Friday, January 14, 2011

I’m Your Fuller Brush Man and I Have a Gift for You

Back in the days people actually let salesman come into their homes (coincidentally also when you could trust salesmen to come into your home), the Fuller Brush man peddled brushes throughout the United States.  Unlike Avon and Amway and closer to the ice cream man today, the Fuller Brush man (and woman) bought their own supplies and relied on their own skills to move the merchandise, keeping 50% of the sale price.  The company's slogan was, "45 Brushes—69 Uses—Head to Foot—Cellar to Attic".  In 1956, the Fuller line was expanded to include aerosols, detergents, vitamins, cosmetics, and chemicals.

Many years ago, I came across this letter opener in a quarter box at a garage sale.


Apparently, these were gifts handed out by the Fuller Brush man as either a thank you for your order, or an ice breaker to get you to buy their product.  I love the fedora and suit.  If he showed up at my door, I think I'd probably let him in -- but I still don't think I'd buy anything.

Fuller Brush is still in business, but don't expect them to come to your door.  You order online now, the man that made them famous walks no more.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Pause that Refreshes -- If You're Not Very Thirsty...

I went to an estate sale this weekend.  I've never been a big fan of estate sales, for reasons I've espoused previously.  But recently, I joined an estate sale online group that emails locations of upcoming garage sales.  They display pictures for the sale, so it's nice to get a feel for what's there.  If only they would post the prices too...  I stopped at one in Dogtown Saturday and found this:

I've always been a fan of Coca Cola, the drink as well as and the imagery and collectibles associated with it.  The fact that all of the bottles come out sold me.  I've seen these online, but can't find much information about them.  I'm not sure if they were premiums or toys.  I have the real version of the yellow tray and have it hung on the wall in my basement for a display case.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Glasses with Character

When I was little, my sister and I would have sleepovers with my oldest sister.  Due to the age difference, she was more like an aunt to us.  On those occasions, we would always go out to lunch somewhere.  We didn't eat out much when I was a kid, even at McDonald's, so anything was a treat.  My sister would always ask whether we wanted to go to Pizza Hut or Taco Bell.  This was around 1975 and both were new to St. Louis.  They also both happened to stand right next to each at the intersection of Weber and Gravois roads.  Pizza Hut is still there, but Taco Bell's recognizable structure has been converted into a Chinese restaurant.

No matter how much hinting my oldest sister would make toward Taco Bell, we always chose Pizza Hut.  It was around this time, Pizza Hut had a promotion with Pepsi for giveaway glasses with Warner Bros. characters on them.  I recall getting Henery Hawk and my sister getting Petnuia Pig -- 2 third tier characters from the Warner's roster.  I didn't even know who Henery Hawk was -- still too young to appreciate Foghorn Leghorn, I was a dyed-in-the-wool Bugs Bunny fan.

I had that glass for years, but it finally broke a few years ago.  This past summer, I came across 2 of these glasses, and one just happened to be Henery.  I paid a quarter each for these.


The other was Pepe LePew.


This past summer supplied quite a few character glasses.  I was never a huge Flintstones fan, and these were, I believe,  Hardee's giveaway as a tie-in with the movie from the '90's and The Flintstones' 30th anniversary.  But, they were a quarter each and we needed some glasses.  At least the were they classic cartoon characters and not John Goodman and Rosie O'Donnell.



At a parking lot sale in Kenrick Plaza, I bought a large set of Peanut's glasses.  I'm guessing these are from the early '80's and were a McDonald's giveaway.  (Pink lemonade in the last glass courtesty of my daughter.)



And finally, this last glass features one of the lesser-known restaurant mascots, A&W's Root Bear.

The giveaway glass days are long gone, having passed into poor plastic imitations whose images rub off after a few washings. 


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hark the Herald Angels Sing!

When I was young, the weeks leading up the Christmas were almost unbearable.  The days dragged like Baton Bob.   Now the days fly so fast, I find myself posting Christmas albums to my blog after New Year's has passed.

In preparation for Christmas (as if I needed further ramping up), my mom would play Christmas albums on the family's Magnavox console stereo.  These first 3 up were my favorites.  They were premiums from A&P Groceries (where my father worked), Goodyear and Firestone.


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