Ephemera

A Gallery of Antique Memorial Day Postcards

A Gallery of Antique Memorial Day Postcards

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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

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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

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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
Airline Memories #3: Aer Lingus Potpourri

Airline Memories #3: Aer Lingus Potpourri

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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 only is today St. Patrick's Day, but we are just weeks away from the 80th anniversary of the founding of one of the world's most iconic national airlines -- Aer Lingus. So to celebrate both occasions, here is a collection of some cool, vintage Aer Lingus items I've come across. As always, click on any item for a larger version.
Design Evolution: Vintage Cereal Boxes

Design Evolution: Vintage Cereal Boxes

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For my latest look at how much logos have changed over the years, it's time for us to all take a trip back to our childhood. It's Saturday morning, you've got a whole day of cartoons ahead of you, and you need the right fuel to get you started. What's better than a big bowl of breakfast cereal? Nothing, that's what. So here is a look at how ten of the most iconic brands in cereal looked in days gone by. These are not all the original box versions, just ones that I think you'll find the most interesting. One thing you'll see is that in many cases the iconic mascots you associate with cereal brands -- Sonny the Cuckoo Bird, Lucky the Leprechaun, and -- were not around when the cereal first came out. Grab a spoon and enjoy! Frosted Flakes (Kellogg's, 1951) Lucky Charms (Genera...
Sears Catalog Goodness #2: Fall 1958 Halloween Costumes

Sears Catalog Goodness #2: Fall 1958 Halloween Costumes

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In Sears Catalog Goodness I pull one page from a vintage Sears catalog to highlight neat, interesting, or just plain funny images and products sold by one of America’s greatest retailers once upon a time. You knew I couldn't go the whole Halloween season without sharing some vintage costumes from Sears, right? Well I'm not about to disappoint you on that front, so here is a page from the Fall 1958 catalog featuring the biggest heroes and stars of the day -- Zorro, Superman, Lassie, Woody Woodpecker, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Bugs Bunny, and "Pop-Eye the Sailor Man." The name characters on this page are great, of course, but my eye is drawn toward the costume that probably dates this assortment more than any other -- Satellite Joe, the "man of tomorrow." If that doesn't screa
Sears Catalog Goodness #1: Roy Rogers/Dale Evans Cowboy & Cowgirl Outfits, 1957

Sears Catalog Goodness #1: Roy Rogers/Dale Evans Cowboy & Cowgirl Outfits, 1957

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In Sears Catalog Goodness I pull one page from a vintage Sears catalog to highlight neat, interesting, or just plain funny images and products sold by one of America's greatest retailers once upon a time. From the 1957 Sears Christmas catalog we have what look like Halloween costumes but are absolutely not. If you were a kid in the 1950s then I don't have to tell you how large the whole Western genre loomed in American pop culture. In particular, two of its biggest stars were Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, whose career began in the 1930s and spanned decades. Given that, it was not at all strange for boys and girls to dress like cowboys and cowgirls just because. It didn't even need to be Halloween. I suppose the closest thing we have to that now is when little girls dress like...
A Gallery of Vintage Beistle Halloween Decorations, Part 3

A Gallery of Vintage Beistle Halloween Decorations, Part 3

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It's been a few years since my last gallery of vintage Beistle Halloween decorations, and I've collected some cool images so it's time to share once again. This time I'm focusing on Beistle products exclusively from the 1940s. Eagle-eyed readers may notice the name "Luhrs" pop up in this gallery. This refers to H.E. Luhrs, who was the son-in-law of company founder Martin Luther Beistle and served as president of the company. So with that bit of history out of the way, let's look at the gallery! And don't forget to check out my first and second Beistle Halloween decoration galleries.