Q: I read one of your recent columns regarding the Tootsie Roll bank. I'm in a similar situation, and I'm hoping you can shine some light. Attached is a picture of a bank that I have. I am 61, and I believe I've had it since I was about 10. The bank was originally a Nestle Chocolate Nesquik container. We always had Nesquik in the house, and once the container was empty we used it as a bank. The sides are cardboard, and the top and bottom are metal. There is a slit in the top for inserting coins. It can hold about $150 worth of change. It's quite heavy when full, but it has never showed any sign of giving out. It's really amazing that I have held onto it for some 50 years and that it's still in great shape.
A couple of years ago I sent a picture to Nestle Group inquiring about its history. The response I received said that no one had any record of the bank promotion. I found that rather odd. Surely, there must be a record somewhere. I can't be the only person who has one. I had pretty much given up hope until I saw your column
Your thoughts on its history would be appreciated. I'm not foolish enough to think that it has any value. It would just be nice to know whether I own a rare piece of Nestle memorabilia.
A: Nestle was founded in Switzerland by pharmacist Henri Nestle in 1867. He began producing an innovative baby food formula. After being in competition with the Anglo-Saxon Condensed Milk Company, the two companies merged in 1905 to form Nestle Group. In 1948, the powdered milk mix Nesquik was introduced. It was marketed as an easy-to-make drink fortified with vitamins for children. Strawberry-flavored Nesquik was added in the 1950s, followed by banana and vanilla. In addition to Nesquik, the company makes candy bars, syrup and cereal.
Your Nesquik bank was made circa 1960s and has been sold online for anywhere from $10 to $40.
Q: This mark is on a set of dinnerware that belonged to my grandmother. She bought it in the late 1950s. It is decorated with wheat against a cream background. The set includes dinner plates, salad plates, cereal bowls, berry bowls, two serving bowls, and cups and saucers.
What can you tell me about its value?
A: Stetson China Co. was founded in 1919. A family-operated company, Stetson sold dinnerware in department stores. Sets were also made for Procter & Gamble to be sold as premiums for purchases.
Your set would probably be worth between $130 and $200.
Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P.O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters. To find out more about Anne McCollam and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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