S&H Green Stamps Motorboat Redemption

Folks of a certain age recall "trading stamps," tokens with a certain value given out to shoppers when they made a purchase.

This site has a nice summary of the phenomenon, with lots of pictures of pages from the redemption catalog.

Here's an ad from 1968 which reveals you could get a Chrysler motorboat with Green Stamps.


I got curious about how many books of stamps that might take. So I did some very rough calculations, fudging the different years, etc.

This site reveals that a similar boat cost about $1500.00 when new in 1969.

In the catalog at the previous link, an Admiral Color TV demands 150 books.

Here's the likely price in dollars of such an item, as seen below.

So the boat cost six times a TV, and might, I'm guessing, demand 900 books of stamps. However, I also read that each filled book was worth $1.20, so that would require 1,250 books!

That's a lot of weekly shopping trips to your local IGA, since you got only a handful of stamps with each purchase. I wonder how many people ever took advantage of the offer.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 28, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Boats, Business, Loyalty Programs, Shopper Incentives, Coupons and Other Discounts, Television, 1960s, 1970s

Informative Swimwear

In 2005, Robert Dickey and Ruth Stephens filed a patent application for "swimwear as information device." Their idea was to make a line of swimwear that displayed maritime signal flags. This would allow people to communicate messages to those around them via their swimwear. They explained:

By using the appropriate international Signal flag or combination of international signal flags, different meanings can be communicated depending on the intentions of the wearer. For example, and individual could be wearing a covering garment (e.g. a jacket or Sweatshirt or the like) that prominently displays the international Signal flag "X-Ray', communicating the message "Stop carrying out your intentions and watch for my signals'. When the wearer sees someone with whom he or she would like to communicate with, the covering garment could be removed, revealing another article of apparel (e.g. a Swimsuit) displaying a Second international Signal flag "Kilo', communicating the message "I wish to communicate with you'.

The possible messages one could send seemed limitless, but they were never granted a patent. Perhaps the idea of messages on clothing was deemed too obvious.

There's also the limitation that only people conversant with maritime signal flags could decode the messages, which would make the various 'stay away' messages somewhat pointless.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Apr 26, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Boats, Fashion, Inventions, Patents, Languages, Double Entendres and Nudge-Nudge, Wink-Wink

The rookie rower who failed to cross the Atlantic

Even though he had only been on the ocean once, while taking the Newfoundland ferry, Arthur Russell figured he could row across the Atlantic. He practiced for two years on his rowing machine and then set off from Halifax harbor. Six hours later, he had to signal for help and was rescued.

Edmonton Journal - May 31, 1990

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 11, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Boats, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, Sports, 1990s

Life preserver suitcase

Just imagine if everyone on the Titanic had had one of these! (I'm guessing it must have been inspired by that disaster).

The Kiowa Journal - Oct 7, 1915

Posted By: Alex - Wed Aug 22, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Boats, Inventions, Travel, 1910s

Hot Tub Boat

It's a floating hot tub. The invention of Adam Karpenske of Seattle. Top speed: three-and-a-half knots. Available for rental or purchase.

From the company's FAQ:

Q:  How is it possible to fill a boat with water and have it not sink?

A:  The sleek design of a Hot Tub Boat allows for a high load capacity.  The Hot Tub Boat has been carefully engineered, and the hot tub is positioned on the boat’s center of buoyancy, allowing for remarkable stability, even with 2100 pounds of water.

Also from the FAQ:

Please refrain from nudity while renting a Hot Tub Boat and insure all the “important bits” are covered.

More info:

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 18, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Boats

Destination Atlantis

Auto mechanic Frank Russell of Biggleswade, England spent two years building a submarine in his backyard. He did it, he said, so that he could find the "lost city" of Atlantis. He described the construction of the sub in an article distributed by International News Service (Dec 1949):

My job is that of a motor mechanic and these craft that I build are purely a spare time hobby. Thus I have to get on with their construction as I can afford it; a few shillings or a pound or so at a time. Believe me, this method is exasperating and heartbreaking.

Practically all the parts have been cut, filed and even some of the holes drilled with ordinary hand tools, though I did manage on several occasions to borrow an oxy-acetylene cutter and an electric drill.

I have built this craft entirely by myself except for some of the more tricky points of welding on the hull. This was done by a friend, who is a highly skilled factory welder.

This submarine has been built entirely out of second-hand steel plates and scrap from local yards. Oxygen cylinders, motors, batteries, and the like are all from government surplus sales. The only new items are the glass observation ports and some rivets and bolts.

The launch date for his sub was November 4, 1950. Unfortunately, I can't find any reports about the launch, but I'm assuming he didn't find Atlantis.

And I'm guessing he may have been pulling everyone's leg about wanting to search for Atlantis, because eight years later he was back in the news as the perpetrator of an elaborate UFO hoax involving a "do-it-yourself space ship made of wire, silver paper, clockwork and a couple of flashlights." So it seems that he was a bit of a practical joker.

The Eagle (Bryan, Texas) - Nov 8, 1950

New Castle News - Oct 7, 1949

The Decatur Herald - May 28, 1958

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 11, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: Boats, Hobbies and DIY, 1950s

Think before you build

Back in the 1930s, Benjamin Klinger spent 4 years building a boat in his basement. Then discovered he couldn't get the boat out of his basement.

Unfortunately, I can't find any report that tells what ended up happening. Did he tear down a wall to get the boat out? Or is the boat still sitting there to this day?

Sources: Milwaukee Sentinel - Jun 22, 1935; and San Bernardino County Sun - Jun 22, 1935.

Posted By: Alex - Fri May 15, 2015 - Comments (13)
Category: Boats, 1930s

Towing The Boat

A mobility scooter pulling a boat. You don't see that every day.

Posted By: patty - Sat Mar 28, 2015 - Comments (8)
Category: Boats, Disabilities, Eccentrics

Happy Hunter

If you were willing to pay $745.00 for a toy boat, would you risk it by giving your drunken buddy a ride in his inflatable?

Posted By: Paul - Thu Dec 09, 2010 - Comments (2)
Category: Boats, Hobbies and DIY, Toys

A Little Light Weirdness – 7

banana skins ahoy
It’s an election year in the UK, and politicians there are suddenly more image conscious than ever. None more so than incumbent Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who - at his wife’s suggestion - has swapped his regular Kit-Kat munching habit for a diet of bananas in an effort to slim down a bit. While it’s nice to know that the British PM’s wife is perhaps a reader this blog, she’s obviously not a regular one, or she’d have known that portly politicos are more trusted. Now if only he’d show the common touch by going on a bacon binge (Orange News).

Mind you, Mr. Brown is not the only statesman trying to avert a bleak future this week, an unnamed Arab ambassador got the shock of his life when he finally lifted his new bride’s niqab, only to find she had cross-eyes and a beard. The groom immediately went to court to have the marriage annulled, claiming he had been tricked into the marriage and that the bride’s parents had used pictures of her attractive older sister to deceive him. The court found for the groom and dissolved the marriage, but turned down his demand for $150000 compensation (Daily Mail).

But perhaps he’s been a bit quick to judge by appearances. Two Chinese men certainly were when the found a hoard of 20 clay artefacts in an old tomb they discovered in a field near their home, only to later sell the whole lot to a collector for less than $2000. Unfortunately for the pair, theirs were rare finds from the Sui-Tang Dynasty, making the collection over 1000 years old. One item alone, a pottery figurine, recently reached $150,000 at auction (Daily Times).

More fortunate was Wendy Jones of Aberglasney in Wales, who took the old plate she’d had perched on her sideboard for years – except on those odd occasions it had fallen off it - to a TV antiques show, in a plastic carrier bag, only to be told it was part of a rare, Prussian royal service worth over £100000 (Telegraph).

More in extended >>

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Wed Feb 10, 2010 - Comments (3)
Category: Boats, Cops, Crime, Stupid Criminals, Food, Government, Officials, History, Obscenity, Pirates, Politics, Retail Establishments, Theater and Stage, Facial Hair, Goofs and Screw-ups

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

weird universe thumbnail
Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
February 2023 •  January 2023

December 2022 •  November 2022 •  October 2022 •  September 2022 •  August 2022 •  July 2022 •  June 2022 •  May 2022 •  April 2022 •  March 2022 •  February 2022 •  January 2022

December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •