Ephemera articles and stories that will
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Write on, Brother!

One aspect of collecting manuscript material and/or postal history is the challenge of deciphering vintage handwriting. But there is also the occasional joy of coming across handwriting that is eye-catching . . . sometimes because of its elegance, sometimes because of it’s unusual and quirky nat…

Other Times, Other Places

One of the primary attractions of ephemera is that we are given glimpses into the way we were. Here are a few examples. A card distributed by agents of the circus, almost a half-century ago now, to alert potential customers of upcoming dates and places . . . No app for this, in those d…

January 1, a good day to hop on the wagon!

Horse-drawn commercial delivery wagons are an interesting subject and a rich topical collecting area. Vintage delivery wagons (as well as many other types of wagons, carriages, carts, horsecars, coaches, and drays) can be collected as trade cards, advertising covers, industry periodicals, trade …

Internal Engine Advertising Vehicles

Last week’s post was about 19th-century commercial delivery wagons; this week’s moves ahead in time a bit, to show some creative, motorized commercial advertising vehicles. (These unattributed images were forwarded to me from somewhere on the web.) …

Divers and Sundry

One of the most appealing things about collecting printed ephemera is that anything and everything can fall into your field of interest, that fascinating and unusual items can appear as if by magic in the most unlikely of places. Here are a few random odds and ends that caught my eye somewhere a…

Standing in Proud Relief

I have long been a fan of design which incorporates embossing. In my own graphic design work, I often included a blind-embossed element. Strong embossing requires the making of a male die and a female die, in perfect alignment; for each impression, one sheet of paper or cardstock is compressed b…

What has egg-shaped eyes and a swelled center?

A: A needle! http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntq8rcB8SJA Needle booklets are an interesting category of collectible . . . they encompass a wide range of topical areas, are often graphically interesting, and come cheap. …

Junk Mail Is Nothing New

The mid- to late-nineteenth-century saw the beginnings of advertising agencies (most, at first, simply placing newspaper ads for their clients), of compiled mailing lists and pre-printed labels . . . and of junk mail fishing for fresh, new contacts. For a variety of reasons, the first junk mail …

The Valentine – A Tribute to Love

Nancy Rosin is President Emerita of the Ephemera Society of America and the President of the National Valentine Collectors Association. Now in its 40th year, the National Valentine Collectors Association preserves and communicates the history of this beautiful material, and enable collectors to …