Tuesday, February 23, 2021

More Stuff From the Box

Yes, it's time for yet more STUFF FROM THE BOX! I feel like I should mention that we are now well into a second box, since it seems (to some people) that my first cigar box was like a Tardis - bigger on the inside.

Let's start with this nice pinback button advertising the 1940 Plymouth Roadking. "Hotter than a firecracker!". I would imagine that there can't be too many of these around, and I like that it still has its ribbons attached (the second ribbon says "DELUXE").

I'd hoped to find an ad for 1940 Plymouth Roadkings online, but could only find a number of nice 1939 ads.

Here's a fun little advertising pin. "How would you like to be the ice man?". Sounds good to me! If I had to guess I'd say that this was from the 1910s or 1920s, but it's hard to know of course. The block of "ice" is actually a chunk of clear glass. My mom has a similar pin, but on hers the ice is plastic.

The adorable Florida Orange Bird (designed by the Disney studio) has been a popular mascot at the Magic Kingdom since the early days. He went away for a while, but now he's back and as beloved as ever. This is a little 2" tall vinyl figure - I believe there are two others that make up the set, but I only have this one.

This little lapel pin belonged to my Grandma or Grandpa, it was in a desk drawer along with a few other "IKE" pins and some Barry Goldwater items (which I seem to have misplaced).

Sinclair Oil used a green Brontosaurus as their mascot, because everyone knows that gasoline is made from the juice of squished dinos. This is a nice brass and enamel hat badge worn by a helpful attendant who would probably wash your windshield, and check your oil and tire pressure.

And finally, here's a nice souvenir pin from New Bedford, Massachusetts. For a time, New Bedford was a whaling town, and in 1857 it was the richest city per capita in the world. A  ring on the back probably held a small metal whale charm, but that is long-gone, sadly.

Yep, there is lots more stuff in the box! Stay tuned.


Nanook said...

I'm afraid the "ice man" pin has won me over. It's so unique.

Thanks, Major.

Budblade said...

If you have t be told that it’s a souvenir, is it really a souvenir? Looking at you,New Bedford.
And what happened to “old” Bedford?
I have to vote for orange bird as my favorite, but the Sinclair Dino is a close second.
Thanks for sharing your treasures with us once again, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I like that ice man pin! When I was a kid, we had an old rusted pair of ice tongs that hung on the wall in our patio. I think they had been left behind in the garage, by the previous owner of the house. There was also an antique "washboard" that had been left behind.

I also like that Orange Bird figure. Bob Moore was the artist who created the Orange Bird. He also designed the Walt Disney postage stamp in 1968 and Sam the Eagle in 1984, for the Los Angeles Olympics.

I knew about Sinclair Oil mostly from their connection to the 1964 N.Y. World's Fair, but I didn't think they had any gas stations here in Southern California....at least, none that I knew of. But then about 5 years ago, one popped up across the street from Knott's Berry Farm. They even had a mini Brontosaurus in a planter next to the sidewalk. Last year, the station became a Union 76 and the little dino disappeared. The little wooden pen they had built around him is still there, but now it's empty. I had always meant to take a pic of him, but I kept putting it off.

These are some great items! Tanks for sharing more of your collection with us, Major!

TokyoMagic! said...

Ha, ha! Tanks, Major! I sound like a member of Our Gang. Thanks, Major!

Chuck said...

I'm fascinated by that "How'd You Like to Be the Iceman?" pin. Personally, I'd rather be Maverick, but to each his own.

"How'd You Like to Be the Iceman?" is the name of a popular song from 1899. I'm wondering if this was made as a promotional for the song. Or maybe some ice company used it in its efforts to recruit more distributors.

I found a copy of the printed music in the digital collection of the NY Public Library. I also found a recorded version with a couple of different verses on YouTube.

Budblade, "old" Bedford is still there, about 72 miles to the north, right next to Lexington, Concord, and Hanscom Air Force Base.

TM! (second comment), and how!

Melissa said...

Maj, you’re gonna have to start smoking bigger cigars!

I’ll never forget seeing the Orange Bird on signs at roadside fruit stands on our Florida road trip in ‘83, and then when we got to the Magic Kingdom there he was, large as life, wandering around Adventureland! It was really great marketing. And his signature Citrus Swirl soft serve is as good as Dole Whip IMO. The only Orange Bird merch I have is one of those balls you put on your car antenna, and I don’t even have a car to put it on!

But I think I’m with others in liking the ice man pin the best. It looks like you could use it in a Victorian style dollhouse! And the dolls’ dog Rover can keep the water in the drip pan from overflowing.

Chuck, thanks for the links to that sheet music and recording. It’s a catchy tune!

Budblade, Old Bedford burned down, fell over, and then sank into the swamp.

DrGoat said...

I guess the iceman pin wins hands down. Gotta say that Plymouth pins really caught my eye. Nothing like a big red firecracker to get your attention. We had a 1950 Plymouth my Dad bought around the day I was born. Built like a tank. Not me, the car.
Thanks Major. Your treasure chest is like the opposite of Pandora's Box.

K. Martinez said...

The Ice Man pin wins easily. So unusual. I love any pin that uses multiple materials. Next favorite is the Plymouth firecracker pin. Love the coloring and graphics on it and that it has a ribbon attached.

Like I said before, your STUFF FROM THE BOX series has become a favorite of mine here on GDB. So many wonderful treasures to be seen. Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

DrGoat, the first car I remember my parents having was a huge olive green Plymouth Fury. “Built like a tank,” indeed! The back bench seat was so big, my sister and I could both lie down on it at the same time.

Stefano said...

Thanks Major, I just flashed back to the early seventies and a promotional 45 record of "Little Orange Bird", a very catchy calypso-style tune sung by Anita Bryant. The cover bird illustration was so cute it was another reason to want to visit WDW, since we wouldn't see him in California.

TokyoMagic!, there is a Sinclair gas station at the corner of La Cienega and Olympic boulevards, Dino and all.

DrGoat said...

Melissa, Plymouth Furies were so cool. And stylishly gigantic. Our '50 Plymouth was that color green too. Alas, it was the last Plymouth my Dad ever bought. The next one was a Studebaker for a time then a Chevy Nomad station wagon, then it was Dodge for the duration, with an old English Ford thrown in as a second car. At least that's what I remember.

Kathy! said...

I’m with the majority again and have to say the iceman pin is my favorite. It reminds me of the Three Stooges short where Curly is an iceman carrying the block up a giant flight of stairs with tongs, and it keeps melting to an ice cube by the time he gets up there. I like the whale one too. You need to wear all your souvenir pins on a bright blazer some day, Major. You’d be the envy of us all. Thanks for the look into Box II.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I thought you’d like the Plymouth pinback!

Budblade, your souvenir question has haunted mankind for thousands of years. Most people don’t know that most of the stuff in King Tut’s tomb was souvenirs. The Orange Bird is pretty cute, but I wish I had the set of three - it’s the collector in me!

TokyoMagic!, I wonder if old ice tongs have any value? They’re an interesting artifact of history, at any rate. My grandmother in Minnesota had a washboard and an old fashioned clothes wringer in her basement - she actually used both of them all the time. Bob Moore - I used to have an autographed poster that he designed (with Mickey on it), but I sold it. What a dope I am! It’s funny, I don’t ever remember seeing a Sinclair Oil gas station, but one has popped up in the San Fernando Valley, I think it’s in Sherman Oaks. I drove past it and couldn’t believe it. You’d think that any gas station near Knott’s would do good business, I wonder why the Sinclair in Buena Park couldn’t make a go of it?

TokyoMagic!, my old roommate used to do this thing. If you mentioned tanks (such as “oil tanks”), he’d say, “Oil what?”. “Tanks”. “You’re welcome!”. I fell for it more times than I’d like to admit.

Chuck, it never occurred to me that “How’d You Like To Be the Iceman?” would be a novelty song. So funny. Thank you for the link to the recorded version; maybe Justin Bieber will do an updated version just for me! I’m a “Belieber”. I assumed that Bedford (or “old Bedford”) referred to the one in England? Also: me trying to think of an Our Gang quote: “Learn that poem”?

Melissa, I am just going right to smoking a hookah. It would have been very fun to have a photo taken with the Orange Bird back in the old days. I know they brought him (her?) back, but it’s not the same! Be honest, you wouldn’t put your Orange Bird antenna ball on a car, would you? You need to keep it mint! I don’t have a dollhouse, which I’m sure will surprise some people, ha ha.

DrGoat, jeez, all the votes are going to the iceman pin. It’s a landslide. I was thrilled to find that Plymouth pin, I got it for pretty cheap. Maybe people don’t care about old Plymouths? The thought that it is over 80 years old is pretty impressive to me.

K. Martinez, I have to admit that I feel pretty superior to my mom, since her pin’s “block of ice” is made of plastic! Especially since she is such a fan of anything made of glass. Glad you like these posts!

Melissa, those were the days when fuel economy was not considered. All those cars were stamped out of heavy-gauge steel! I’d love to see a fully-restored 1940 Plymouth driving around.

Stefano, I think Kevin Kidney might have linked to that Orange Bird song (though I could be mistaken). I do remember the song, though. That character is especially appealing, it’s kind of surprising that the Florida Citrus Commission would phase it out for many years. Cool that there’s a Sinclair station on La Cienega!

DrGoat, maybe that olive green was a color that aged well out in the elements. Car colors did seem pretty limited back then, though occasionally there would one painted a bright shade of orange or blue, which must have been pretty eye-popping!

Melissa said...

”...with an old English Ford thrown in as a second car”

My Mom’s twin sister drive a Ford Anglia for several years! It was a cute little car, and it used to freak people out when they saw her driving from the “wrong” side.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Kathy, I thought the same thing about the ice pin reminding me of the Three Stooges in "An Ache in Every Stake" - one of my husband's favorites. They started out trying to get a large block of ice up those steps, but finally ended up with an ice chip - probably the size of our pin. That giant flight of stairs was also used in Laurel and Hardy's "The Music Box" (my dad's favorite) - where they try to get a piano up that flight of stairs. The Major posted a picture of my dad at the bottom of those stairs in a PAST POST HERE. Now apartments/homes are all built right up against all those stairs.

I can't decide between the ice pin and the Florida Orange Bird, so I think the Orange Bird should be holding the ice pick and ice!

Thanks, Major, for sharing!

Kathy! said...

That’s so fun, Sue! Great photos of your dad.

JC Shannon said...

The Sinclair badge is hands down my favorite. What a great era for gas stations. I still remember the green dino statue as well. I read somewhere, that there are still a handful left around the country. I also covet your Roadmaster pin. I would have looked good in my double breasted salt and pepper and fedora, tooling around town for all to see in my Plymouth behemoth. Beep beep, beep beep, yea. Thanks for sharing your awesome collection with us, Major.

Nanook said...

@ Dr. Goat-
I think the 'olive green' of your 1950 Plymouth would be Channel Green; that, as opposed to their dark green offering that year - Shore Green.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Major, you have the coolest swag. Here's to bottomless cigar boxes.

Like most people here, I vote for the Ice Man pin. When my parents were first married, my Dad worked part-time for the local ice company to supplement the farm income. I don't know if he worked in the plant, or as a delivery man, but hearing that as a kid was almost incomprehensible. "ice? delivery?"

Dad had a Chevy of about that vintage, in a similar body style, but since the world was black & white then, I don't know what color. I only saw it in pictures.

@JC Shannon, it sounds like you would look like Paul Drake.


Major Pepperidge said...

Kathy!, if the iceman pin was running for President, it would be all over.

Melissa, how in the world did your sister get a Ford Anglia in the USA? You’d think a person would have to go out of their way to get something so obscure.

Lou and Sue, gosh, I used to watch the Stooges after school for YEARS. I feel like I knew all of their films by heart. My mom hated that we watched them! Of course I remember the photos of Lou at the “Music Box Stairs”. I think the Orange Bird should be holding a chainsaw, but that’s just me.

Kathy!, I love those pictures!

Jonathan, somewhere I have some soaps from Sinclair that are shaped like green brontosauruses. And my dad got me my first Hot Wheels cars as a promotion from some gas station (not sure which one), we were so thrilled when he came home from work and gave me and my brother those beautiful little cars! Almost every boy from our era remembers getting something cool from a gas station; my best friend had some plastic animals that his dad got, they played with them for years.

Nanook, somebody must get paid big money to think of romantic names for colors, when “olive green” does the job just as well!

JG, I feel like I’ve heard stories about ice men from my grandparents, but maybe the stories were something I read and then turned them into family history in my brain. The concept of an ice box is pretty crazy to anybody from the last 50 years (at least), but hey, at least you could preserve some of your foodstuffs for a bit longer.

DrGoat said...

Nanook, Thanks for the color info. I loved that car. He kept it till about 1971 or so. I was living in LA for a while at that time and I missed him selling it, for practically nothing I assume.
Lou &Sue, thanks for that link. Loved revisiting that post.
Malissa, Dad's was a 1959 or 60 English Ford Squire. A battleship gray color. really cool cars. Very sturdy if I remember it correctly.

Stu29573 said...

Im a total Orangebird fan! I also really like Dino, though. The Ice Man is, of course, the clear winner!

Melissa said...

Major, I'm fuzzy on the details, but she got the Anglia from someone she knew who had brought it with him from England but didn't want to pay to ship it back when he eventually went home.

"Lou and Sue" said...

From our local gas station, back around 1970, we got free plastic bags with plastic daisy stickers (3” in diameter) with daisy seeds to plant. I would much rather have dino soap,

Sunday Night said...

Sorry all, I vote for the Plymouth pin (although the Ice Man is a strong second). It even still has the "Roadking" ribbon. I would have bought this pin if I had seen it at a swap meet back in the 70s.

Funny, just a few days ago I was watching an old Florida orange juice commercial with Anita Bryant and an animated Florida Orange Bird - I think the lyric was "Come to the Florida Sunshine Tree"!

I also never remember a Sinclair gas station growing up in So. Cal. The big one was 76 Union. I think they gave away drinking glasses with pictures of the L.A. Dodgers on them (Sandy Kofax, Don Drysdale, etc.) although my memory is a bit fuzzy on this.

Really enjoying these cigar box goodies.

Chuck said...

I remember seeing the Sinclair logo on some old credit card my dad gave me to play with as a kid and thinking "cool - a dinosaur!" but I never saw a station in person until we moved to Omaha 30 years later. I think my favorite was at Wall's Drug in South Dakota; their brontosaurus was huge.

My parents have an icebox that came out of my grandparents' basement. My dad remembers it on their porch from the time he was about 4 to about 8, when they moved to the house that had the basement it was relegated to. He thinks they were still using it to keep food cold at the previous house from about 1938-44. It's missing a small door panel but still has all of the hardware; they've got a woodworking friend who has offered to make a replacement door, but he's had a lot of personal disasters over the past couple of years and just hasn't been able to get to it.

I had a battered '82 Ford Granada from 2000-2001 when I was stationed in England. I remember the irony of not being able to work on my English car sitting in my English garage with my English-measurement tools because the whole car (except the speedometer) was metric. It was in such bad shape there was no way it was coming back across the Pond with me.

I almost bought a '71 Beetle with right-hand drive that I would have brought back to the States, but I couldn't afford to repaint it right away and I didn't want to drive to work in a Pepto-Bismol pink car. There are certain things you just don't do when you work with a bunch of fighter pilots.

JG said...

Chuck, Tokyo and Major, I’ve seen a fairly new Sinclair service station somewhere in Northern CA recently, but I can’t remember where. They had a dinosaur sign, but nothing spectacular. Has to be Fresno or Sacramento I’m sure.


Major Pepperidge said...

DrGoat, your Ford Squire sounds like a sweet ride! I love old station wagons, more now than ever. I would happily own a fleet of them! And 1959/60 would be a great era. Battleship gray, though? Why not purple and pink??

Stu29573, ha ha, another vote for the Ice Man!

Melissa, ah, makes sense. I have no idea if those old Anglias were good cars or not though!

Lou and Sue, oh man, plastic daisy stickers! My mom actually stuck some of those on the wall of our bathroom back then. They were day-glo, so I loved them.

Sunday Night, I bought that Plymouth pin at a gun show - my mom liked to go to a local gun show, not for guns, but because there were always dealers with random antiques too. I remember buying some cool foreign currency, and a Charlie Tuna telephone that same day. I wonder if British Petroleum (who bought Union 76) bought Sinclair? Maybe that’s why they are popping up around the Southland. Glad you are liking the Stuff From the Box!

Chuck, I don’t think I was aware of Sinclair until I was well into adulthood, though I do remember commercials (maybe for Exxon? Or Esso?) that were animated and showed dinosaurs turning into gasoline (or oil at any rate). I loved them at the time. I’ve seen converted iceboxes used as makeshift display cabinets, but it’s been a while. It would be nice if your friend finds the time to fix the one that your parents have; it’s projects like that that make me wish I had access to a good wood shop. Your story about your Ford Granada being in metric reminds me of a barely related story; I went to a local hobby shop and asked for 2mm thick styrene sheets. The owner looked at me and said, “We don’t do metric here”. Don’t model trains use metric?? The Beetle was Pepto pink? Why?? How did that happen? It must have been owned by a hippie!

JG said...

Yes, it was both Fresno & Sacramento. Just did a google map search, there are a lot of them in the Central Valley, and many but not all, have the 3D dinosaur figure. These have to be new since I never heard of the brand as a kid.


Dean Finder said...

I'm glad the Orange Bird is back. I've bought a bunch of the newer collectibles, and my wife has even decorated a pair of Converse and an Magic Band with the character for me.

Anonymous said...

Orange bird is my favorite Disney character of all time. Maybe because he is so obscure and linked mainly to the parks. I hope you find the rest of the set!

TokyoMagic! said...

Stefano, JG, and Major, thanks for that info about the other Sinclair gas stations. I see that some of them just have the dino on the sign. The one across from Knott's had the three dimensional figure, like the one JG mentioned. Too bad they aren't animatronic, like "Huey, Dewey and Louie" from that "Disney Goes To The World's Fair" episode of the Wonderful World of Color. I love how Walt interacts with those baby brontosauruses!

Here's a street view of the Sinclair figure across from Knott's. Like I said before, his little pen is still there, but it's empty, now that the station changed owners: