So we come to the end. As far as I know, this is the first time a listing of the actual available broadcasts of kids' premiums has been attempted. I'm sure additional ones are out there and will continue to surface to satisfy our thirst to return to and experience 'those thrilling days of yesteryear'!
Much use was made of Jay Hickerson's monumental work, "The Ultimate History of Network Radio Programming and Guide to All Circulating Shows" for air dates and sponsors of the various programs listed above. Much credit and appreciation is due Jay for the help his publication provided in the preparation of this series of articles.
Tom Tumbusch's Illustrated Radio Premium Catalog and Price Guide was also very helpful in identifying the wide range of premiums offered and supplemented the material available from radio broadcasts.
As a final note, lots of folks seem to remember a "decoder ring" as one of radio's famous premiums, and may wonder why we haven't covered that offer on any of the above programs. Well, it's simply because there never was such a ring. There were decoder badges, whistles, pins and the like, but no decoder ring. There is an exception, of course. PF Tennis Shoes (remember them? Remember tennis shoes?) did give away a decoder ring in the '50s, probably with a shoe purchase, but it was not part of any radio or television program. The myth of the radio decoder ring is as prevalent as the myth that all secret messages were simply commercials for the sponsor's product.
Soundbytes courtesy of Charles Sexton and Lou Genco.
Images courtesy of Charles Sexton and various internet sites.
Text Copyright © Charles Sexton
Page Layout Copyright © Lou Genco
More information on Old Time Radio premiums can be found at:
J R Olsen's site