Wednesday, September 22, 2021

More Stuff From the Box

It's time for more Stuff From the Box! I'm going to have to switch to a different box pretty soon - I've already photographed another 50 or 60 items. But for now, we're near the end of box #2. 

Let's start with this fun "Kool-Aid Treasure Hunt" premium ring, from 1940. The mysterious symbols were "...used by pirates to point the way to hidden treasure", while the bronze insert was supposed to be a replica of an old pirate coin. Until doing research for this post, I had no idea that this ring was over 70 years old!

Here are the sides of the ring, for those of you who needed to see them (K. Martinez!). 

Here's an amusing, large pinback button encouraging us to VOTE FOR IKE. His opponent for the 1952 Presidential race, Adlai Stevenson, had been photographed with his legs crossed, exposing a large hole in the sole of one shoe. It became a meme, 1950s-style. Stevenson responded with as much good humor and grace as he could, but it was just too rich for the Eisenhower campaign to ignore.

In 1959, Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th and 50th states (respectively). Jay Ward was the creator of "Rocky and His Friends" (1959-1961) and "The Bullwinkle Show" (1961-1964); I'll let Wikipedia tell the story, since it does such a good job: In 1962, as a publicity stunt, Ward leased a small island on a lake between Minnesota and Canada, which he named after "Moosylvania" (shown in the later Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons). In a campaign to make the island into the 52nd state, he and Bill Scott (Ward's head writer) drove a van across the country to about 50–60 cities collecting petition signatures. Arriving in Washington, D.C., they pulled up to the White House gate to see President Kennedy, and were brusquely turned away. They then learned that the evening that they had arrived was during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. This is why we only have 51 states today.

Here's a rare decal from that same failed campaign for Moosylvania Statehood.

Next is this 1936 ring from Ovaltine, telling all of your in-the-know friends that you were a member of Radio Orphan Annie's SECRET SOCIETY! It seems unlikely that this ring would have real silver in the metal, but these do tend to tarnish.

Speaking of Orphan Annie, here is a porcelain bisque figurine of her faithful dog, Sandy. ARF! This is from a set  of bisque figures made in Germany; I think I have the Annie figure somewhere, but I don't have Daddy Warbucks, or Joe Corntassel, or Punjab. Sadly.

And finally, here's a 1937 Tom Mix "Straight Shooter" badge, released as a premium prize by Ralston cereals. It looks like Tom's horse Tony is doing a polite bow, which shows how smart and civilized he is. There's a silver-toned version of this medal too, and I believe that Ralston released at least two different designs for other years.

I hope you have enjoyed this STUFF FROM THE BOX!


Nanook said...

At first I thought the Kool-Aid premium ring would be hard to top; but the Tom Mix badge provides a great deal of competition. Such great little treasures. (With apologies to Moosylvania - as the story easily eclipses the swag).

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

I'll go with the Kool-Aid Treasure ring. The bronze insert really makes it look nice. It looks pretty hefty too!

Didn't Bill Scott do Bullwinkle's voice? (And probably others as well.) I guess part of the humor of the statehood campaign was that they miscounted the number of states (51 instead of 50) and so Moosylvania would be the 52nd.

Thanks for sharing more of your stuff, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

LEAPIN' LIZARDS! My favorite is the figurine of Sandy. I would love to see what the Annie figurine looks like.

Thanks for sharing more "Stuff From the Box" with us, Major!

Chuck said...

That Kool-Aid ring is the bee’s knees! I had no idea the product was that old, but some laborious research that involved breaking into a local university’s reference library at 2:23 this morning and poring over original, unpublished manuscripts kept in large wooden cabinets under conditions of low humidity and dim lighting revealed it dates back to 1927. I wish there were an easier, more convenient way to research stuff, but the “KLM” volume of my encyclopedia wasn’t handy (it’s holding up my computer monitor) and my copy of I’m a Spam Fan: America’s Best-Loved Foods is in storage. I guess I assumed Kool-Aid was one of those postwar food products that had benefited from wartime efforts to make lightweight, shelf-stable foods for troops in the field. I guess my assumption was based on my own experiences; I’d never heard of Kool-Aid until some 25 years after the war had ended.

Too bad there’s no decoder on the Secret Society ring. Without that, there’s no way for you to get messages direct from Annie to drink your Ovaltine; your mom will have to do that herself.

I am trying to imagine Moosylvania meeting the requirements for statehood. Does anyone know if Congress still requires a prospective state to have a minimum population of 60,000? And do they need to physically reside in the territory or do they just need to rent post office boxes there?

Stu29573 said...

I, too, lean toward the Kool-Aid ring as my favorite.
Actually, Chuck, it was developed in WW I when they were trying to come up with synthetic rubber. They were way, way off.
For my research, I use a Ouija board (but I'm pretty sure my dog pushes on her part of the planchette. Why else would all the messages be "Arf"?)
I refuse to believe that Moosylvania doesn't exist. I look north and salute it every morning, with the official pledge- which my Ouija board says is "Arf."

DrGoat said...

I agree with everyone, the Kool-Aid ring is almost in the Lost Ark category. I've never seen one and it's a beauty.
I do remember Moosylvania though. I was a huge Rocky & Bullwinkle fan. It had a large part in honing my sense of humor. What rotten luck they had to end up in Washington, D.C. at that particular time. I think Boris had something to do with it.
Never cease to be amazed at the quality and quantity of loot you've accumulated over the years. Your Mom and Dad did a good job.
Thanks Major. They're all treasures.

JG said...

Major, the Box(es) never disappoint!

While I love Moose and Squirrel, the cabalistic symbols on the LOA ring catch my eye. This thing is first cousin to the Proctor & Gamble logo for secret society weirdness.

A fun haul today, I’m glad you have shared these things.


Kathy! said...

Like Chuck and others, I had to rush to research how old Kool-Aid was. What a great ring! Does it have a secret compartment that I can store some powdered Sharkleberry Punch flavor mix in? Sandy’s pretty cute. Thanks for the history lesson from the Stuff Box, Major!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I do love the Tom Mix badge, in large part because it comes from that era when westerns were the most popular genre in America. A different time! And I agree about the Moosylvania stuff… as fun as it is, it feels cheap.

JG, that particular ring is nicely made, but a lot of premiums from those days are made from substantial metal… brass or nickel. Some of them are quite impressive to look at and hold. Yes, Bill Scott did Bullwinkle’s voice; it’s definitely unlike any other cartoon character’s voice at the time!

TokyoMagic!, if I can’t find my stand-alone Annie figure, I have an Annie/Sandy toothbrush holder that will do.

Chuck, like you, I also assumed that Kool-Aid was post-war, and probably even from the 1960s. That was one of the reasons that I was so surprised that the ring was as antique as it is. I’m glad that you were willing to commit a crime to do your research on this matter, that’s the kind of thing that all GDB readers should consider. The thought of using Kool-Aid on the battlefield is kind of funny, but not crazy! I’d imagine that some troops were reduced to drinking water that was less than clean. As for decoder rings, I am unaware of any - at least from the early days (I think I have a Cracker Jack decoder ring, all plastic). And I’m sure Congress would have made an exception in order to add Moosylvania to this great nation.

Stu29573, another vote for the Kool-Aid ring. I had no idea it would be so popular! When I was a kid we had a ouija board, and even as a child I didn’t believe it at all. It was a fun idea, but I knew my sister was moving the planchette around. No matter how much she denied it!

DrGoat, most old premiums are from cereal companies (Ralston, Kellogg’s, Post), but I like it when the occasional oddball item comes along, like a whistle from a shoe store… or a ring from Kool-Aid. I loved Rocky & Bullwinkle too, and then read about just how few episodes were actually produced. I must have watched the same ones over and over. Loved “Fractured Fairy Tales” too!

JG, interesting that you bring up Proctor and Gamble… I have a beautiful old employee badge (possibly from the 1930s or 1940s) with that occult “man in the moon” logo, I bought it partly due to its infamy!

Kathy!, sadly the Kool-Aid ring doesn’t have a secret compartment. Was “Sharkleberry Punch” an actual Kool-Aid flavor?? I wish Sandy wasn’t quite so worn, but I still like his blunked-out eyes.

Nanook said...

My 'research' indicates it was actually Sharkleberry Fin. Tropical; Summer; Mountainberry; Rainbow; Strawberry Falls; Sunshine; & Surfin' Berry were the only "punch's".

"Lou and Sue" said...

I’m ALL for Moosylvania! Where’s that petition?? I’ll sign it now — wouldn’t mind moving there now. I think it would be more fun.

Thanks for sharing your stuff, Major!

JB said...

Stu's comment about synthetic rubber research and "Arf" got me laughing. Actually, Pixie Stix were developed for WWII; they're pre-sweetened and don't need to be mixed with water.

And Chuck doing his Chuck thing made me chuckle, chucklingly. He is clearly our resident over-thinker. ;-)

I too, noticed Sandy's blank eyes, like Annie's. Were Sandy's eyes always depicted that way?

Major, you called me JG again. I'm getting used to it though, and I'll take it as a compliment. We also had a ouija board, maybe still have it. And I never bought into the spooks and ghosts thing, either. And Fractured Fairy Tales was my favorite part of the show as well. Although, occasionally the humor went a little over my head. Like the Tobacco Leaf Pie episode. I had no idea what "Latakia" meant until many years later. Makes sense that it's a variety of tobacco.

Nanook, funny how most of those Kool-Aid names don't tell us much about the actual flavor; their just 'cute' for cute's sake. Many of them have 'berry' in the title, but there's many kinds of berries.

Sue, Yes, Moosylvania does sound like a more fun place to be right now.

DrGoat said...

I'd settle for Frostbite Falls. In the summer.
Fractured Fairy tales with a helping of Aesops fables.
Found an old VHS tape of some Tennessee Tuxedo the other day. Watched it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Commander McBragg was especially funny. I forget that Youtube has lots of Tennessee Tuxedos.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, “Sharkleberry Fin”, Mark Twain’s least beloved book. Those crazy flavors must have been from much later… like the ‘80s?

Lou and Sue, yes, buy a home in Moosylvania now before prices skyrocket!

JB, I had no idea that Pixie Stix have been around for so long. I used to love those, especially the giant ones that I bought at 7-11. Until my tongue got sore from all that ascorbic acid. Yes, Sandy’s eyes were always blank, just like most (all?) of those Harold Gray characters. The comic strip “Pogo” parodied Orphan Annie and referred to “blunked out eyes”. Sorry about calling you JG, my fingers are so used to typing "JG", it’s hard to break the habit. I did warn you that it would happen! Hopefully as time goes on I will adapt. I can’t say I have many specific memories of any Fractured Fairy Tales, except for one about the invention of golf, which took it’s name from someone saying, “I goofed”. And yes, what the heck is a Mountainberry anyway? It sounds like something you find on a trail that you should NOT pick up.

DrGoat, Frostbite Falls, was that Dudley Do-right? It’s all so long ago now. For some reason I’m thinking of other cartoons from around that same time. Tom Slick. George of the Jungle. Super Chicken. I sure watched a ton of those! I also watched plenty of Tennessee Tuxedo - I can still hear Chumley’s voice: “Duhhhh, gee Tennessee!”.

JG said...

JB, thanks for not minding being confused with me. I am frequently confused, so having company is most welcome. Eventually it will go the other way, and I will be confused with you and so we will be confused together.

Fractured Fairy Tales were great. I can’t remember any specifics either but recall Dad saying those cartoons were wasted on kids. I never understood that then.

Major, please post that P&G badge to satisfy my morbid curiosity.

In later life, I had a cat named Tuxedo, and his successor (of revered memory) was named Chumley. Chumley was an amazing cat, not least because he reminded me of Saturday cartoons.

DrGoat, thanks for the YouTube tip!


JB said...

Major, I'm not sure if you took me seriously about Pixie Stix vis-à-vis WWII. I was joking. But that got me thinking, so I consulted Wikipedia and discovered that Pixie (or Pixy) Stix used to be called Lik-M-Aid back in the '50s, early '60s. I indulged in those little packets of powder quitte a bit back then.( Probably why I'm diabetic today.) 8-\

DBenson said...

Factoid of possible interest: Tom Mix himself died in 1940, but his radio show (for which he never provided his voice) ran for several seasons beyond, always set in the present.