Ephemera articles and stories that will
educate, inspire, and delight!


Unusual Steel Engraving

by Richard Sheaff
I recently won a steel engraving proof on eBay, one of the thousands of engraving proofs that have been out there for several years now following the sell-off of the archives of the American Bank Note Company (ABN). A premier securities printer since the mid-1800s (including the printing of many…

Fire! Victorian Advertisers Capitalize on Danger

by Tamar Zimmerman
Nineteenth-century advertisers had no need to sensationalize the dangers of fire; its threat was ever-present. Homes were heated and meals cooked on wood, coal and gas-fueled stoves. In the evening, families gathered by the light of oil or gas-burning lamps, portable versions of which were carried upstairs to light the…

Larkin - The New Business Model

by John G. Sayers
In his post on this Ephemera Society website, Dick Sheaff presents ephemera that points to a new business model – selling by mail. You don’t actually go to the target market yourself – you mail to it. An example of that model is The Larkin Company of Buffalo, which fine-tuned…

Of Gobblers and Groaning Boards

by Richard Sheaff
Happy Turkey Day!

A Double Coincidence of Wants

by Richard Sheaff
From the earliest days of our nation throughout the 19th century and beyond, barter has been a way of life in many times and places, generally when cash money was in short supply. Money was indeed in short supply at many times throughout those decades for a variety of reasons…