Remember this? Trading stamps

Dorri Partain
Contributor


Lick ’em, stick ’em, save ’em and trade ’em for quality merchandise – it was like getting new items completely free.


Commonly called “trading stamps,” merchants across America offered savings stamps based on the amount of the customer’s purchase. The more one purchased, the more stamps were obtained for the cash transaction.


Stamps were pasted into savings books and when full, could be redeemed at a redemption center chock-full of name brand items, from household goods to appliances, home decor and toys. Depending on the merchant, the stamps offered could be Gold Bond, S&H Green Stamps, or Top Value, among others.


Grocers, drug stores, and gas stations posted signage outside to denote which type of saving stamps were offered. Locally, Top Value stamps were available at Kroger’s supermarkets.


Savings stamp programs began in the 1950’s as an incentive program for shoppers to purchase goods with cash, instead of store credit. Thrifty homemakers quickly saw the extra value in the time-consuming process of collecting stamps, sticking the correct denominations on the saving book’s pages, and calculating how many books were needed to obtain the items in the annual product catalog.


In addition to name brand items, Top Value also offered various products featuring their pink plaid elephant cartoon mascot. Toppie wore a Tam O’Shanter style cap, and appealed to children on products including a metal lunch box, toy cash register and stuffed animals.


Top Value stamps also had a Group Saving Plan in which schools, churches and civic groups could redeem savings books for larger items such as school buses, pianos or kitchen equipment. One of the most unusual group purchases involved the collection of 1,000 savings books by the West Palm Beach Firemen’s Benevolent Association to purchase a young elephant for the city’s zoo; the acquired elephant was then named Toppie.


Top Value went out of business in the early 1980’s and S&H redemption centers would accept savings books for those left with unredeemed Top Value books, before they also ceased business.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • As times change, so has Kansas City’s Telephone Building

    May 12th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week we feature three postcards spotlighting the Southwestern Bell Telephone Building at 11th and Oak streets. […]


    Remember This? The Rotary Dial Telephone

    May 12th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Today phones are everywhere and can do nearly everything – from taking pictures to streaming videos with […]


    Remember This? Sinclair’s Dino

    May 5th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor You can bank on it, the popularity of Sinclair’s dinosaur mascot has not wavered over the years. […]


    Longtime clinic building still stands on Linwood Blvd

    May 5th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher In 1877, wearing a Prince Albert coat and a high silk hat, Dr. T.W. Thornton began his […]


    Remember This? The President Hotel

    April 28th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Whether you need to open your glass bottle beverage or reseal it for freshness, these handy gadgets […]


    A president with high approval ratings

    April 28th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher In keeping with our “Remember This” column, this week we bring you this wonderful color Hall Bros. […]


    Remember This? Alvin & The Chipmunks

    April 21st, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor If a chipmunk could sing, what would it sound like? Under the stage name of David Seville, […]


    Steaming through Missouri history on the Steamboat Chester

    April 21st, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This Fred Harvey postcard shows a scene near the Municipal Wharf at First and Main streets. Two […]


  • Remember This? Tax mills

    April 14th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor How do you pay a fraction of a cent? This was the dilemma when the Missouri Legislature […]


    Winwood Beach: the Atlantic City of the West!

    April 14th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher A mere three stops after boarding the interurban car of the KCCC&SJ’s (Kansas City, Clay County & […]


    Remember This: L’eggs

    April 7th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Just like the bright plastic candy-filled eggs found in Easter baskets or backyards, L’eggs hatched a new […]


    Kinney Shoes: The same shoe for less money

    April 7th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News To dovetail with our “Remember This” feature of the week that remembers L’eggs Panty Hose, we […]


    Remember This? Sacagawea dollar coins

    March 31st, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Nearly two centuries following the expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, their young Native American guide […]


    Dedicated sisters founded Children’s Mercy

    March 17th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher Katherine Berry was born in Cave Spring, Ky., in 1860, eight years after her sister, Alice Berry […]


    Remember This? The Unsinkable Molly Brown

    March 17th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor The interesting life of Missouri native Margaret Tobin Brown has been presented in two acts on stages […]


    Remember This? Patty Duke

    March 10th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor In movies and on television, America watched Anna Marie “Patty” Duke grow up. Born in 1946, she […]


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.