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1938 R196 United Confectioners Supply "Radio Gum" Display Box
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $2,350
Display box of Radio Gum, issued by United Confectioners Supply, containing ninety-nine individually wrapped sticks of gum plus sixteen banded “five-cent” packs (five sticks of gum, each also individually wrapped, wrapped by an additional larger "outer wrapper"), for a total of 179 packaged sticks of gum, each individually wrapped. Also included with the box is a punchboard entitled “Lucky Stiffs” (7.75 x 12.25 inches). The punchboard is fascinating as this "gambling" device is directly related to the gum and its sale. For one cent, the customer was allowed to punch one slot, providing a piece of paper with a number. As noted on the punch board, "All numbers Receive 1 cent Stick Gum." Special lucky winning numbers, however, that are listed on the board (as well as the last punch on the card) "pay off" with either one, two, or three five-cent packs. So for a penny, buyers could count on one stick of gum, but if the customer was lucky, he could possibly receive five, ten, or even fifteen sticks of gum. Also accompanying is a white counter-display box runner (12.5 x 1.5 inches, intended for display with the box) promoting the company’s premium offer: “A Beautiful Framed Picture of a Hollywood Star, Size 8 x 10 Will Be Mailed to Anyone Sending in 100 Wrappers.” Despite the gum’s name, the wrappers for each stick picture famous movie stars of the era as opposed to radio personalities. These wrappers are designated R196 in Christopher Benjamin’s definitive reference work The Sport Americana Price Guide to the Non-Sports Cards 1930-1960. In cataloging this issue, Benjamin dates it to 1938 (based upon prior reports) and notes that “twenty-seven movie stars have been found so far.” The wrappers here (the number of examples of each in parentheses) include eight stars not cataloged by Benjamin: Ed Brendel (4 examples, all on the larger "outer bands" of “five-cent” packs), Nancy Carroll (6, all on the larger "outer bands" of “five-cent” packs), Jackie Cooper (2), Joan Crawford (2), Bela Lugosi (1), Edmund Love (1), Tom Mix (2), and Ted Wells (6, all on the larger "outer bands" of “five-cent” packs). Cataloged stars represented here (all on individual sticks) are Lew Ayers (13), Richard Barthelmess (13), Joe E. Brown (2) Kay Francis (4), Janet Gaynor (3), Mitzi Green (1), William Haines (1), Jack Holt (6), Harold Lloyd (2), Ramon Navarro (14), Anita Page (2), Norma Shearer (5), Laurence Tibbets (2), Tom Tyler (13), and Loretta Young (10). The individual sticks contained in the sixteen “five-cent” packs offered here are packaged snugly and therefore have not been examined and are not reflected in the totals given. The punchboard has four of the 150 holes punched, and is otherwise Excellent. The counter-display box (9.5 x 13 x 1 inches) has various imperfections (including four torn flaps on the cover and numerous tears) and is very plain, with no advertising text (a role provided by the counter-display box runner, which is Ex), but still has tremendous display value. The packages of gum and wrappers remain in pristine condition, looking exactly as they did when manufactured for display on candy-store shelves in 1938. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,350
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