Redeeming United Coupons

A National Cigar History Museum Exclusive 

© Tony Hyman


Uploaded  August 10, 2010

         Coupons issued by United Cigar Stores and its numerous profit-sharing-partners could be turned into goodies in two ways: in person at one of the Coupon redemption centers or by mail.

        Redemption centers existed nationwide for customer convenience, though stocks of all possible rewards were not kept at every location. The redemption centers had the latest catalogs and frequently offered bonuses to people who shopped there rather than by mail. The centers tried to maintain a fantasy-land atmosphere, displaying more consumer goods in one place than most of their customers, often immigrants or rural residents, had ever seen before. Courteous clerks  made them feel special, like they were important people getting something for free, which in a sense they were.

1916

PROFIT-SHARING STATIONS---

    Exchange of United Cigar Stores Coupons for articles in this Profit Sharing List should be made at our Profit-Sharing Stations wherever maintained.

    There are a few articles in this List which it is  not practical for us to carry in Profit-Sharing Stations. Such articles marked in this List with an asterisk (*) will be shipped direct to customers by the manufacturers. On such shipments we do not prepay express or freight charges.

    Customers who find difficulty in obtaining articles wanted at Profit-Sharing Stations, or who fail to receive prompt, courteous and efficient service therein, are requested to notify United Cigar Stores Co. (Premiums Department), 44 West 18th Street, New York.


REDEMPTIONS BY MAIL---

    Customers will please redeem Coupons in United Profit-Sharing Stations in cities wherever operated (see list of cities on back cover). When  distant from such cities redemptions should be made by mailing Coupons to any of the following addresses: [addresses given in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco...th]

    Always send Coupons by registered mail, but as Third Class matter (One cent for every two ounces).  Unless senders hold Post Office registration receipts signed by us we cannot be responsible for claims that packages of Coupons were sent by customers or received by us.

    The name and address of the senders should always be written on the outside of these packages to properly identify them.

    Inasmuch as it is a violation of the postal laws to enclose written matter in packages sent Third Class, customers will please send orders for articles wanted in exchange for Coupons, in separate letters mailed First Class.

    Always send coupons flat. Do  not roll or fold. Coupons of same color should be kept together, which will make counting quicker.


EXPRESS OR MAIL CHARGES--

    We do not pay charges on shipments. When ordering by mail therefore, enclose 12 cents in stamps to cover mailing charges up to one pound in weight, except when ordering rings, thimbles, collar buttons, scarf pins, cuff buttons, tie clasps and other small articles of this description, which are of about the same weight: then enclose 2 cents in stamps to cover mailing charges. Amounts sent by customers in excess of charges will be returned. Articles in excess of one pound in weight will be shipped express collect and stamps received will be returned

    All articles forwarded by mail or otherwise are at the risk of the customer.  

    Mail shipments may now be insured for the account of the customer at the following rates:

    3 cents up to $10 in valuation

    5 cents from $10 to $25 in valuation

    10 cents from $25 to $50 in valuation

    If insurance is desired, add insurance fee to mailing charges as above.

    All of the foregoing is subject to changes of rates or discontinuance of insurance arrangements.



 

 






           The directions and rules for turning these scraps of paper (see Coupons) into various goodies from razor blades to a concert quality grand piano (see Catalogs)

changed over the years. Changes were to clarify rules and procedures, to stop practices which made life difficult for the redemption centers, to adapt to changing mail regulations, and to reflect changes in products, prices and suppliers. 

        This exhibit is not intended to reflect every catalog change made since 1904 when the company began issuing United Profit Sharing Coupons. I have chosen 1916 and 1925 to show changes over a decade.



 

 

The first, largest, and most important of redemption centers, in New York City.          [17729]


 

The New York Redemption Center occupied some of the City’s prime real estate, 5th Avenue between 44th and 45th.  United’s offices and showroom were on the lower four floors.                        [17752]

        The first coupon was given away in 1904. They were so popular that by 1916, the following cities had redemption centers in operation or under construction.

Akron, OH

Albany, NY

Allentown, PA

Altoona, PA

Amsterdam, NY

Asbury Park, NJ

Atlanta, GA

Aurora, IL

Baltimore, MD

Batavia, NY

Battle Creek, MI

Bayonne, NJ

Binghamton, NY

Birmingham, AL

Bloomington, IL

Boston, MA

Bridgeport, CT

Brockton, MA

Brooklyn, N Y

Buffalo, NY

Burlington, IA

Cambridge, MA

Canton, OH

Charleston, SC

Charlotte, NC

Chattanooga, TN

Chicago, IL

Cincinnati, OH

Cleveland, OH

Cohoes, NY

Columbia, SC

Columbus, OH

Dallas, TX

Danville, IL

Dayton, OH

Decatur, IL

Denver, CO

Des Moines, IA

Detroit, MI

Dover, NH

Dubuque, IA

Duluth, MN

Easton, PA

East St. Louis, IL

Elizabeth, NJ

Elmira, NY

Erie, PA

Evanston,. IL

Evansville, IN

Fall River, MA

Far Rockaway, NY

Fitchburg, MA

Flint, MI

Fond du Lac, WI

Fort Wayne, IN

Fresno, CA

Galveston, TX

Gary, IN

Geneva, NY

Gloversville, NY

Grand Rapids, MI

Green Bay, WI

Hackensack, NJ

Hammond, IN

Harrisburg, PA

Hartford, CT

Haverhill, MA

Hoboken, NJ

Huntington, NY

Indianapolis, IN

Ithaca, NY

Jackson, MI

Jackson, MS

Jacksonville, FL

Johnstown, PA

Joliet, IL

Joplin, MO

Kalamazoo, MI

Kansas City, MO

Kingston, NY

Knoxville, TN

La Crosse, WI

Lancaster, PA

Lawrence, MA

Lima, OH

Lincoln, NE

Los Angeles, CA

Louisville, KY

Lowell, MA

Lynchburg, VA

Malden, MA

Manchester, NH

Memphis, TN

Meriden, CT

Meridian, MS

Middleton, NY

Milwaukee, WI

Minneapolis, MN

Mobile, AL

Moline, IL

Montclair, NJ

Muncie, IN

Nashville, TN

Newark, NJ

New Bedford, MA

New Brunswick, NJ

Newburgh, NY

New Castle, PA

New Haven, CT

New London, CT

New Orleans, LA

New Rochelle, NY

New York City, NY

Niagara Falls, NY

Norfolk, VA

Norristown, PA

Norwich, CT

Oakland, CA

Ogden, UT

Oklahoma City, OK

Omaha, NE

Oskosh, WI

Oswego, NY

Pasadena, CA

Passaic, NJ

Patterson, NJ

Pawtucket, RI

Peekskill, NY

Peoria, IL

Philadelphia, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsfield, MA

Plainfield, NH

Plattsburg, NY

Port Chester, NY

Port Huron, MI

Port  Richmond, NY

Portland, ME

Pottsville, PA

Poughkeepsie, NY

Providence, RI

Quincy, IL

Racine, WI

Reading,  PA

Richmond, VA

Rochester, NY

Rockford, IL

Rome, NY

St. Joseph, MO

St. Louis, MO

St. Paul, MN

Sacramento, CA

Saginaw, MI

Salt Lake City, UT

San Diego, CA

San Francisco, CA

San Jose, CA

Savannah, GA

Schenectady, NY

Scranton, PA

Shreveport, LA

Sioux City, IA

South Bend, IN

South Chicago, IL

Springfield, IL

Springfield, MA

Springfield, MN

Springfield, OH

Stamford, CT

Stapleton, NY

Stockton, CA

Syracuse, NY

Terre Haute, IN

Toledo, OH

Trenton, NJ

Troy, NY

Washington, DC

Waterbury, CT

Waterloo, IA

Waukegan, IL

Wheeling, WV

White Plains, NY

Wichita, KS

Wilkes-Barre, PA

Williamsport, PA

Wilmington, DE

Wilmington, NC

Winston-Salem, NC

Woonsocket,  RI

Worcester, MA

Yonkers, NY

Youngstown,  OH

1927

PREMIUM STATIONS

    Exchange of United Cigar Stores Coupons and Certificates for articles in this Catalog should be made at Premium Stations, one or more of  which are maintained in the majority of cities where the Company operates a store or stores.


REDEMPTIONS BY MAIL

    When distant from such cities, redemptions should be made by mailing Coupons or Certificates to the nearest of either of the following addresses (New York and San Francisco). How Coupons and Certificates can be sent by mail:

    FIRST CLASS MAIL

    2¢ for each ounce or fraction thereof.

    THIRD CLASS MAIL

    1½¢ for each two ounces or fraction thereof up to and including eight ounces.

    FOURTH CLASS MAIL

    Includes all parcels weighing over eight ounces. The postage must be prepaid in accordance with the parcel post zone rates. In addition to the parcel post zone rates there will be a service charge of two cents for each parcel except on parcels originating on rural routes. The service charge must be prepaid in the same manner as the regular postage.

    When sending Coupons or Certificates either First Class, Third Class or Fourth Class mail you should pay an extra fee and have them registered or insured, as we cannot be responsible for claims that packages sent, although properly addressed and stamped, were received by us.

    Inasmuch as it is a violation of the postal laws to enclose written matter in packages sent Third or Fourth Class mail, customers will please send orders for articles wanted in exchange for  Coupons or Certificates mailed as letters (First Class postage).

    The name and address of the sender should always be written on the outside of package or envelope containing Coupons or Certificates., 

Always send Coupons or Certificates flat. Do not roll or fold. Coupons or Certificates of the same color should be kept together, which will make counting quicker.


EXPRESS OR MAIL CHARGES

    We do not pay charges on shipments of articles ordered through the mail. When ordering by mail, therefore, enclose 6¢ in stamps to cover mailing charges up to eight ounces in weight, except when ordering thimbles, collar buttons, scarf pins, cuff links, and other small articles of this description which are of about the same weight; then enclose 1½ ¢ in stamps to cover mailing charges.

    Parcels weighing in excess of eight ounces and up to sixteen ounces enclose 14¢ in stamps, which covers parcel post and service charge up to one pound in weight. Amounts sent by customers in excess of charges will be returned. Articles in excess of one pound in weight will be shipped express collect and stamps received will be returned.

    All articles forwarded by mail or other-wise are at the risk of the customer.

    Mail shipments may now be insured for the account of the customer at the following rates:

    5¢ up to $5.00 in valuation

    8¢ from $5.01 to $25.00

    10¢ from $25.01 to $50.00 in valuation

    25¢ from $50.01 in $100.00 in valuation

    If insurances is desired, add insurance fee to mailing charge as above.

    All of the forgoing is subject to change of rates or discontinuance of insurance arrangements.


 

 

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