I liked "wish catalogues" as a kid. I'm talking about the Christmas editions of the Sears and Montgomery Wards catalogues. Loved going through the toy sections and dreaming of all the junk I wanted. I still remember a Flintstone Bedrock Village that I desperately wanted. Didn't get it no matter how many hints I left. 

Comic books were another source for wishing. A lot of the comics had ads placed on the back cover and sporadically throughout the issue. Two that I most remember were like wish books. A full page of toys. All you had to do was sell something for some company and you'd collect points towards one of the items. I never sent in to become a big time sales person for either company, but a neighbor girl did. She sold stationary door-to-door. I don't know if she ever sold enough boxes to get anything, but I did buy a box. Still have it with a few sheets of paper left inside. It was very fancy and nice stationary. However, I don't recall her riding a new "Lightweight English Bicycle" so I'm thinking she was lucky if she got the sleeping bag.

This first ad from 1963 is for the American Youth Sales Club out of White Plains, New York. I believe this is the one my neighbor sold for. I can't find out anything online about the company.

American Youth Sales Club_tateredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

This second ad from 1963 is for the Wilson Chemical Company located in Tyrone, PA. Apparently you sold a salve called White Cloverine door-to-door and the company only recently went out of business. You can read more about the company at the Tyrone Historical Society. Okay, I'm thinking I'd have gone for the deep fryer. Definitely the deep fryer. Oh wait, Roy Rogers Flash Camera! Yeah, that's it. How much salve did you have to sell to get "Yessiree, a real live pony for your very own!" I imagine you'd have to camp outside the office of a skin doctor for about 20 years to sell enough salve to get that little sucker.

wilson chemical co_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

Is there anyone out there who sold for either company? Anybody get any of the big ticket items? Let me know. Personally I was always saving up for the sea monkeys.


  1. Anonymous12/07/2012

    My grandma just passed away, leaving me a 42 piece dinner set tha that was her mother-in-laws. It was earned by my grandpa by selling cloverine salve. I spent some time with him tonight asking him about the experience. He was 9 years old. Walked to town (3 miles each way) to sell the salve door to door. He was one of 17 children and wanted to earn the dishes for his mother. Thanks for this blog post as well as the one listing the dishes. Made my day!

    1. I am so happy you found this post. I hope you wrote down your grandfather's story because it's one to be passed down through the family. You made this post worthwhile!

  2. Anonymous9/30/2014

    Found this site searching for Am Youth Sales Club. I sold MANY boxes of cards for them in small town Iowa in the 1950s. Earned the English bicycle, sleeping bag, back pack, Daisy Target Special BB gun and more. I still have the back pack and the Daisy. I also cannot find any historical info on the company. Occasional magazine ad pulls on eBay.