My fascination with S&H Green Stamps started early on in my childhood years. In the early 1960’s I traveled with my Dad between Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon on highway 99. I always looked forward to the next gas stop at a Standard or Richfield station. These were Dad’s favorites.
The S&H Green Stamp sign predominantly displayed that S&H Stamps came with your fill up. As a kid, these souvenirs excited me. The rest of the trip was spent licking and sticking stamps in the redemption book.
S&H Green Stamps, operated by the Sperry & Hutchinson company, began in the 1930’s and ran through the late 1980’s. The height of its popularity was in the 1960’s. It was one of the country’s first retail rewards programs. You could obtain stamps at supermarkets, department stores and gas stations. They boasted that their rewards book was the largest publication in the United States and they issued three times more stamps than the U.S Postal System!
Like many rewards programs, it seemingly took thousands of stamps to redeem even just a toaster. This was especially true in the 1970s when the program’s popularity started to decline. Customers needed more stamps to earn rewards.
If you have ever owned an old car, then surely you have found old S&H Stamps stuffed in the glove box or hiding under the seats.
Naturally, one of the very first signs we purchased for our collection was an S&H sign which we still have today.
These signs are unique and colorful. They’re a great addition to any sign collection. Original signs are still very affordable and run in the $150.00 – $500.00 range. Reproduction versions run from $40.00 -$125.00. Owning one of these signs is like owning a piece of American history!
By: Steve Johnson (Founder of Garage Art)