Tuesday, August 30, 2022

More Stuff From the Box

THE BOXES. They ask so little, but they give so much. We are lucky to live in such a time. Here's another half-dozen fun items for you to theoretically enjoy.

I've mentioned my weird love of old employee badges, and that is exemplified frequently today, starting with this wonderful little pin given to a lucky Boeing employee on the 10th anniversary of his or her employment. You know those little nozzles that you can adjust to point air at your face? That was this person's idea. That pink stone is probably a genuine Burmese ruby, without a curse. 

10 years is nice and all, but 35 years is even better, and you get FIVE beautiful "diamonds". One for every seven years, I guess? They use dog years as their base, it's a long story. As is often the case, these pins are small, less than an inch in diameter. No need to be crass about one's accomplishments.

This next item is a mystery to me. It's some sort of "good luck" coin, with the rather fierce visage of a bearded fellow glowering at us from the obverse and the reverse. One side wishes us HEALTH, WISDOM, and WEALTH. On the other side, "Prudens" - - NO IDEA. Wasn't Phoebe Figalilly her nanny? Prudens is Latin for "wisdom", so perhaps the Hebrew and Chinese (?) characters repeat the "health" and "wealth" incantations.

As an added surprise, this coin has a secret compartment! Because it is so thin, it must be for microfilm, or a photo of Evel Knievel.

How about another employee pin? This one is from Dutch Boy paints, it's pretty swell, with the Dutch Boy himself wearing Delft-blue, and waving his brush at us. In some countries that gesture is a deadly insult. "He did WHAT??". Five glorious years in the paint biz, with golden laurels to boot, it's enough to bring a tear to one's eye.

You can trust your car to the man who wears the star! Texaco was all about safety. And good hygiene. But they only gave out pins for safety; this is an appealing little shield just over .75" tall, in enameled brass. 

And finally, here's a fun little pin from Illinois Bell. I have a couple of pins from Illinois Bell, but this rotary phone is quite nice. Would a 10 year old have any idea how to use this? (The phone, not the pin). It makes me want to call grandma. It's funny how I am often not aware of the amount of wear on these items until I take these macro photos, and then the missing plating or corrosion (or whatever) suddenly becomes glaringly apparent. 

Won't you please stay tuned for more STUFF FROM THE BOX?


Nanook said...

Once again - another cluster of winners. The 'good luck' coin with its secret compartment is extra-special.

(I love jokes incorporating 'dog years' into any conversation, and jump at the chance to use them). Thank you for doing so here.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

Oooh! Pretty! Shiny! Sparkly! Glittery! I think I have an employee pin somewhere; for 5 years of my life at a restaurant I worked at many years ago. I also have a pin from our local blood bank for donating 2 gallons of blood (not all at once) over many years, in my youth. Not too different from these seen here; gold with 'gems' (no idea if they're real gems or not). Both of mine are rectangular in shape.

As for my favorite today, I'm gonna cheat and say that two of them are my favorites: I like the 10 year Boeing pin for its beauty. That pink Burmese ruby really adds a nice flash of color. My 2nd favorite is the "lucky coin". Mysterious and weird (and gold). Plus, anything with a secret compartment always gets extra points.

Okay, I'm gonna cheat some more and also claim the Texaco pin as my 3rd favorite. The colors really look nice; especially the red star.

Hey, how come we never hear about 'cat years'! Huh? We had a cat once who lived about 19 years. I don't know what that is in 'cat years'; probably a hundred or so.

Yay, for more Stuff! Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

These are all awesome. The Texaco pin is so beautifully enameled. It reminds me of several pins I got for perfect attendance at Sunday School back in the early '70s. The first one was of antiqued brass, while the next two used the same die but were enameled. Oddly, I liked the brass one better because it came first. Sort of how I feel about my wives. I only have one of the enameled ones left in my collection today (pins, not wives; I'm not into painted hussies, thank you very much).

After bleeding all of that digital ink, I love the Illinois Bell pin because it's a faithful reproduction of a Western Electric 300-series phone. Well, mostly-faithful - real 300s weren't made of brass. Or flat. And they didn't have pins on the back. And they were bigger.
Plus you could make phone calls on them. But other than that, a faithful reproduction.

The Box forever!!!

Stu29573 said...

I, too, like the "Luck Coin." Unfortunately you opened it and all the luck fell out. However, you can get more luck to put in there if you go to a corn field on the new moon, draw a circle with salt, sit inside it and do the ancient chant, "Gimme gimme gimme that good luck, baby! Hoochie koo, Za-zowie!" Do that all night long and the next day you'll feel very lucky to not be acting like an idiot in a stupid corn field any more. You're welcome!

I agree with check on the telephone. I'm pretty sure it's lucky all by itself!

By the way. I have 5, 10, and 15 year pins from my school districts. I now look at them with more appreciation. Thanks, Major!

Stu29573 said...

That's "Chuck on the telephone."
Stupid unlucky spellcheck!

LTL said...

Major, nice photos. I counted the holes in the dial of the Illinois Bell pin, it does indeed have all ten. The bearded fellow is nice, though it looks like his shoulders were added as a punch list item, perhaps by an assistant.

JG said...

Pretty cool stuff, Major. My mom had year pins from her hospital volunteer group, there was a main pin, and little satellite pins on a chain that changed for 5,7,10 etc.

I’m going with the secret compartment coin though, that’s pretty wild. I would store scans of Disneyland pictures, I think.


K. Martinez said...

As Tony the Tiger would say, these are grrrrrreat!

I usually pick one as a favorite, but today I'm going to break that rule and say both the good luck bearded man coin with secret compartment and the Illinois Bell phone pin are tied as my favorite. I can't decide between the two.

Always enjoy your stuff from the box and look forward to more! Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I’d sure love to learn more about that good luck coin. Is it just me, or does the bearded man have the letter “I” on the bridge of his nose? If so, WHY? And yes, dog years are the greatest!

JB, I never got any nice employee pins like these… just buttons, cheaply made. Still, I wish I’d kept them (and am surprised that I didn’t). Nickelodeon sometimes gave out some fun swag, but you know, you move to a new place and some stuff has to go. I can’t fault any of your favorites, because I obviously love all of these to some degree. Maybe “cat years” are kind of the same as “dog years”? I never thought about it!

Chuck, the Texaco pin really is nicely made, so tiny and yet it holds up in a macro photo. My mom has told me about a Sunday School pin that she had when she was a girl, if you had perfect attendance, you would get an enameled badge to hang from the main pin, and of course the goal became to have a long chain of them in different colors. She asked me if she’d given hers to me, and sadly the answer is “no”, because I’ve never seen it. Hey, painted hussies aren’t all bad! In fact, in westerns they always have hearts of gold.

Stu29573, the luck can’t fall out, silly, it’s held in with magic. However, I will not pass up any opportunity to sit in a cornfield at night. It’s one of my things. Nice that your school district gave you those pins, do you ever wear them? Or do they sit in a drawer with a few cufflinks, spare change, and a pocket knife?

Stu29573, check on “Chuck”!

LTL, my guess is that the person who sculpted the phone pin based it on a photo. That’s what I’d do, at any rate. The portrait of the bearded man (Zeus?) is kind of clumsy, but that’s part of the coin’s charm. The mechanism for the hidden compartment is surprisingly nice, with the hinge and “door” that fits so exactly.

JG, sounds like the pins from your mom’s hospital are a lot like the one my mom had from her Sunday School. Do you still have the pin? With microfilm you could store many of your favorite Disneyland photos!

K. Martinez, now you’ve broken the rules, and the authorities have been notified! But I will cause a commotion over here so that you have time to get away. There’s LOTS more Stuff From the Box!

Stu29573 said...

Major, I have my ID badge on a lanyard, so I actually do wear them! Once I retire, I'm sure they'll end up in that drawer you're talking about...

Dean Finder said...

JB, I never got a pin for donating gallons of blood, just a new donation card in gold with a "Gallon club" logo.
That coin is a winner. Anyone have any idea what the Hebrew and Chinese characters mean? I wonder if that secret compartment can hold a microSD card. That would be very "secret agent man"

Kathy! said...

Major, I think the Good Luck Man has “I Give You” written on his nose and beard/mouth. Such a cool thing with the tiny compartment. I’d keep my secret chicken recipe in there. I think I like the 10 year Boing pin more than the 35 year because of the color. I have 2 pins from work for service years. I don’t wear them, and they are about 1/2 wide with very, very tiny rubies that they said are real. Thanks for a Box tour, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Stu29573, I’m glad you wear your pins!

Dean Finder, ha ha, I’m picturing you handing the Red Cross a plastic milk jug full of blood. “Here you go! It’s the good stuff”. I think the Hebrew and Chinese characters might translate to “health” and “wealth” since that’s what’s on the other side in English (and “prudens” is Latin for “wisdom”).

Kathy! OH MAN! The funny thing is, once you pointed out the “I Give You”, I remembered noticing it long ago. And then I obviously UN-noticed it. So you get a gold star, or maybe a good luck coin. I hope your secret chicken recipe isn’t complicated! Your pins might very well have real tiny rubies, I showed my mom one of my employee pins with what I assumed is a rhinestone (yes, very tiny), and she said, “I think that might be a real diamond”. Not sure how you can tell, other than by scratching something with it.

Melissa said...

The Boeing pins are both fancy and schmancy, but as the child of a former phone company employee I've got to go with the Illinois Bell pin. There was a lovely, tactile feeling to dialing a rotary phone. That little bit of resistance of the dial against your fingertip. As Rachel Ward said in Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, "If you need me, just call. You know how to dial, don't you? You just put your finger in the hole and make tiny little circles."

The men from U.N.C.L.E. should have had fancy gold filigree badges instead of those boring yellow triangles.

Melissa said...

JB, I had a cat who lived to be 21 human years. She was a feisty little thing.

I'm not allowed to give blood because I was once given medication sourced from bovine glands, so I can't prove I'm not a carrier of mad cow disease. Maybe I should have a "Mad Cow Club" badge. I have a vague memory of my Dad having a red plastic blood donation pin shaped like a drop of blood.

"Lou and Sue" said...

My favorite is the diamond boeinG pin. Did you notice they made the "G" really big? Sort of odd. Maybe it stands for something. Nah, probably not.

Thank you, Major, for sharing your stuff.

DrGoat said...

Beautiful items Major. I'm constantly amazed. That is a impressive Boeing pin Sue. Wow.
Thank you Major.

DrGoat said...

an impressive.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, yes, I do love those Boeing pins (that’s why I have two versions of them!), but I can’t fault you for liking the Illinois Bell example. You’ll see other Illinois Bell pins someday! I sort of miss old rotary dial phones too, but remember how exciting it was to have a push-button phone? Rachel Ward was not wrong. I don’t know what the U.N.C.L.E. badges looked like, now I need to look them up!

Melissa, 21 is OLD. I think TokyoMagic! had a cat that lived about that long too. Are you joking about the mad cow disease? I can’t tell! Somewhere I have one of those red plastic blood drop pins too.

Lou and Sue, yes, I kind of wondered why the “G” was especially big. Did it have some sort of significance that we don’t get nowadays? If anything you’d think that the “B” would be large, since it’s the first letter of the name.

DrGoat, oh you haven’t seen anything yet! ;-) But I am glad that you enjoyed these.

Melissa said...

The mad cow thing is 100% moo, er, I mean true.

Dean Finder said...

Major, that comment about the blood just makes me think of the time on Married With Children when Al Bundy sold 9 pints of blood

Also, I'm pretty sure no kid knows how to use a rotary phone. I had to explain the dialing procedure to a friend in the 1980s who had no idea - I can't imagine it's any more obvious now.