Those Green Stamps from S&H were really something special. Oh, the good old days

Since the turn of the century, many big changes have occurred in American life. S&H Green Stamps, the first popular trading stamps in the US and Europe, were at their most popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Some places started giving them out as early as 1896, but they didn’t take off until the 1930s.

 

You may remember when you were a kid going to your grandparents’ house and helping them put stamps on pages so they could buy things at a certain place. When you wanted to buy something from Sperry & Hutchinson Co., you turned in pages of stamps. Items carried is a little understatement since the stores had everything you could ever need.

You could find the item you wanted in their catalogue if it wasn’t in the store. During the height of the Green Stamps craze, the company said its publication was the largest in the country. They also say they gave out more stamps than the Post Office, which is a pretty big deal when you think about it.

S&H Co. was founded in Alabama, and its first locations are still in that state. Every other state in the country got one of the catalogues. And to the countries in Europe that are part of the program. If you could get mail, you could get a catalogue and use your Green Stamp booklets to buy good things.

For a couple of decades, Green Stamps were so popular that companies would give free stamps to people who did business at their location. People were especially likely to get stamps at gas stations, which made it easy to collect them while getting something else they needed. The customers got more stamps based on how much gas they bought.

People’s shopping habits changed because of S&H Green Stamps. Because of this, 80% of the population had to pay attention to where they did business. If a business didn’t give them Stamps for stopping by and using their products, they would move on to the next place. During the Great Recession, people stopped buying Green Stamps. They were sold off several times before they were forgotten.

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