|Anyone remember what the S&H represented?|
After my grandparents sold their general store my grandmother shopped at the local A&P "Supermarket" and just loved getting Green Stamps. I remember getting all gooey green sticking them into the 24 page Saver Books. She hoarded the stamp books, studied her "Idea Book" and could not wait to visit the Redemption Store.
At this time in my early teen years, I was all into electronics and loved assembling Heatkits. At 7 I built a crystal radio. My most ambitious effort was a 5 tube AM radio. One of the items I needed was a soldering gun and my grandmother did sacrifice a book or two for my project. I did get the radio to work and was so proud.
One of the most interesting parts of this story is that I still have the soldering gun; not the radio. The soldering gun still works and the exact same item from 1963 is still available for sale today. Weller D550 Dual Heat Soldering Gun. The familiar chick-chick of the trigger and the smell of the rosin melting brings back a lot of memories.
The story does get a little more interesting for all of the geek readers out there. Feel free to bail now if you want a lingerie or high heel chronicle.
Using my trusty soldering gun, I dissembled the radio and in my high school drafting class drew (with ink) the radio's schematic, poster size. I then attached the components (tubes, resistors, capacitors, coils) front side next to the schematic symbol and wired everything from the back. Yes! It worked, again! And I won first prize in a state high school technical competition.
I am sure this was a big plus on getting into engineering school. During my interview with the Dean of the VCU Engineering School, it was discussed. One thing I do know for sure; it was not my SAT (College Board) scores that got me accepted.
So thanks go to my grandmother for sharing her beloved Green Stamps. A geek career was born.
Tommy 1965 - A junior in high school with my working radio schematic
Geek challenge: Anyone out there that remember the 5 vacuum tubes used in this radio? One was always burning out because they were wired in series.