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


Collecting Bottles Illustrated on Ephemera

by Glenn Mason
Or, Digging through paper instead of dirt Like many folks my age, I began collecting ephemera back in the 1960s as a result of being a bottle collector looking for advertising “go-withs”.  I was in college, married, and casting about for a career when the “bottle bug” struck.  As a…

Foreshadowing the Silent Movie

by Henry Voigt
The Grandon Hotel opened in Helena, Montana in 1885 when there was still gold in nearby Last Chance Gulch. The daily table d’hote dinner at the Grandon typically began with oysters that were delivered by the Northern Pacific Railroad. Oysters were shelled and packed in containers on the East Coast and…

From Society Balls to Buffalo Tails, Ephemera Traces Grand Duke’s Tour

by Jim Crain
“The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!” could well have been the chant in 1871 as excited Americans prepared for the arrival of the Grand Duke Alexis and his entourage of Russian dignitaries. For the United States, entertaining royalty from abroad was a rare event, but the Duke was…

Engraved Social Stationery

by Nancy Sharon Collins
The engraving of social stationery has long been a small but vital industry originating in Western Europe and subsequently practiced in the Americas and in the more affluent countries of the far East. Social stationery played a symbolic role in the literature of socially conscious writers such as Arthur Schnitzler,…

Fantastic Monumental World Fair Globes

by Richard Sheaff
Within the period between 1891 and 1903, plans were made to construct two different monstrously huge iron buildings in the shape of the globe, for two different World Fairs. Neither came to pass. The World’s Columbian Exposition (WCE) — also called The Chicago World’s Fair — was held to celebrate…

Swiss Communications Calculation

by Diane DeBlois
On the eve of the Great War, in 1914, a clever Swiss businessman invented and manufactured a “Posttaxenschieber” — an ingenious sliding scale that could calculate the cost of every form of communication available. The device was patented, was available at Huber’s shop on Tödistrasse in Zurich, and cost two…

The Secret Life of Victorian Cards

by Barbara Rusch
Like other forms of mass-produced ephemera cards of all types proliferated with the new technologies of the mid-1800s, allowing for increased social interaction and the regulation of social standards that characterized the Victorian era. As the 19th century progressed, rules of deportment became more rigid, and cards helped define the…