Wednesday, March 17, 2021

More Stuff From The Box

Everybody loves the Stuff From The Box!

Item #1: another souvenir bookmark from the 1939 New York World's Fair, on its original card. I've never felt the need to own a fancy bookmark, any scrap of paper works just fine. Even a piece of beef jerky will do.

Item #2: This souvenir compact, complete with powder puff and traces of the original powder inside. This is a fairly cheap and common example (I bought it because it was so inexpensive), some folks will pay big bucks for fancy ones though; they can be very nice, with silver or gold, and real enamel, and sometimes even jewels. JEWELS!!

Item #3: A plastic pin of Jiminy Cricket himself. "Ta da!". I bought this in a junky antiques shop in Pasadena. All of those junky antiques shops are long-gone as Pasadena turned the area into a more high-end shopping and dining area. I miss the real Old Town, though.

Item #4: McKinley for President! He was in office from 1897 to 1901. As some of you may recall from history class, William McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo.

Item #5: a small advertising badge (about 1/25" long from top to bottom) advertising Lifebuoy soap - the coral-colored soap that Ralphie had to endure in the movie "A Christmas Story"!

Item #6 is a fun, hefty cereal premium from Quaker Puffed Rice and Puffed Wheat, a Gabby Hayes (Roy Rogers' sidekick) giveaway circa 1951. "Quaker Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice are shot from guns!" was the famous slogan, and with this ring, you could pull back a spring-loaded "firing pin" and load anything into the barrel - hopefully something harmless like puffed rice. This one is made from aluminum, but there is a brass version too, I have one of those somewhere. Notice the Quaker Oats man on the side of the brass ring.

And finally (for today), item # 7: a Tom Mix "Straight Shooter" magnifier, with built-in compass, circa 1939, a premium from Ralston cereal. If you have this on you in the wilderness, you will always know how to get home. And if the sun is out, you can start a fire with the magnifying glass. It could literally save your life!

 I think I need to start taking more pictures of STUFF.


Nanook said...

For my bookmarking needs, I usually turn to a rasher of bacon (crisp & dry) - although after seeing that snazzy version from the Fair - I may have to reconsider my options.

You say that Lifebuoy badge is "about 1/25" long"-?? How does one see it with the naked eye-?? Hmmmm...

I think my favorite this go-round turns out to be a tie between the Gabby Hayes 'gun' & the Tom Mix "Straight Shooter".

Wonderful stuff, all-! Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

More fun stuff! My favorites are the World's Fair items. The design on the top of the bookmark looks like a face (wearing blue sunglasses and with a large mole on one cheek).

Thanks for photographing and sharing more of your collection with us, Major!

K. Martinez said...

The Gabby Hayes 'Gun' ring does it for me. "You'll shoot your eye out."

Your collection is never ending. I love it! Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Wellsir, I think I'll have Gabby Hayes' voice stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Cornsarnit!

Note the uniformed sailor in image #5. ;-)

Neat stuff.

Stu29573 said...

I have found, through relentless experimentation, that cream cheese does NOT make a good bookmark. A word to the wise.
I like the Lifebouy Guard, although I find him slightly intimidating. I took 1/25" as a quarter inch. If I'm right do I get a prize?
Ah finger guns. One of those great kid inventions that never made it to adult life (probably for good reason). Still, fun though!
It strikes me (and it hurt a little) that you can use ether one or the other functions on the last one. If the sun was out to start a fire, you wouldn't need the compass, but if it wasn't out, you couldn't start a fire. Quite the conundrum...
Thanks for sharing, Major

DrGoat said...

The Gabby Hayes cannon does it for me too. Puffed Rice, shot from guns. I remembered that commercial as soon as I saw that thing. You got to trust Gabby Hayes. I was too young to remember the Gabby Hayes Show when it first ran, but it was on Tucson TV till about 1960.
Stu, finger guns were cool but, not quite as cool as a belt buckle with a derringer in it that swiveled out when you stuck out your belly.
Jiminy Cricket looks like he got some love by the person who owned him. Very cool pin.
The couple of years I lived in LA, early 70s, Pasadena was a great place to meander around. Like you said, lots of great old shops to discover. Gentrification happened everywhere I've lived, including and especially Tucson.
Major, more pictures of stuff would be great. Counting on you.
Thank you.

zach said...

PSA #21- Beef Jerky or Bacon will ruin your Kindle.

First, thank you Mark Raymond for your service and your story yesterday. Why I never applied at Disney I'll never know. It was 350 miles away, though.

So, I like them all! But what kid doesn't want a gun on their finger? I miss 'Gabby' Hayes. Did you know he was 'Windy' as Hopalong's sidekick? He became Gabby after he left the Hopalong Cassidy films due to a salary dispute. That was his second career after losing his money from Vaudeville and the circus in the Market collapse in 1929. There may be a test.

Thanks, Major. That's a nifty collection you have there.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, bacon is always good because of course you can nibble on it while you are reading. I sometimes save my place in a book with a nice eclair. And yes, that badge is 1/25th of an inch long, I used a microscope to take that photo! It’s hard to resist the appeal of those vintage radio premiums, especially because they are made with real brass and are such nice quality.

TokyoMagic!, oh boy, I’m glad you like the World’s Fair items, I have lots of that stuff! I always assume that most people are bored by it. I really do need to start photographing more collectibles, but there never seems to be enough time.

K. Martinez, I suppose the collection is finite, but there’s still lots of stuff for future posts!

Chuck, would you rather have Gabby Hayes’ voice stuck in your head, or Slim Pickens’ voice?

Stu29573, cream cheese does not make a good bookmark, but it does make a good face cream; I apply a layer every night before going to bed. Yes, I put cucumber slices on my eyes too, thank you for asking. I don’t know how I typed a slash instead of a decimal point, but the Lifebuoy badge is supposed to be 1.25” long. Sorry, no prize for you! Finger guns; when my sister’s son was young, she had a “no toy guns” policy. He just made his own with any random stick, or pretty much anything else laying around. It drove her crazy.

DrGoat, I only know the “shot from guns” phrase because of MAD magazine, believe it or not. Though I have since heard old radio programs with Puffed Rice ads. I’m trying to think, didn’t Gabby Hayes play a real villain in some movie? I know he was usually the faithful sidekick though. I couldn’t resist that Jiminy Cricket pin, even though he is not exactly fine jewelry. As you pointed out, it’s fun that he was obviously worn a lot! Old Town Pasadena has changed so much that it is hard to remember what it was like back in the 1980s; I sort of miss it, though I suppose the locals probably like it better the way it is now.

zach, yes, electronic book devices are a whole different thing when it comes to bookmarks. As for applying at Disney, I did get in the door at Imagineering twice, but nothing ever came of it. I still remember sitting in Tim Delaney’s office feeling very nervous, and then when our interview was over he asked me if I could give him a ride (I forget where - someplace nearby!), and I was so embarrassed because my old Buick was very messy. I didn’t know much about ol’ Gabby, it sounds like he had quite the career though!

JG said...

Major, your amazing collection leaves me in awe, not only the scope and variety, but the way you remember all the details.

I have a number of novelty bookmarks, but they are all pretty conventional paper or leather, except one very beautiful one made from various wood veneers. It's something like a highly decorated tongue depressor or popsicle stick.

I also remember cereal shot from guns, but have no idea why this would be necessary. Seems like lead shot or proximity fused shells would be more effective ordnance.

I have also learned more today about Gabby Hayes than I ever thought necessary. It's good that he found lasting success later in life.

If I had to choose, I would go with the Tom Mix magnifier. It appeals to my Scouting "Be Prepared" side.

Speaking of boys and guns, on one outing, I had to keep taking sticks away from one scout who kept threatening others. Eventually, he took a pop-tart and nibbled it into the shape of a gun to continue his campaign of intimidation. Literally anything will be used as a weapon, it is bred in the bone.

Cheers and thank you for this fun post.


Chuck said...

Great, Major. Now I have both of their voices in my head talking to each other. What's really driving me crazy about it is they're leaving me out of the conversation. How rude! I mean, it is my head and all.

JG, Puffed Wheat is the preferred weapon of cereal killers.

And I've lived your Scout story.

DrGoat said...

Think you need to throw in Grandpa Amos McCoy from the Real McCoys. He can translate the conversation for you.

Chuck said...

This head is getting too crowded. I'm out.

Kathy! said...

Thanks for sharing more Stuff, Major. Working at a library, I’m partial to the bookmark ( I see the face too, TokyoMagic! Kind of like an Adventureland mask). I’ve seen some interesting things left in returned books. I’m happy to hear you have a bookmark collection to have, JG. I also love the little steer and horse heads on the magnifier.

Anonymous said...

Chuck, I knew that scout story would resonate with you.

Cereal Killers, augh. That is an amazing pun, thank you!

@Kathy!, thanks, yes, I found a neat old bookmark in a free book the other day. I pass by one of those little "dollhouse" free book libraries on my way to work. Sometimes I leave one, sometimes I take one, depending on the selection. Bookmarks are also a fun souvenir from travel, they don't cost or weigh much, and a nice reminder of a good time. I couldn't possibly work in a regular library, I would never get anything done.


Major Pepperidge said...

JG, ha ha, I think most people would look at my accumulation of stuff and think, “This guy’s off his rocker”! I have been given bookmarks but never use them - like I said, a scrap of paper serves just fine. I assume the “shot from guns” was how the stuff was popped, but I can’t pretend to understand how it works. And yes, as I described with my nephew, little boys just want to play with guns, whether their moms want them to or not!

Chuck, the friendly, gravelly voice of Slim Pickens would be welcome in my head any time! When I went to see Mel Brooks on stage a few years ago, he introduced Slim’s granddaughter, who was in the audience. So was Carl Reiner! Also, I saw a band called “Mac Sabbath”, and I believe they had a song called “Cereal Killers”.

DrGoat, unfortunately I don’t remember “The Real McCoys”; I remember that the show existed, but don’t know if I ever watched it.

Chuck, NOW you know why I wear that tinfoil hat!

Kathy!, oh nice that you work at a library! I’m afraid to ask what sort of “interesting things” have been left in returned books. Hopefully somebody marked their place with a $100 bill. Yeah, that magnifier is pretty sweet.

JG, some of those little free book libraries are around my neighborhood; I should load them up with books that I want to get rid of! Now that I’m thinking of it, I wonder if there are any vintage Disneyland bookmarks?

DBenson said...

A book dealer has a site,, where he shows stuff left in various books and promotes his published collection of same. Fun stuff.

Loved the idea of premiums and stuff that were useful in a manly sort of way. There would be times when a guy would NEED a compass, magnifier, reflecting signal mirror, whistle, magnet, and even secret decoder. Especially if your parents said you were too young for a scout knife. Unfortunately, in my 60s childhood the cool radio premiums had passed and the best you could hope for was little toys in the cereal box, which were fun but nothing more. There was nothing cool about carrying a tiny Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car in your pocket, as there'd never be a situation you could save by whipping it out.

I had a James Bond decoder, but it was too big to carry around. I eventually got a sort of scout knife for Christmas, but it had a conspicuous fold-out fork and spoon that declared I was only really equipped for a buffet. Finally, in middle age, I began carrying a Swiss Army pen knife with blades, toothpick and tiny scissors. Then they banned knives from enough places that I had to leave it at home.

My smart phone can function as compass, magnifier, signal device, mirror, and more. Cool, but not as intrinsically exciting as a little gimcrack with a TV show or even a cereal brand on it.

DrGoat said...

DB, thanks for the link. I love old books. One of my prized books is a copy of Macy's Handy Book for Boys. My uncle gave it to me in 1959 when I was nine and I've treasured it ever since.
JG, I was a scout for about 18 months until we all went to a giant Camporee down in Patagonia, AZ. During initiation, they broke my glasses, which prompted me to got into the only fist-fight I've ever been in and basically had a forgettable time. Did get to see Eddie Peabody play the banjo so it wasn't a complete failure.

Anonymous said...

DB, neat link! I know what you mean. I had one of those spoon-fork knives, might still have it.

My Dad was *never* without a pocket knife, and I carried one every day to school from about age 10. No one cared and no one was ever stabbed at my school.

Now, I have to make do with a little screwdriver thingy that looks like a key on my key ring.

DrGoat, that's a sad story, nothing like that in my Scouting career. I'm sorry that happened to you, would not have happened in my troop.

Major, there are so many of those little doghouse libraries in my daughter's neighborhood, you could dispose of a whole collection in a few minutes walk.


Melissa said...

Wowee-wow-wow! This is one of the treasuriest box posts yet!

I so want one of those compacts now that I know they exist. I’ve been bingeing The Muppet Show on Disney+ and it struck me last night how much Beaker and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew look like the Trylon and Perisphere.

We were really big on William McKinley when I was a school kid in Western New York. We probably learned more about William McKinley and the War of 1812 than most American kids.

When you wish upon a star,
Makes no difference if you’re in a junk shop in Pasadenaaaaaa...

Sunday Night said...

I also used to visit the antique shops in Pasadena. Those were fun. Additionally, I used to frequent the Rose Bowl swap meet back about 1973 when the majority of stuff was not new but old. Sellers in those days had really interesting and quirky items like the treasures you display. I always came home with a few fun things.

Chuck said...

JG, in college and later when I was working on my master's, I had to stop going to the library to study because I wasn't getting anything done. There were just too many cool books that wanted me to read them.

I remember wandering the stacks at the AF Academy library and randomly finding an original copy of the report of the Congressional investigation into the 1864 Fort Pillow Massacre. How can you focus on calculus when that's sitting on the shelf right over there?

DrGoat, ditto what JG said about your Scouting experience. The BSA has some pretty strict rules about hazing now, and we enforce them in my unit. I even put a stop to the boys being made to sing to the group to get back lost-and-found items, which is a long-standing "tradition" that I wasn't even comfortable with as a Scout 40 years ago.

Melissa, I am amazed at the new stuff I learn here every day. I had no idea William McKinley served in the War of 1812.

Nanook said...

@ Dr. Goat-
You got to hear Eddie Peabody play-! That always reminds me of the 'famous' blooper: "Eddie Playbody will now pea for you-!"

Major Pepperidge said...

DBenson, oh funny, I’ll have to check that out! Thanks! So many of those old premiums were aimed at boys, or maybe I only notice those because I am basically a big kid. The people who thought up premiums had a good handle on what would appeal to kids. Secret codes, rockets, whistles, guns, glow-in-the-dark stuff… so cool. I have to admit that I love cereal box premiums too, even if they are cheap plastic things. The James Bond decoder sounds pretty sweet! But a Scout knife is more the thing for a boy. And I remember being dumb and bringing my Swiss Army knife to school to show to the other kids, and having it immediately taken away by a nearby teacher. Like I said, I was dumb. Smart phones are amazing miracles, but they don’t thrill me like those old toys!

DrGoat, “Macy’s Handy Book for Boys”, I don’t know that one, but I’ll bet it gives you tips on how to do all kinds of things, like maybe a whistle, or building a kite, or how to tie various knots. All good things to know! A “Camporee”, that’s a new word for me. I hope you taught the glasses-breaker a lesson. Who is Eddie Peabody??

JG, I literally gave my spoon-fork knife away TODAY! Now I kind of regret it. A friend coveted it, and it has been gathering dust for decades. Maybe my friend will get more use out of it than I did. My dad also liked to have a pocket knife, he especially loved sharp little pearl-handled knives. And since they almost always fell out of his pants pocket at some point (while sitting), we could buy him another one for father’s day. As for books, I’m waiting for my local library to reopen, and I will donate the books there; they sell most of them off to raise money for the library, which seems like a good cause.

Melissa, that particular compact is one of the easiest to find, and they are generally not expensive. I think there are people who just collect old compacts! Would you believe that I have never seen a whole episode of “The Muppet Show”? Just bits and pieces. I might have to watch the one with Debbie Harry, my retro crush.

Sunday Night, for some reason I didn’t go to the Rose Bowl swap meet as much as I should have. I did go to the one at Pasadena City College a lot, though. I did buy a few good things there, including the first 1939 World’s Fair pin in my collection (after seeing a documentary about the Fair on PBS).

Chuck, the “Fort Pillow Massacre”? Are you sure you didn’t pick up a copy of MAD Magazine? I’m sure boys, even Scouts, can sometimes get too rambunctious. Hazing is a crummy practice in my opinion, just an excuse to be cruel in the name of… something.

Nanook, I guess Eddie Peabody was the Yngwie Malmsteen of the banjo?