As a kid I was big on box top and the like offers, especially so the radio premium offer from Ovaltine called Captain Midnight Code-O-Graphs, and more specifically so the 1942-1945 Photo-Matic version that figured so prominently throughout my childhood into adulthood. Sgt. Preston, who started out on radio went big time when the program began to be sponsored by the Quaker Company, especially so after being connected with their Quaker Puffed Wheat and Quaker Puffed Rice and becoming nationally syndicated.
What I really remember about both cereals and their offers was not so much box-top related but "box" related. For quite a period of time the boxes were printed on the back and sides with full color cut-outs of buildings and stuff related to the northwest and Sgt. Preston. Even though I was getting semi up-there age-wise for those type things, there was something about those on-the-box cut outs I really liked.(see) As for box-top offers, although there were more, I remember three, two up near my teens or just into them. One was called a Sgt. Preston Prospector's Camp Outfit which had a coffee can size camp cook stove that I had to have (.50 cents and a box-top) and the other was probably the most infamous, Quaker's deed to one inch square of Yukon land offered through the Klondike Big Inch Land Company. I have no idea what ever happened to the cook stove, but I still have my original deed from the Big Inch Land Company. The third box-top offer, also a Quaker cereal promotion, was called Capt. Sparks Airplane Pilot Training Cockpit. It was from my early childhood and, although I didn't have one myself, the girl next door who babysat my brothers and me had one.(see)
SGT. PRESTON OF THE YUKON: HOW HE BECAME A MOUNTIE
As can easily be seen by the above story about how Sgt. Preston Became A Mountie the period and area he operated in was the gold rush era of late 1800's and the Canadian northwest territories. The area he policed was vast, wild, and mostly not covered by official law. There was, however, what was called "The Code of the Yukon," although not written it was closely akin to the Cowboy Code of the West. It was a rule of thumb used by the prospectors and peaceful inhabitants of the territories based more-or-less on common sense, British Common Law, and the Golden Rule. As you can tell by reading the above origin story, both Sgt. Preston as a young boy through to manhood --- and his father as well before him --- although not formally mandated by the codes, nonetheless adhered to them. In 1920 the Northwest Mounted Police became the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) creating it's own code of conduct they expect all of their officers to abide by.(see)
HIS HISTORY AND EVOLUTION
THE CODE MAKER, THE ZEN MAKER
SHANGRI-LA, SHAMBHALA, GYANGANJ, BUDDHISM AND ZEN
CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT MEETS THE SPY SMASHER
DID THE WANDERLING FLY?
ON THE RAZOR'S
As to the subject of donations, for those of you who may be interested in doing so as it applies to the gratefulness of my works, I invariably suggest any funds be directed toward THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT and/or THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.
UNCLE SCROOGE FINDS A DEED TO ONE SQUARE INCH OF LAND IN A BOX OF CEREAL AND
HE AND DONALD AND HIS THREE NEPHEWS, HUEY, DEWEY, AND LOUIE GO IN SEARCH OF IT
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UNCLE SCROOGE: FAULTY FORTUNE
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SGT. PRESTON'S YUKON TRAIL
Although I didn't have a Capt. Sparks Airplane Pilot Training Cockpit myself as a kid, one did however, play a major role in my later adult life by justly confirming what I could or could not remember from my early childhood.
One night a couple of months into World War II while I was still a very young boy, during the early morning hours of the latter part of February 1942, a giant airborne object of an unknown nature came in off the Pacific Ocean flying over the Los Angeles area for several hours causing a basin-wide blackout. After taking over a thousand hits by anti-aircraft fire it simply disappeared back out over the ocean seemingly unharmed. I clearly saw the object that night along with my family and neighbors as it flew at a very low altitude directly over my house and I have written about it as such as found in UFO Over L.A., The Battle of Los Angeles.
One of the major historians of the battle C. Scott Littleton, even though he cites what I have to say extensively in his works (usually uncredited) he almost always adds that his source (me) as being too young to remember what I reported as well as sometimes using the word "shaky" as to what I reported. To counteract his thoughts on the subject I have presented throughout my works a whole series of things I remember from the era, of which one is the following:
"I remember a lot of things, up to and well before that period of time in my life. For example, my mother nursing my brother who was three years younger than me. Seeing barrage balloons floating in the sky tethered to the ground over the shipyards in Terminal Island where my father worked. Because metal was not available for toys during wartime, the lifesize cardboard toy fighter plane-type cockpit --- colored on one side with dials and windshield and printed only in black and white on the backside --- with a movable square cardboard joystick that the girl next door had."
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Please notice it you have clicked the above image the newspaper advertisement that shows up promoting the Capt. Sparks Airplane Pilot Training Cockpit is in a newspaper dated November 6, 1941 almost one month to the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that ushered the U.S. officially into World War II. Notice as well, even though I stress cardboard vs. the lack of metal toys because of the war, that the pilot training cockpit, albeit cardboard, was already anticipating the oncoming war and lack of metal. An example of how restrictions on the use of metals for non-essential items, once put into place, impacted things such as toys and thus then, one's childhood, I refer you to the following as found in Captain Midnight's Code-O-Graphs so sourced:
"The advent of World War II had an impact on the Code-O-Graph availability: the two previous models were made of brass, and the attack on Pearl Harbor, which propelled the United States into World War II, caused the U.S. Government to impose restrictions on manufacturing materials. Copper and brass were considered critical materials, and most of the materials were diverted to war activities. This precluded brass being used to manufacture novelties like radio premiums.
"The Photo-Matic Code-O-Graph, although not distributed until 1942, was manufactured prior to the Pearl Harbor attack. Since it, and its predecessor, were undated, the newer Code-O-Graph was used for the 1943 and 1944 seasons as well as the 1942, making it the Code-O-Graph with the longest service life. The cipher setting scheme was similar to the 1941 Mystery Dial model, but there was only one cipher setting window, labeled 'Master Code.'"(source)
1942-1944 PHOTO-MATIC CODE-O-GRAPH
Cardboard and paper toys in lieu of metal ones were nothing. Even though my home was thousands of miles away from the raging turmoil of the battlefronts, living practically on the beach along the Pacific coast we were constant hostage to attack. Although most people don't know it or they don't remember it, the hostilities of the war visited our shores more than once, and sometimes so close it was like it was in our front yard. Japanese submarines prowled the waters all up and down the coast with shipping being hit, torpedoed, damaged and sunk. The mainland being hit with shells, bombs, and by air attacks.
On Christmas day 1941, eighteen days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the huge transoceanic Japanese aircraft equipped submarine, the I-19, under the command of Lieutenant Commander Narahara Shogo, torpedoed the McCormick Steamship Company's 5,695-ton American lumber carrier
S.S. Absarokain the channel between Catalina Island --- the island which you could easily see from the beach where I lived --- and the mainland. Although the Absaroka didn't sink she had a gapping hole blown in her hull taking on water to her main deck. She was towed and beached at Fort MacArthur near San Pedro. To show the continued Japanese perseverance, two years following the Absaroka attack, a two-man Japanese Navy midget submarine washed up on the beach near my house one day when I was a kid after being bombed offshore. Sure, it was nothing like what was happening in either of the two major theaters, but happening none the less.
TWO-MAN JAPANESE- MIDGET SUBMARINE MOUNTED
ADJACENT TO THE MOTHER SHIP'S CONNING TOWER
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ACTRESS JANE RUSSELL STANDING INSIDE THE HOLE
BLOWN THROUGH THE HULL OF THE S. S. ABSAROKA
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