got a kick out of doing that...I'm sure she was glad I did! Saved her some work!) I, too, used a wet sponge to adhere the stamps.

She also kept the stamps and books in a drawer in her kitchen. We would shop at Piggly Wiggly and I remember the cashier dialing the green stamps from the little box over the cash register.

I remember looking through the S&H catalog and figuring out what I wanted to get. My grandmother let me have the fun of doing shopping for what I wanted. It was a good lesson to a child on the value of money and saving to shop for something. I still remember the catalog and going to the redemption center but have no clue as to what I shopped for! Maybe it will come back to me one of these days!

Ahhh, the simpler times of childhood summers!! Great memories, these green stamps!


smile.gif mary bess

#12 travelbear

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 09:11 PM

Buddies Supermarkets gave out Scottie Stamps too. You could redeem them in Buddies Hardware stores that were inside some of the larger grocery stores. Gold Bond stamps were yellow also but I don't remember who gave those out.

#13 lonnzer

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 10:21 PM

I don't remember the redemption center on Seminary Dr. but I do remember the S&H store that was on 7th. St. downtown and the one on Lancaster in Handley. My mom collected those when she shopped at Worth Food Mart on Lancaster and then whoop me real good when me and my friend down the street would grab them out of the drawer and paste them to whatever we could stick 'em to.

#14 Cranky Greg

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 10:04 PM

There was an S&H Redemption store on the southwest corner of Pioneer Parkway (303) and Cooper street in Arlington in the early 1970's. I'm not sure when it went away, but I remember it being there.

I worked at a Minyard's in Arlington in the late 1970's, and I think Tuesdays were Double Green Stamp Days! That meant we were BUSY!!

The stamps were dispenses from a box above the register and the cashiers would look like they were dialing a phone when dispensing stamps.

My grandfather used to collect the stamps, and stuff them in a drawer, and then we would paste them into books.

Some customers never saved stamps and would give them away in the store. Other customers thought the stamps were like gold and would hoard them!

I remember getting fussed at foir sticking some green stamps on the wall in my room. My parents were not too impressed.

#15 Mark S

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 07:33 AM

QUOTE (cajunmike @ Mar 28 2008, 09:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you have been around Fort Worth for awhile you may also remember the Scottie Stamps that were given out at some of the stores.


I believe Buddie's gave out Scottie Stamps. Another trading stamp, Top Value, was given at some stores, but I don't recall which.

#16 bailey

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 09:56 AM

QUOTE (Mark S @ Nov 21 2008, 08:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (cajunmike @ Mar 28 2008, 09:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you have been around Fort Worth for awhile you may also remember the Scottie Stamps that were given out at some of the stores.


I believe Buddie's gave out Scottie Stamps. Another trading stamp, Top Value, was given at some stores, but I don't recall which.


Wyatt's which later became Kroger gave Top Value Stamps.

#17 Giraffe

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 09:36 PM

I finally remembered to ask my mother if she knew what all we got from the S&H Redemption Center with all those books of Green Stamps we filled up back in the day, and she recalled immediately. She got a batch of silverware -- eating utensils with wooden-accented handles. Our family is STILL using all those knives, forks and spoons! They still work, even 30+ years later! smile.gif


One of my mother's friends retired from that S&H building. She said she worked in "Data Entry," and that they used a high-end computer (for its day) to keep track of inventory. I forget if she said it used punched cards or punched tape, but it was pretty high-tech for the '70s.

#18 Papaw

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 10:59 PM

I can still taste the glue on the back of those stamps that my Mother and Grandmother had me lick and fill up all those spaces in the books.

#19 Cowtown Mike

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 11:28 PM

My wife and were just talking the other day about Scotty Stamps that you got at Buddies Supermarket. I worked as a kid in produce at the Buddies which used to be in the White Lake Hills shopping center.

#20 Brian Luenser

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 06:05 AM

Sure enough, I remember my mother collecting S&H Green Stamps when I was a kid. I really do not remember her buying anything with them. (Interpret that to mean she probably gave them to Santa Clause for purchasing gifts)

I do remember my Mother spending a long time looking at the S&H Catalog. Since then, I realized the real significance of the stamps. Back in those days it worked mostly like this... Dad went to work to earn a paycheck and Mom stayed home to take care of the house and kids. And shop. The S&H Green stamps where a way for wives that did not work, to have their own currency. S&H Green stamps was really money that THEY earned and could spend any way they like... and without scrutiny.

Times have sure changed. HOLD IT. As I head off to work in the morning the Mrs. is heading to Kroger after her TV shows are over. And besides that she will use a credit card that has a 1% cash back feature. Maybe times haven't changed as much as I thought. smilewink.gif


I'm coming back editing this post because my wife just reminded me that in her 1959 LIFE magazine that she got from her now deceased Grandmother, had a great S&H ad. Did not fit on my home scanner so I took a crude picture of it on my floor. (Top of ad is in great focus and bottom not, as I used a very wide aperture and had to angle the shot due to the flash) Fun ad in my opinion. Looks like that lady is hauling in some MAJOR loot. I can tell you that for the merchanise we are looking at she needed a train-load of stamp books. (I like the gun pointed at the photographer)


www.fortworthview.com

#21 Cowtown Mike

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 06:44 AM

By the looks of the people in the ad, they must have save a lot of stamps with all that gear. When the distribution center of S&H closed here years ago, I went over and purchased several camping items.

#22 waywr

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 03:31 PM

I remember Green Stamps and GS catalogs in the kitchen drawer and going with my parents to the place on Seminary Drive to redeem them a few times.
Don't remember anything they got, except that I did get a globe from there once. Also remember seeing SHGS catalogs.
I remember Scottie Stamps around the house too so I guess my parents traded them in. Don't know where you traded those in though. Maybe they had a catalog too?
I remember the Buddies that used to be in Seminary South had one of those hardware stores attached, but I can't recall that my parents ever traded Scottie Stamps in there though.
I always thought that hardware store was its own business, just accessible through Buddies. Used to have a metal gate that pulled down to block entrance from the supermarket on Sundays, back when the blue laws were still around.

#23 unknowntbone

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 11:50 AM

Uh, Green Stamps? We used to give them out at the Enco station where I worked..."Check your oil, miss?"
And as a buyer of LP's, I found that the record racks that S&H sold were the best there was. I still have most of the LP's but not the racks.
There used to be 'Mom and Pop' businesses where you could trade your stamp books or Raleigh coupons for other stamp books. Don't ask me how they made money.

#24 Sailor

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 01:05 PM

QUOTE (Papaw @ Mar 28 2008, 10:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's still there and I think it was a toy manufacturer for several years and I think is for lease now. It's only a few blocks from my house and I will check it out and report back. I also licked many of those stamps for my grandmother, I liked the 5, 10 and 25 denominations as it filled the book up faster and took a lot less licking. They used to have catalogs of what you could buy and the number of books needed. Cox's and Striplings were some of several that gave the stamps - and seems like some days were "double green stamp days".



#25 Sailor

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 01:06 PM

QUOTE (Sailor @ May 7 2010, 02:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Papaw @ Mar 28 2008, 10:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's still there and I think it was a toy manufacturer for several years and I think is for lease now. It's only a few blocks from my house and I will check it out and report back. I also licked many of those stamps for my grandmother, I liked the 5, 10 and 25 denominations as it filled the book up faster and took a lot less licking. They used to have catalogs of what you could buy and the number of books needed. Cox's and Striplings were some of several that gave the stamps - and seems like some days were "double green stamp days".



Me too.... Texaco used to give them with gas....

#26 earlbutkus

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 10:45 AM

How about the S & H on the traffic circle at the end of Camp Bowie blvd? Today I think it is a sporting goods store.



#27 Ghost Writer in Disguise

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 03:28 PM

How about the S & H on the traffic circle at the end of Camp Bowie blvd? Today I think it is a sporting goods store.

I don't remember there ever being an S&H where Texas Outdoor Sports is, if that's the location you mean. It was originally a Worth Food Mart (at night you could see the sign from Ridglea Hills) and later a Piggly Wiggly. It was a furniture store in between becoming the sporting goods store. Before the West (now Ridglea) Branch Library was built, the Bookmobile would come once a week or so and park out front.






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