Thursday, December 28, 2023

Stuff From the Box

Hey! It seemed like a good day to explore more STUFF FROM THE BOX. There's so much of it, we may never run out. 

First up is this generic toy badge, "American Aviator". Every boy (and many girls) probably dreamed of being able to fly an airplane, or at least ride IN an airplane. I can't find any information about this item, but I'd guess that it is from the 1930s. Many aviation-related pins are tiny, but this one is beefy as heck.

I have a fondness for tin-litho clickers like this one - Click With Welles Family Department Stores! Welles started in Lima, Ohio, and debuted in 1960. One article stated that the self-service store, which will employ more than 200, will have 80 departments, featuring everything from family apparel to monkeys … a wide variety of pets will be sold, including monkeys, honey bears, anteaters and skunks (de-odorized). They really did have everything! The company filed for bankruptcy in 1972.

I really don't collect political items as a rule, and yet I keep finding various pins and small medals. This brass pin has the profiles of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Vice President (from 1933 to 1941) John Nance Garner. Garner eventually ran against FDR in 1940, losing of course. Henry A. Wallace became FDR's Vice President.

Here is a Sky King Navajo Treasure ring, a 1950 premium from Peter Pan Peanut Butter. The ring is "silvered brass" and simulated turquoise, and would look stunning on the finger of any Hollywood starlet.

Engraved on the sides are a thunderbird and a - well, a... um... I don't know what that thing is, but it's one of the best I've ever seen.

Not only do I like tin-litho clickers, I also have a fondness for these tin badges with the fold-over tabs (unused, of course!). Here we have the TraveLodge Sleepy Bear, a favorite mascot of mine. The lower round part of the badge is about the size of a U.S. quarter.

And finally, here are two rings, I believe that they are made out of fossilized ivory (what else could it be?), featuring "Twinkie the Kid", the mascot for Hostess Twinkies introduced in 1971. Even though the Kid was used in advertising for about two decades, I am reasonably sure that these rings are from the early 1970s.

Stay tuned for more STUFF FROM THE BOX!


Nanook said...

Let that be a lesson to you - never open a store that sells anteaters and skunks - 'cuz you'll only be in business for 12 years.

I think that 'mystery engraving' on the Sky King Navajo Treasure Ring is a menorah.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

Hmm, as Nanook says, Welles was in business for only 12 years. I suppose that having 80 Departments (including monkeys) plus, underselling everything had something to do with that.

I like the turquoise ring the best today. It seems to be well crafted, especially for a peanut butter premium (of all things!). It must have been difficult to get all the peanut butter out of the fine detailing in the ring. ;-) I think I would prefer that it was regular gold-colored brass rather than silvered brass. Or maybe just silver in color.
I disagree with Nanook, the mystery engraving is obviously another thunderbird, only this time the bird has been roasted and eaten, leaving only the wishbone and the wing feathers.

I can never decide if it's "Travel odge" or "Trave Lodge". So confusing. I need the other "L" or I'll go insane!!!

Of the two Twinkie the Kid rings, I prefer the gold one with lapis lazuli inlay over the fossilized ivory with carnelian inlay. I'm sure the former is more valuable than the latter.

A fine selection of Stuff today, Major. Thanks.

TokyoMagic! said...

....featuring everything from family apparel to monkeys.

But did they sell apparel for monkeys???

Today, my favorite items are the Twinkie the Kid rings, even though I never ate Twinkies, because I didn't like them. Zingers, they are not! However, I would definitely wear those rings, and then hope that I could also find a Fruit Pie the Magician and King Ding Dong ring.

Thanks for sharing more of your "Stuff from the Box" collection with us, Major!

Chuck said...

All cool stuff today, Major. I had forgotten about Twinkie the Kid.

That unidentifiable grouping on the Sky King ring is obviously meant to represent a comb and tuning fork. I’m just not sure why it’s there.

JB, I understand your confusion on pronunciation. Most people don’t realize that the “T” is silent.

Stu29573 said...

THE BOX!!!!!!
I'm going to have to go with the ring as well. And obviously the mystery symbol is a magician's table! Magic shows were all the rage with Native Americans.
Fun Fact: Twinkie's tiny legs made them very slow runners and easy to catch and snack on. Eventually evolution removed them altogether, bacause, really, why even try?
Thanks, Major!

Melissa said...

Ooh, more treasures!

The mystery design on the turquoise ring looks like a patio umbrella to me. We're having quite the Rorschach moment this morning! (Rorschach was my favorite Sweathog.)

"King Ding Dong ring"

King Kong Ding Dong rong ring?

JG said...

The aeroplane badge catches my eye.

Was it VP Garner who likened the office to a “bucket of warm spit”? I’d take that pin if it had that quote on it.

Would you rather have a monkey or a deodorized skunk? Well now you don’t have to choose, get both and have a unified guarantee. Why a clicker? A D-Day memorial?

I think the ring pattern is just some random scratches caused by scraping off the peanut butter.

Sleepy Bear was a personal favorite, but I don’t think I ever stayed in a Travelodge. The missing “L” is in “almond”.

I have no memory of the Twinkie character. Tokyo, like you, I preferred Zingers or Hoho’s. I think any one of these now would make me hurl.

Thanks Major, a real mixed bag today!


Chuck said...

We are focusing so much attention on one side of the ring that we are completely missing the fact that the thunderbird is trying to sell us stolen watches.

Melissa said...

The next time I want to insult someone, I think I'll call them a "department store monkey."

Lou and Sue said...

That Sky King ring represents one of the Oklahoma tribes. That etching is The Stirrup With The Fringe On Top.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, maybe the skunks shouldn’t have been “deodorized”? After all, without the smell, what’s the point?

JB, it’s kind of sad that Welles department store did not survive longer, when I first looked it up I assumed that it had been around for 80 years. The turquoise ring is surprisingly classy for a peanut butter premium, one could wear it out in the world and nobody would ever think it was a “toy”. I think the “silver” was just the color, no real silver was involved. Poor thunderbird, maybe he was struck by lightning? Crispy, but still juicy. Don’t go insane, it’s TraveLodge! Now I want to hire Tiffany to make me an 18k gold Twinkie the Kid ring with inlaid lapis!

TokyoMagic!, I hope they at least sold little hats for the monkeys. You gotta have little hats. I liked Twinkies, but had one not that long ago, and the sponge cake tastes like chemicals. Kind of weirdly sour, hard to explain. I’m not sure there was a King Ding Dong ring, but I will look for one now!

Chuck, when you are tuning your piano, you want to be sure that your hair is neat and tidy. An important lesson that all Navajo learn at an early age. Hence the tuning fork and comb.

Stu29573, I have to admit that I would not have guessed “magician’s table”, but that’s why I “stay in my lane” and stick to particle physics. Twinkie the Kid’s legs were indeed tiny, but they moved at such a speed that they were a blur. No animal could catch him!

Melissa, yes, the “thing” looks like those umbrellas at Disneyland. Plenty of fringe. Rorschach was one of the Watchmen, but I did not know that he was a Sweathog early on!

JG, ugh, “a bucket of warm spit” is pretty gross, way to go, VP Garner. I guess I would choose a deodorized skunk, though an anteater is more my style. I can’t help thinking of all the poor animals that probably perished due to poor care, maybe we can stick to cats, dogs, lizards, and fish. I wish the ring was peanut butter scented, I would walk around all day sniffing my ring. That’s not weird, is it? I like Sleepy Bear a lot, but there aren’t many vintage items that feature his likeness that are any good. We loved Hostess cakes, Dolly Madison cakes, Tasteykake, Little Debbie cakes… they are all of the highest quality, fit for a king!

Chuck, thunderbirds have a hard time flying while wearing trenchcoats, but it does happen.

Lou and Sue, your comment fooled me, it’s 50% legit-sounding, and 50% silly! And 50% cream filling.

Dean Finder said...

I really hope that the claims of exotic animal sales at Welles were just advertising exaggerations.

Chuck said...

Major, I remember reading an article about 10 years ago (around the time of the Great Twinkie Darkness, if you remember that) that explained that the recipe for Twinkies has changed since we were kids. A lot more preservatives for longer shelf life at the expense of flavor and freshness. I can probably happily live for the rest of my life without eating a modern Twinkie ever again.

Melissa said...

Eat It Or Yeet It - TWINKIES ONLY!

JG said...

Major, here is the story of the quote:

Mr. Garner was given to colorful expressions, apparently. This little article has some real gems. Apparently “spit” might not have been the original simile.


Major Pepperidge said...

Dean Finder, I agree, the whole “exotic animal” thing sounds like a disaster.

Chuck, I’m not surprised that they’ve changed the recipe for Twinkies! My brother is still a snack cake aficionado, and he gave me one to try when Hostess came back. It was not good. He also had Suzy-Qs, which used to be my favorite Hostess item, and those were smaller, and very dry. Blah!

Melissa, well, I can’t say I enjoyed the video, but that’s YouTube for you!

JG, now I know that he had the cool nickname, “Cactus Jack”!