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


Greetings from “Over There”

by Richard Sheaff
Holiday and other greeting cards in the United States developed throughout the 19th century, but by the first decade of the 20th century, the industry was dominated by postcards designed and printed in Germany. That ended with the outbreak of WWI. During “The War To End All Wars” (yeah, right),…

Marbled Edge Continental Currency Challenged British Counterfeiting

by Steve Swain
Early American paper money is separated into two categories: colonial currency, issued by the individual colonies as early as 1690 and continental currency, issued from 1775 until 1779 by the newly formed Continental Congress. The paper bills issued by the colonies were known as “bills of credit”. Figure 1 presents…

Over The Top

by Richard Sheaff
One of the basic human needs is to have a roof overhead to protect from rain, sleet, snow, high winds and wildlife looking to nest. In new construction, roofing structure (lumber) is installed, topped off with some all-important waterproof sealant . . . tiles, slate, shingles, asphalt, tin, iron, steel,…

Wacky Victorian Imagery

by Richard Sheaff
By and large, many folks think of the Victorian Era as a period of straight-laced, repressed conformity. But it was not, in any of a dozen different ways. One of the most wonderful things about Victorian graphics is the abundance of unexpected and totally delightful, off-the-wall fantasy concepts. Many of…

Mining Nuggets Buried in the Fog of Time

by Richard Sheaff
The cultural past as codified in history books might be likened to the bare, standing steel framework of a skyscraper: we can see the broad outline, but not yet the myriad details which make the building come alive. Many a piece of printed ephemera that has somehow survived the vicissitudes…