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


Christmas Ephemera – 1890s Chromolithograph Cigar Labels

by Sheryl Jaeger
I recently had the pleasure of visiting the John and Carolyn Grossman Collection at Winterthur. While reviewing cigar labels I came across a folder of labels titled “Schmidt Lithograph Co.” – Christmas. Upon examination, I found an array of predominantly sample labels for cigar boxes with Christmas themes in beautifully…

Railroad Hand Cars

by Richard Sheaff
Three-wheel and four-wheel handcars were—and are—work vehicles which have long had great appeal to popular imagination (remember that escape in Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? ?). There are numerous sources of information and many interesting collectibles out there for those so inclined. George S. Sheffield & Company (oversize trade card…

The Stratoliner

by Richard Sheaff
The Boeing 307 Stratoliner was the first commercial “high-altitude” (20,000 feet), pressurized airplane. Its design was based on the Model 299 B-17 bomber but had an expanded cabin, some 12 feet wide. The Stratoliner’s maiden flight took place on December 31, 1938. On March 18, 1939, that same aircraft crashed…

Labels by Crump

by Richard Sheaff
Recently I was contacted by a descendant of Samuel Crump, the well-known Victorian era printer and president of the Crump Label Company. The firm had been founded in 1832 by his father—also Samuel Crump, a wood engraver and printer in Montclair, NJ, an immigrant from Wales. Crump senior retired in…

Valentine Party Time – The Gospel According to Dennison’s

by John Sayers
This article appeared in the most recent version of the National Valentine Collector’s Association periodical titled the “Valentine Writer”. What do you do to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Perhaps a romantic candlelit dinner at a cozy local bistro? Is a bouquet of roses part of your day? How about a box…