Examples of the types of ephemera we buy, sell, and trade from our inventory and private collections.

The ephemera Catalog

Ephemera  -- per Maurice Rickards, ephemera is 'minor transient documents of everyday life'.  Here are examples of some of the ephemera we carry in our inventory. 

Postcards -- The first US Post Office prepaid cards were issued in 1873.  Between 1905 and 1915 postcards were widely used no only because they were an inexpensive way to keep in touch with family but also because they were being collected and traded as they are to this day.

Photographs  -- including snapshots, CDVs, Cabinet photos, tin prints, daguerrotypes, and stereoviews.  Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre introduced the Daguerre type in 1839.  Photography took a huge leap by 1880 when the light hand-held camera was introduced. 

Advertising Trade Cards -- is the printed paper used by early shopkeepers as an aid-memoire for his customers.  By 1880 multicoloured trade cards appeared in America with arrival of immigrant chromolithographic printers.  American trade cards are brightly colored and devised as collectable and are found today in scrapbooks.

Travel Brochures  -- brightly printed multipage booklets promoting areas of interest for people to visit. 

Trade Catalogs -- a booklet printed by a specific company promoting their products to consumers and tradesmen.  Often the catalogs contained color illustrations & directions.

Cookbooks -- includes recipe flyers.  Colorful one to multi-page booklets produced by food companies to demonstrate the use of their product through various recipes.

Letterheads/Billheads -- by the 1850's printing accuracy created an industry around ornamental letter and billheads used by merchants for correspondence and invoices.

Labels -- includes travel, cigar, and advertising of all types.  A piece of paper, card, plastic, metal, or other material that is attached to an object to identify its contents, nature, ownership, destination, or other characteristics.

Postal History -- relates to the carriage of letters in every aspect, including the use of postage stamps.

Magazines --  monthly or weekly publications that were sold to consumers.  They contained articles of interest and advertising.

DieCuts -- printed material that has been cut into a shape with a metal die.  The end result is a shaped object, for example a greeting card in the shape of the image, rabbit, Santa, etc. 

Greeting Cards/Valentines -- in the 19th century an efficient postal system helped establish the ritual of sending an annual greeting at Christmas, New Year, Valentines Day and Birthday. 

Posters -- posters came of age as a major social force in WWI when they were used as war propaganda.  After the advent of television, the use of posters/poster art declined. 

Menus -- dining habits over the past 150 years have been documented in menus.  Four main fields of collecting are represented in menus, cuisine, design, prices, and associations.

Original Artwork -- signed or unsigned original creations by an artist, trained or untrained. 

Sheet Music -- publications of music issued in loose sheets typically consisting of no more than 4 pages and emerged after the invention of the piano in the 18th century.

*definitions and information from Encyclopedia of Ephemera by Maurice Rickards, c2000.