OFFERING PREMIUMS, OR PRIZES, IN EXCHANGE FOR A BOX TOP AND A DIME BEGAN LONG BEFORE OUR ERA, but the excitement of sending off the required coin and proof of purchase, waiting for the mailman to bring the desired treasure, and unwrapping that prize when it finally arrived is a thrill that lives within each of us. This feature "Radio Premiums" is an attempt to rekindle those memories as well as to listen once more to the radio shows we enjoyed so much.
"Radio Premiums" will be limited to those items that were offered from 1940 through the early 50s. (The early 40s are included because many of our sophisticated older siblings, weary of their prizes, passed them on to us and therefore may be familiar objects.) This feature is also confined to premiums offered on radio, not through the comics or on television. That said you will find I do not limit myself to those parameters, but that's the beauty of being your own editor.
The information I have gathered from the radio shows varies from sponsor to sponsor, and of course, premium to premium so my documentation cannot be consistent. For example, so far, only the Straight Arrow premium list contains the exact price and number of box tops needed to acquire the prize. The same is true of descriptions of the premiums, sound clips from the radio programs, and photos of the radio stars; these will be included, as well as any little tidbit that I think would be interesting to the reader, when they are available.
Since few actual premiums survived the years and our mothers' house cleanings, their value has risen extraordinarily. A ring that could be had for a box top and a dime may now bring several hundred dollars; these are usually sold at various online auctions or memorabilia trade shows.
Oh, if we only could have known . . . .
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