Retro Images of the Week: S&H Green Stamps
Here at Retroplanet.com we are surrounded by all things retro. Not only the things we sell but original items and collections that decorate our offices. We thought it might be interesting each week to bring you a photo and information of an interesting, and maybe unusual, retro item we have kicking around. Please note these items are not for sale.
This sign reads, “We Give S&H Green Stamps. America’s Most Valuable Stamps”. It dates from the 1960s or 1970s and would have been displayed in a store that awarded S&H Green Stamps to its clientele. Through the S&H Green Stamps program, stamps were sold to merchants to give to their customers as an incentive to shop there. Customers were rewarded with a quantity of stamps, depending on how much they had spent. There were several stamp programs of this type, but S&H Green Stamps was probably the most popular of the stamp programs. Stamps were saved up and pasted into books, then exchanged for merchandise at the local redemption center. A catalog, called the “Ideabook”, was available that listed what merchandise was available and how many stamps were required to be redeemed for that item.
The S&H Green Stamp program was started in 1896 by Thomas Sperry and Shelly Hutchinson of the Sperry & Hutchinson Company. Its greatest level of popularity was from the 1930s through the late 1980s. In the 1960s, there were three times more Green Stamps printed than US Postal stamps and the S&H Green Stamps catalog was the biggest publication in the entire country.
A sign like this one would have told anyone participating in the S&H Green Stamps program they would receive S&H Green Stamps with their purchase. The stamps were saved by pasting them into the S&H stamp books and were later redeemed for something the household needed, such as a new coffeemaker or toaster. The S&H Green Stamps program still exists today, although it’s now called S&H Greenpoints and points are kept track of online, rather than having stamps that are distributed and collected. The program is run by The Sperry and Hutchinson Company and is run by their YOU Technology Retail Services.