Wednesday, May 5, 2010

c.1950 Straight Arrow Golden Nugget Cave Ring Premium

I have a small collection of vintage premium rings and badges from old radio shows and serials, and they are some of my most treasured items. This is my very favorite: the Straight Arrow Golden Nugget Cave Ring (with secret picture) from around 1950.

 front of ring

back of ring

A bit of background: Straight Arrow was a radio show that began airing in 1948. A western hero similar to the Lone Ranger, Straight Arrow was a Comanche orphan raised by whites, who had a "secret identity" as Steve Adams, ranch owner. When trouble arose, he would race to his secret gold mine, where his Palomino horse, Fury, and his Comanche attire and weapons awaited him. Straight Arrow and Fury would then ride out to combat whatever problems had occurred, be they cattle rustlers or citizens endangered by rising flood waters. The show was sponsored by Nabisco's Shredded Wheat.

This ring represents Straight Arrow's gold mine hideaway, and it has a secret of its own. By peering into the tiny peephole "cave entrance" on the front of the ring, the viewer can see magically magnified images of Straight Arrow and Fury, and, if he sent in a photo of himself via the ad below, his own image as well, sandwiched between the two. (There's no way to show you how this appears, but if you look closely at the second picture above, of the ring's back, you should be able to spot the applied photo of the little boy who sent away for it.)

All of my old premiums give me a sense of connection to the past, as do my antique and vintage toys in general. But this one is special, with an even stronger feeling of connection than usual. As I look at the image of the little boy who once owned this ring, I'm struck with wonder: wondering what became of him, where he is now, and how his treasured toy ended up where it is today. (And also: how the heck did they do that magnifying image thing?!)


  1. I remember listening to the show on the radio,,, big fan and I sent away for one of the rings, unfortunately I didn't have my picture to be added to it, and also lost the ring over time and travel..

  2. I am curious as to where this ring was found? Honestly the kid in the picture looks a lot like my dad.