Ephemera

Outstanding Poster Art: Modern Jazz for ’56

Outstanding Poster Art: Modern Jazz for ’56

Auction Finds, Ephemera
Sometimes I see a piece of pop art and just know it's from the 1950s without knowing anything else about it. Such is the case with this phenomenal piece from 1956, advertising a concert called Modern Jazz for '56, which seems to have been a package tour. It featured artists such as Chris Connor, the Modern Jazz Quartet, the Don Shirley Duo, and Herbie Mann and was sold as "an enjoyable evening with your favorite modern jazz artists." This particular concert was held on January 27, 1956 at the Victoria Theatre in what I believe is Kansas City. Dig this beauty, man: I would frame this gem in a heartbeat if I had it. So totally mid-century and just oozing with that hep cat charm you also find on a lot of jazz album covers from the period. A concert review published on January 29th b...
Sears Catalog Goodness #3: Late ’70s Exercise Equipment

Sears Catalog Goodness #3: Late ’70s Exercise Equipment

Ephemera
I know that making fun of 1970s fashion is an easy thing to do, and I certainly enjoy a good bell-bottom or earth tone joke as much as the next guy. But one thing that gets overlooked in '70s jokes is how primitive the home exercise equipment of that time looks compared to now. To illustrate, here are three pages from the Fall 1977 Sears catalog that showcase home workout equipment made up of approximately 86.3% pipes and belts. Let's get physical!
Groovy College Course Catalogs of the 1970s

Groovy College Course Catalogs of the 1970s

Ephemera, Featured Posts
Whether for their graphic design, optimistic photographs, or quaint vintage charm, I always have a blast looking at old college course catalogs. So I'm going to share some of my favorites with you, grouped by decade. Up first are the groovy '70s. Here are one dozen college course catalogs from the Me Decade, covering both undergraduate and graduate schools from small junior/community colleges to well-known and prestigious universities. (All images courtesy the Internet Archive.)
A Gallery of Antique Memorial Day Postcards

A Gallery of Antique Memorial Day Postcards

Ephemera
Antique Memorial Day postcards are among the most evocative piece of vintage ephemera you can collect. With their elegant imagery mixing both patriotism and remembrance of those who died in service of this country, they are almost uniformly somber but almost uplifting at the same time. The postcards on display here mostly date from the first few decades of the 20th century, when the holiday was more often known as Decoration Day. That's due to its roots as a day to decorate the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers. Not coincidentally, these cards are heavy on the Civil War imagery.
Airline Memories #4: 1970 TWA Flight Shop Catalog

Airline Memories #4: 1970 TWA Flight Shop Catalog

Ephemera
In Airline Memories, I share aviation items and curiosities from the long history of commercial flight. You’ll see everything from ephemera to souvenirs and other branded items from various U.S. airlines. If you have a request or anything else to share, leave a comment or contact me directly. Not a day goes by that people don't mourn the loss of the great TWA in some fashion. Next to Pan Am, TWA may be one of the most iconic airline brands no longer with us. But not today! For thanks to the Gray Flannel Suit time machine, we can hop back to 1970 and check out this fantastic souvenir and accessories Flight Shop catalog. In it we can dream of ordering fantastic TWA-branded merchandise like model airplanes, umbrellas, golf balls, luggage tags, and even cutlery. Enjoy!
Brochure Beauties #5: Pacific Telephone Colorphones

Brochure Beauties #5: Pacific Telephone Colorphones

Ephemera
This lovely brochure comes from Pacific Telephone, and advertises their line of extension colorphones. There's no date on this one, but I think 1960s is a reasonable guess. The front of the brochure features a delightful mid-century color palette that definitely predates the earth tones of the '70s. Perhaps someone more versed in commercial artwork of the period can figure out a more precise date range? Pacific's full name at the time of this brochure was The Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company, by which they were known until 1983. That's the year they moved from their parent company, AT&T, to one of the many new Baby Bells formed in the wake of the former company's breakup, Pacific Telesis. Today, the company once known as Pacific Telephone operates as the Pac