Ephemera35 – The Sporting Life


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March 20 through Sunday, March 22, 2015 is ESA35 – the thirty-fifth annual conference of the Ephemera Society of America, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Old Greenwich, Connecticut.

Our Conference will take place on Friday, and, on Saturday and Sunday, the finest Ephemera Fair in the country, featuring incomparable material and exceptional dealers. Accented with an auction, a banquet, and a book signing, it will be a feast for the mind and heart. Collectors, dealers, academics, students, and even youngsters, will be treated to a wealth of scholarship and ephemera.

"The Sporting Life" will examine various sports, games, pastimes, and entertaining activities, with the use of historic ephemera. Our speakers are notable scholars, adept at sharing entertaining and historic perspectives, including the effect of changing cultural values, developing printing techniques, and the influences of travel and literature.


Our subject is vast, and fascinating, and we will incorporate subjects such as the early days of baseball, to the role of Black athletes in basketball, while a more obscure sport, pedestrianism, will surprise you. Exquisite vintage travel and advertising posters will tie together the social, cultural, and historic aspects, with imagery created by famed international artists. You will be inundated with exciting ephemera, from both private and public collections, presented by stellar speakers.


From antique to modern, from indoor to outdoor, we will use ephemera to visualize sports and games, the players and the creators, and their influence on recreation and entertainment. We will also take a look at how the changing values of society impacted some of our outdoor recreational activities, as we look at the modern era and conservation.

We are pleased to announce that our Banquet Speaker will be London’s esteemed Adrian Seville. His after-dinner presentation will explore the history of the Game of Goose, which was one of the very first and most common board games, impacting the strategic training of royalty and our modern games.

Sunday will be our annual General Membership Meeting, an intriguing Exhibitor’s Roundtable and the final day of the Fair. It will be packed with scholarship, fun, and camaraderie, and of course, the joy of the hunt, the victory of discovery, and the pleasure of being together with fellow enthusiasts of ephemera.

MARCH 20-22 should be marked in red on your calendar!
Agenda for ESA 35 – The Sporting Life

Friday, March 20, 2015
8:45 am Introduction and Exhibit Overview – Nancy Rosin, President
9:00 am 19th Century Baseball Ephemera: Early Marketing of the National Pastime - Michael Peich

10:00 am Break

10:15 am Pedestrianism: When Watching People Walk Was America's Favorite Spectator Sport - Matthew Algeo
11:00 am The Crucial Role of Ephemera in Tracing Black Basketball History – Claude Johnson
11:45 am Vintage Sporting and Olympic Posters - Nicholas Lowry, President of Swann Galleries
12:30 pm Lunch
2:00 pm Victorian Tabletop Games and the Cult of Manliness – Rebecca Klassen
2:45 pm Book-Based Games and Game-Based Books in Nineteenth-Century America – Laura Wasowicz

Book-Based Games and Game-Based Books in Nineteenth-Century America
By Laura Wasowicz, American Antiquarian Society

3:30 pm Break
3:45 pm Go Play Outside!: 1950s/60s Conservation Ephemera – Daniel Gifford
4:30 pm Baseball, Beards, Bands, and the Babes: The House of David and Mary's City of David – Christian Goodwillie
5:45 pm Book Signings

Saturday, March 21, 2015

9 am - 10 am Ephemera Fair - Early Buying for Society Members only
10 am – 5 pm Ephemera Fair Early buying for Society Members

7 pm Banquet with keynote banquet speaker Adrian Seville presenting "The Royal Game of the Goose - Road to Ruin or Pathway to Paradise?:

Sunday, March 22, 2015

9:00 am Annual Member Meeting
9:45 am Exhibit Roundtable
11 am - 4 pm Ephemera Fair

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