I love Dolly Parton. If you don’t, keep reading anyway. One of my earliest memories of Dolly is her appearances on the Porter Wagoner Show and the Breeze Detergent promotions they did together. I loved her, loved her accent, loved the hair (hers and his), and loved the free towels she gleefully pulled out of the box. She always looked surprised and had to share her excitement with Porter. Of course I bought Breeze Detergent. Who wouldn’t?
I was reminded of the towels this morning when I typed the “locals” from 1928 for my Caddo blog. Here is one of the items:
Buy six bars of toilet soap for 50c and get a set of dessert dishes free at Meadows Grocery.
My mom loved to get free products! She bought oatmeal with dishes inside, jelly in reusable glasses, cereal with toys. Mom also saved tickets from Craighead’s to redeem for dishes, and S&H Green Stamps to buy almost anything. I followed in her footsteps and used Green Stamps to buy a baby crib!
Promotional products and premiums have been around for decades. Nabisco crackers were packaged in a reusable tin. Jellies, peanut butter and cheese spread came in glasses. For a while cream cheese was packaged in Pyrex dishes. Duz Detergent offered 22K gold decorated wheat pattern glasses. Crystal Wedding Oats helped you collect beautiful glasses. Mother’s Carnival Oats came with colorful Homer Laughlin dishes.
Of course cereals have always been a gold mine for promotional products. It could take my children up to thirty minutes to pick out a cereal. Their decisions were never based upon taste- just what was inside the box! And they ate LOTS of cereal so they could buy more.
Many vintage promotional items are now worth serious cash, especially those that are undamaged and/or in original packaging. We never thought of that! We got it free, used it until it wore out or broke, and bought more of the product it came in. I think that’s what we were supposed to do. J