S. Brown grew up in Richland, Georgia, now resides in Baldwin County
near Milledgeville, and writes about memories of
growing up in the south. She has two grown
sons and daughters by marriage, Scott and
Kimberly Brown and Arlin and Brenda Brown, and four grandchildren; Joshua,
Caleb, Catherine and Christen. Brenda said goodbye to Otto, her
husband of almost fifty years after he lost his battle with cancer in the
early hours of January 12, 2016.
column is published in several newspapers to include the Union Recorder
and the Augusta Focus, and her stories have been featured on
numerous websites over the past years. The first completed manuscript,
Precious Gems from Ruby, is awaiting publication.
Sample stories can be enjoyed, and she can be reached
Long before priority points, frequent flyer miles, and
in-store customer discount cards, an innovative strategy that was designed
to garner and maintain customer loyalty, was presented to the public.
Today the practice is recognized as a pioneering giant in the world of
The unusual purchasing phenomenon, which continues to promise a comeback,
caused women in particular, to participate in a silly-looking lick and
stick activity, sometimes for hours. If you don't remember S&H Green
Stamps, then you must have been residing in a synthetic orb.
The Sperry & Hutchinson Company began the distribution of S&H Green Stamps
in 1896, and during its heyday, the company was printing three times more
stamps than the postal service. The practice became so popular that in
1965, Andy Warhol captured the likeness in a lithograph.
The purchaser earned a unit for each ten cents expended; in the beginning
our local merchants only dispensed stamps in denominations of one, ten,
and twenty. Then later they began distributing a fifty stamp, and finally
a one hundred. Rather than wasting time pasting single stamps, a fifty
unit filled a page, a one hundred validated two pages; twelve hundred
points completed a quick-saver book.
Nanny carefully studied the full-color catalog, which was possibly the
largest single publication in the country, and eagerly anticipated our
excursion to the redemption center in Albany, to collect her rewards. If
she came up short, I managed to transfer my reserve collection to her
accumulated stacks, to make up the difference.
During the heyday of hoarding points, it is estimated that eighty percent
of households saved coupons. The more merchandise purchased, the larger
the reward; businesses used the vouchers to maintain customer loyalty.
Over the years Nanny traded stamps for a shiny toaster, a star shaped
ornamental wall clock, and a set of gourmet kitchen knives. Each treasure
delivered great satisfaction and years of enjoyment; in fact after she
passed away I discovered countless books of stamps stockpiled in her hope
This is an interesting trivial fact, although a complete book of stamp has
a cash value of only a dollar and twenty cents, the trade-in value is
immeasurable. There is a law guaranteeing that they will never lose their
value; consequently they can still be traded for cash or merchandise.
Brenda S. Brown