Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Half Broke Horses

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Half Broke Horses

A True-Life Novel

by Jeannette Walls

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2009, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2010, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Megan Shaffer

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S&H Green Stamps
Chances are if you’re under 40 you might not remember S&H Green Stamps, but since I’m one step over that hill, I clearly remember licking those sticky little stamps and dreaming of all the possibilities they held as I carefully pasted them onto the enticing matching rectangles. For those of you who can recall pressing those little postage stamp sized tokens into their respective booklets, you’ll know just what Lily Casey Smith was talking about when she used those very same stamps to purchase a few choice items to furnish her home.


S&H stands for Sperry & Hutchinson, the stamp distributor who began offering Green Stamps back in 1896. Developed for retailers to distribute as a bonus for patronizing their stores, the stamps were doled out based on the amount of your purchases. The more you bought, the more stamps you received. After pasting your accumulated stamps into the provided booklets, you could then browse the S&H catalog or visit a local redemption center and trade in your booklets for all sorts of goods, including furniture, appliances, and even vacations.

Though S&H faded during the recession of the 70’s, the company still exists. In 1999 Walter Beinecke, the great–grandson of an original founder, purchased the company and created a digital version of the stamps. The company, now called S&H Greenpoints, deals primarily with online merchants but carries a few grocers as well. As for those of you who might have a few dusty stamps tucked away, it’s not too late. Stamps can still be redeemed at the site for cash or merchandise.

If your nostalgia for Green Stamps hasn't been completely satisfied, you can delight in dozens of recollections from The York Daily Record's "Remember" series.

Article by Megan Shaffer

This article is from the October 21, 2009 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

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