Ephemera articles and stories that will
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Of Paper Americana and Philaphemerists

by Richard Sheaff
I have come to look at many collecting areas as parts of a cohesive whole, rather than a list of separate specialties such as stamps, covers, trade cards, letterheads, cancellations, postal history, greeting cards, revenues on a document, etc. It is, in reality, a universe of intersecting interests. Take one…

The Flowering of Color Printing

by Dave Mihaly
In “The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887–1920”—the exhibition on view in The Huntington’s MaryLou and George Boone Gallery through May 9—you can catch a glimpse of a 19th-century innovation that brightened the visual culture of the age: color lithography, or stone printing in multiple inks. Examples…

As Trade Cards Morphed Into Postcards

by Richard Sheaff
Trade cards were a late 19th century phenomenon, and postcards were an early 20th century craze. In the period from, say, 1890 to 1910, all sorts of interesting transitions occurred as businesses moved away from advertising trade cards to advertising postcards. One interesting aspect was that some cards, which appear…

Die-Stamped Wooden Trade Card

by Richard Sheaff
One prized acquisition at the recent Ephemera Society conference and fair in Greenwich was a trade card, apparently, made of wood! Produced by the Ornamental Wood Manufacturing Company of Bridgeport, CT, bearing a patent date of October 18, 1865, it measures @4 1/4” x 2 3/4”, and is @ 1/4“…

Simple Little Black & White Clues

by Richard Sheaff
The humble small, vintage business card . . . often type only, often printed letterpress, often on coated stock, is an easily overlooked source of rich tidbits of primary source information. Here are a few . . . the careful reader may find a number of new things to ponder…