Thursday, January 13, 2011

S&H Green Stamps Chair

Do you remember S&H Green Stamps?

I have a chair that my Mom bought with S&H Green Stamps in the 1960s.

It's a really cute little wooden chair and very comfortable to sit in.  Many times when my lower back is bothering me I will sit in it with a heating pad.   I remember my Mom getting the green stamps from the grocery store and putting them into the little stamp books.

Oh, for those of you who are too young to know what S&H Green Stamps are here's a nice summary from the internet (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia):

"S&H Green Stamps (also called Green Shield Stamps) were trading stamps popular in the United States from the 1930s until the late 1980s. They were distributed as part of a rewards program operated by the Sperry and Hutchinson company (S&H), founded in 1896 by Thomas Sperry and Shelly Hutchinson. During the 1960s, the rewards catalog printed by the company was the largest publication in the United States and the company issued three times as many stamps as the U.S. Postal Service.[1]Customers would receive stamps at the checkout counter of supermarketsdepartment stores, and gasoline stations among other retailers, which could be redeemed for products in the catalog.
S&H Green Stamps had several competitors, including Triple S Stamps (offered by Grand Union Supermarkets), Gold Bond StampsBlue Chip Stamps, and Plaid Stamps(a project of A&P Supermarkets).

Sperry & Hutchinson began offering stamps to U.S. retailers in 1896. The retail organizations that distributed the stamps (primarily supermarkets, gasoline filling stations, and shops) bought the stamps from S&H and gave them as bonuses to shoppers based on the dollar amount of a purchase. The stamps—-issued in denominations of one, ten, and fifty "points"—-were perforated with a gummed reverse, and as shoppers accumulated the stamps they moistened the reverse and mounted them in collectors books, which were provided free by S&H. The books contained 24 pages and to fill a page required 50 "points", so each book contained 1200 "points". Shoppers could then exchange filled books for premiums, including housewares and other items, from the local Green Stamps store or catalog. Each premium was assigned a value expressed by the number of filled stamp books required to obtain that item.
Green Stamps were one of the first retail loyalty programs,[2] retailers purchased the stamps from the operating company and then gave them away at a rate determined by the merchant. Some shoppers would choose one merchant over another because they gave out more stamps per dollar spent.[3]
Some states equated the green stamps to gambling and required merchants to obtain an expensive license.[citation needed] Few did, however, making their popularity vary substantially from state to state. The company also traded overseas. During the early 1960s, it initiated S&H Pink Stamps in the United Kingdom, having been beaten to their green shield trademark during 1958 by Richard Tompkins'sGreen Shield Trading Stamp Company.[4]
The program had its greatest popularity during the mid 1960s, but a series of recessions during the 1970s decreased sales of green stamps and the stamp programs of their competitors.
Sperry and Hutchinson was sold by the founders' successors in 1981, and was purchased from a holding firm by a member of the founding Sperry family in 1999. At that time, only about 100 U.S. stores were offering Green Stamps. Eventually, the company modified its practices with the advent of the Internet and now offers "greenpoints" as rewards for online purchases.[5]

My Mom had the two wicker chairs that she inherited from her in-laws re-upholstered with this fabric.  On one of my trips to visit my parents in Florida (where they had retired in 1979) my Mom asked me if I could make a seat & back cover for her S&H Green Stamp chair with the few pieces of left over fabric she had remaining from upholstering the wicker chair cushions.

I used my paternal Grandmother's Singer sewing machine to make the covers piecing together the fabric as best as I could to match up the stripes.  That old Singer machine had no problem sewing through the thick upholstery fabric.  I now have my Grandmother's Singer machine in my craft room.

I didn't make a pattern - I just cut the seat cover to fit around the arms and back.

Here's a close up of the piping.
  I made a bottom seat cover and put together a batted back cushion for the chair back.   I even made piping out of the fabric to give it a more professional finish.

The back cover is tied on with the fabric ties
The bottom seat cover isn't tied fits neatly and stays in place easily.

I matched up the stripes as best as I could with the limited amount of fabric left over.

I learned to sew from my two roommates while in college in the early 1970s.  My one roommate had a Bernina (a beautiful sewing machine) and she was gracious enough to let me learn to sew on it.  I loved to sew clothes back when I was young and thin.  I haven't sewed much in the last couple of years.  I guess I should set aside time to make something again.    

I'm sharing my little chair project with you on the following blog parties.  Maybe I have inspired you to whip out your sewing machine and try making something.  

Please join me for:
Make It My Day at Backyard Eden
Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Artie at Color Outside the Lines for Vignette Fridays

Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Wendy at The Shabby Nest for Frugal Friday
 Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Cielo at The House in the Roses for Show of Your Cottage Monday

Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday  

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  1. I remember my grandmother saving S&H green stamps. I remember coming with her to a store in Birmingham and redeeming them! Cool post!

  2. Great trip down memory lane. I helped my grandmother paste the stamps in her books to the redeem them.

    You did a good job with the chair cushions.

  3. I remember them well. I helped my grandmother and mother paste the stamps in and then we go to pick something!

    Good sewing job.


  4. I remember my momma doing the same thing with the S&H Greenstamps. I don't know what she ever bought with them though.

    Nice job on the chair!

  5. ‘Stylish Blogger Award’

    I recently received the above award, which made me feel fantastic. Part of the package entails spreading the Blog Love onto your favourite bloggers & that is YOU…Thank you for sharing all of your homely goodness with us!!!


  6. Licked plenty of those in my day.
    What's that I taste?
    Thanks for the trip back in time.

  7. I remember green stamps. When I was a child, it was my job to paste them in the books since I liked to do that and no one else did. Am I correct in remembering a catalog? Seems I remember mom and I looking through it, but a couple of times we did go to the little store to pick something out. Our last trip was not too long before they stopped giving out the green stamps. I remember that was kind of strange as a child to know that the next time we drove down that street, that "store" wouldn't be there anymore.

    I'm with you on the sewing. I too learned to sew clothes in college, but haven't done it in ages. I keep telling myself I will, but never find the time. I used to enjoy it, so maybe someday.

  8. What an interesting story about these stamps, I had no idea what that was. Love your chair and the cover.
    Have a wonderful Friday dear Sandy,

  9. I vote that we bring back Green Stamps!!

    Lots of love,
    Susan and Bentley

  10. I used to do green stamps myself and still have some sitting in a box somewhere. I think you should take up sewing again. You don't have to sew for yourself you could make little girl dresses to sell. Did you check out that blog where I'm going in a sew along making a 40's swing dress? That young gal has taught me things about sewing.

  11. Hi, I stumbled upon your blog via the " next blog" button! I really enjoyed my visit here! Your blog is so cute and filled with awesomeness!

  12. Hi Sandy! Yes, ma'am, I remember S & H green stamps. My mother would let me wet them and put them in the books! That's a cute little chair and you did a great job on the cushions!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  13. What a blast from the past... yes I remember S&H Green Stamps... my Mom used to save them and then we'd go visit their Stores and pick out some great stuff! I wonder... do they still do that or is it a thing of the past? I know I haven't seen any places giving out the Stamps since we moved to Arizona over 35+ years ago.

    Dawn... The Bohemian

  14. What a sweet chair! I DO remember S&H green stamps. I remember going to the wonderful store with Mama to cash in her saved stamps. The store was just packed with things you never saw in other shops. I still have an S&H green stamp Noah's Ark cookie jar my Sunday School teacher gave me for a wedding present almost 30 years ago!

    Sherry @ A Happy Valentine

  15. Sandy,
    YES...I so remember these stamps...we would get them at our local Shell Gas station and I always had fun going with my mom to the stamp store to pick something out.