Wednesday, November 01, 2023

Stuff From the Box!

Not long ago I had to re-photograph a box full of STUFF. Such a pain! But it's done, and now I can share more priceless treasures with you. The poor Smithsonian Museum is jealous of my collection.

First up is this badge featuring Captain Kangaroo - host of a long-running children's program (1955-1984).    Who remembers Mr. Green Jeans? Bunny Rabbit? Mr. Moose? This badge was probably crafted by the Tiffany company, I'm sure it is genuine silver.

What kind of Captain was he, anyway? A riverboat captain? A police captain? I have no idea. I kind of wonder if the bas-relief on the badge used this photo as reference, even though there are some differences. 

Oh boy, Hostess Cup Cakes! Almost as good as Dolly Madison Zingers. With that white squiggle on top and the delicious cream filling, a Hostess Cup Cake was fit for a king. I love this vintage employee badge. Thank you for your service, Joe.

Next is this little "composition" (some sort of pressed rubber - or maybe rubber and sawdust - I think?) lemon charm advertising Sauer's Extracts. I'm not sure what these extracts were used for - making delicious drinks? Rubbing on your lumbago? Feeding them to your leeches? I have no doubt that this item is over 100 years old.

Wendell Willkie (will KEY, get it? I'm not sure I do) and Senator Charles McNary unsuccessfully ran against Franklin Roosevelt in 1940 - Willkie lost pretty soundly to FDR. He tried again in 1944, but had a fatal heart attack that year (after losing that election as well).

Some of you may recall another Dizzy Dean Winners item, seen on this blog back in November of 2021. This 1936 brass badge was a giveaway in boxes of Post cereals. Dizzy said some pithy quotes, including:

"Anybody who's ever had the privilege of seeing me play knows that I am the greatest pitcher in the world"

"Son, what kind of pitch would you like to miss?"

"The doctors x-rayed my head and found nothing"

"I ain't what I used to be, but who the hell is?"

And finally, here's a nice "GOOD LUCK" charm from Roi Tan cigars - I have no idea why the charm is shaped like an automobile and not a stogie. 

I hope you have enjoyed today's STUFF FROM THE BOX!


Nanook said...

"This badge was probably crafted by the Tiffany company, I'm sure it is genuine silver".

Why set the bar so low... undoubtedly the badge is crafted from 100% platinum-!

Sauer's has been around since 1887 - and is still making extracts, seasoning blends, herbs and spices.

It's *possible* that Roi-Tan charm has to do with an advertising campaign in 1939 where An auto a day is given away - a brand new 1939 Chevrolet.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

Major, I remember ALL those characters! I watched Captain Kangaroo back in the mid to late fifties... there wasn't much to watch back then. I was about 4 to 6 years old at the time. I seem to remember that Bunny Rabbit didn't talk(?).

Shouldn't the Hostess pin say "Cream-Filled", not "Creamed-Filled"?

Hmm, hard to pick a favorite today. I like the Captain Kangaroo badge because it evokes memories of that show, from looong ago. While I don't particularly have any feelings for Dizzy Dean, one way or another, I do like the craftsmanship of the badge. And it's made of actual brass. Even though the Tiffany Captain Kangaroo badge is genuine silver, I'll go with the D. Dean badge for the sophisticated look of it.

Good to see more Stuff from your many boxes, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nice Stuff! My favorite would be the Captain Kangaroo badge, because I also remember watching him on TV in the early seventies. I believe his show was on into the 1980s. And let us not forget that he was the original Clarabelle the Clown, on the Howdy Doody Show....but that was before my time!

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

Steve DeGaetano said...

The hat badge on the photo of the good Captain looks like a fireman's badge.

K. Martinez said...

It's the Captain Kangaroo badge for me because of the childhood memories it evokes of watching it in the early to mid-sixties. And yes, who could forget Mr. Green Jeans. I loved it when a toy train would come in with boxes of cold cereals as its freight (advertisement). Thanks, Major.

JG said...

Major, I’m sure the Smithsonian, the British Museum, the Hermitage, and indeed all significant art museums worldwide covet your collection. I hope you have it insured!

I’m Going with the cupcake badge, because I loved those cupcakes, in both chocolate and orange flavors. I’m pretty sure I would gag on one today.

Mom used to use extracts in baking, but I can’t recall the brand, other than “not Sauers”. Her brand was sold door-to-door. Maybe it was “Watkins”? Does that sound familiar to anyone? I recall lemon going in angel food cake.

I remember Captain Kangaroo well, and preferred Bugs Bunny or Thunderbirds.

Mom and Dad voted for Wilkie, which seemed odd that a gothic novelist would go into politics.

I do recall Roi-Tan cigars, I think I had a box (empty) once. I do still have a White Owl box from my Uncle Hal which holds, among other things, the photo negatives from his time in Berlin, 1945.

Thanks for sharing these treasures Major, much appreciated.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, yes you are right, platinum would be more apt for Tiffany! I like the way you think. Amazing that Sauer’s is still around. Do they still sell little lemon charms? And wow, Roi-Tan gave away an auto a day, pretty amazing stuff, especially at the end of the Great Depression.

JB, Bunny Rabbit didn’t talk, and I don’t recall if Mr. Moose did either to be honest. It’s been a while! I wondered about the “creamed-filled” too, seems wrong, but… maybe there is logic to it? It’s not a typo, it’s a “write-o”. The Dizzy Dean badge is pretty nice, and I believe there is yet another Dizzy Dean item that I do not have that is rare and expensive.

TokyoMagic!, I’ve read that the Captain was formerly Clarabelle the Clown, I guess Bob Keeshan knew a good thing when he saw it. “I should be the star of my OWN children’s show!”. And history was made.

Steve DeGaetano, cool! Thanks!

K. Martinez, I once downloaded a folder of old TV show music, and recognized a few of them, including at least two tracks used in Captain Kangaroo. Talk about a blast to the past!

JG, I may have to split up my collection so that people all over the world can appreciate these treasures. It wouldn’t be fair to have them all in one city. I liked those Hostess cupcakes when I was a kid, but preferred Suzy Q’s (more cream filling). My brother liked the orange cupcakes, but I generally don’t like orange-flavored things (not counting orange soda, and actual oranges). My grandma had some odd extracts in her cupboard, but I don’t recall her ever using them. They just got more and more antique. Like me! I’d definitely choose Bugs Bunny over Captain Kangaroo, though at a certain age it would have been harder to decide. Wilkie was a gothic novelist?!? I know Roi-Tan cigars from the movie “Paper Moon”, Addie kept her things in a Roi-Tan cigar box.

Omnispace said...

As Steve already mentioned, the Captain's cap badge is a firefighter's Maltese cross, on a very undersized vintage fire cap. It's hard to tell from the image but a fire Captain's badge would also have a pair of vertical uncrossed straight "bugles" in the center of it, (the fire service gave up on using tubas ages ago). They were actually more like a speaking horn I think.

The Captain Kangaroo badge in your collection with the eagle crest at the top is also reminiscent of a firefighter's badge worn on one's chest, (uniform shirt or formal jacket) and it would normally have the insignia of the rank in the center.

I used to watch the show as a kid and never thought of Captain Kangaroo as being a fire captain though - he was simply in a class by himself.

Melissa said...

The talking grandfather clock on Captain Kangaroo freaked me out so badly that I was scared of grandfather clocks in real life. My favorite of this batch is the cheerful little lemon; it looks just like a sour (Sauer?) candy.

JG said...

Hello Major, I agree, your collections should be spread across multiple cities and museums, like the Guggenheim, you should have Frank Gehry crank out a couple of museums like the Bilbao and park them in major cultural centers like Pig's Knuckle Arkansas and Tuba City AZ etc. Ordinary people need art too.

Turns out my ancient memory was correct, Watkins Extracts are still in business >> and can be available through "consultants". Company has been around a long time apparently.

And my joke about gothic novelists fell flat. Weak connection between Wendell Wilkie and Wilkie Collins. >>

Sorry about that.


Nanook said...

@ JG-
You may wish to re-think your idea of choosing Frank Gehry as the architect for designing The Major's (many) museum locations. I've had the extreme [dis]pleasure of working in one of his 'monstrosotrons' for over 18 years, and let's just say 'forward thinking' of any sort takes a decided backseat to his "designs": Form over function at ALL costs. That's never a good plan.

JG said...

@Nanook, we should have a talk offline about Gehry Partners (GP) because I can’t post it. I named him for a reason.

I’m sorry for your architorture.


Major Pepperidge said...

Omnispace, that’s two votes for a Fire Captain! Thanks for the confirmation and info. I wonder if he ever referred to himself as a Fire Captain? I mean, I watched the show, but I mostly remember him being deluged with ping-pong balls.

Melissa, I had a little toy clock, so I think I considered Grandfather Clock as its relative. Or something. I wish I knew the tune that the toy clock played! I still recall the melody, but don’t know what it is from.

JG, I’m looking forward to a bidding war between all of the great museums of the world. I sort of like Frank Gehry’s stuff up to a point, but other times I feel like I am “over it”. Both Watkins and Sauer’s are still in business, I guess the extract business is a solid one. And I don’t know Wilkie Collins, but then again, I can’t read.

Nanook, ha ha, I like the term “monstrosotrons”. I remember when they were still yet to build the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown L.A., and they put up a little test wall, which at the time was going to be stone cut with computer-controlled machines. There were also different models of what they thought the finished building would look like. It was only later that they opted for cheaper titanium cladding. Still, it was interesting to see.

JG, L.A. loves Frank Gehry, for better or worse. I do think Disney Hall is nice, but some of his other structures, like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, are junky looking.

Melissa said...

Maj, If it was the Fisher-Price grandfather clock, I know just the earworm song you mean. I just looked it up and the tune is called, disappointingly, "Grandfather's Clock."

JG, I got your Wilkie Collins reference! I was once in a stage play based on "The Moonstone."

DBenson said...

The Hostess pin might be a dandy conversation starter in a bar. "Yes, I'm creamed-filled." I could expand on that, but I won't.

I recall the good Captain from the 60s: Mr. Moose always had a gag that ended in pingpong balls being dumped; the silent Bunny Rabbit wore glasses and would scam Cap out of a bunch of raw carrots (noisily consumed under the counter); and Dancing Bear -- strictly speaking a Dancing Giant Teddy Bear -- would dance. Then there were ancestors of music videos: songs off of kiddie records, movie soundtracks, and other discs would be enacted by hand puppets, illustrated by a magic drawing board, or accompanied by cutouts bouncing about before a black backdrop -- My First Ernie Kovacs Show. There were also what looked like classroom films of storybooks, with narration and music over closeups of illustrations. I became aware of the show about when the imaginative Tom Terrific cartoons were replaced by the more conventional Lariat Sam.

Faintly remember having a Captain Kangaroo Little Golden Book and a Colorforms set, but otherwise don't remember merchandise or premiums.

"Lou and Sue" said...

My late vote goes to Captain Kangaroo because of all the fun memories of him and his show, shared here. What a blast to the past! Thanks, all, for jarring my old memory bank.

Major, thanks for re-photographing these little treasures...definitely our gain!

TokyoMagic! said...

DBenson, I forgot about the Tom Terrific cartoons! The villain was "Crabby Appleton," and I think his dog's name was Manfred? I still have a "Tom Terrific" book from my childhood. I need to go looking for that!

Nanook, I'm glad that you said that about the building you worked in. I never said anything about them, when Gehry's name has come up here in the past. Or have I? I don't mind the look of the W.D. Concert Hall, but I was shocked when I returned to Seattle for the first time after that building (buildings?) were constructed. How did they ever get approval to place those right at the corner of Seattle Center, and have them be the very first thing you see when approaching on the monorail. Not only are they ugly, but they block the view of everything else. I was appalled! Appalled, I tell you!