Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tuesday Treasures

I asked my husband what was one of the many keepsakes he treasured in our family museum. He did not hesitate a moment when he picked up this little boy doll, not quite 8 inches tall. He has on a Chinese motif red jacket (safety-pinned on) over black pants. The reason why this little guy is so beloved is because when Keith was a little boy, he went to his older sister’s home for the day and there they made together the outfit he has been wearing for over 55 years. His sister Karan was learning how to sew and she thought it would be a good idea to teach her little brother the same. Not only does Keith cherish the memory, he does the same with this little doll. Who said boys shouldn’t play with dolls!

In 1975 I worked at the Harris Bank in Chicago distributing the soon-to-be-famous “Hubert the Harris Lion.” Hubert was the mascot and one of Chicago’s most recognized and beloved icons. When you opened a savings account, you got your choice of either a china bank or stuffed animal, whose idea was created in 1958 by those who brought us the Pillsbury Doughboy and Tony the Tiger.

I was fortunate to have both, however, only the bank remains and stands proudly in our family museum. The large stuffed lion was given away after my daughter, who was about 7 years old at the time, and deemed him to scary, especially at night. So he was given a new home. Both of these items can be found today on E-Bay.
What I remember the most about this stuffed lion is the ingenious marketing. I had observed that it was the men who opened most of the savings accounts and chose the stuffed animal over the bank. And because the lion was packaged in clear wrapping, the man could not hide Hubert as he walked to work or sat on the train, thus, this free advertising created much excitement in the Chicagoland area, before the bank knew it, they were inundated with people opening savings accounts to get Hubert. Who says men are not softies when it comes to stuffed animals. To see the entertaining television ad, visit this website.


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