Ephemera are transitory written and printed matter not intended to be retained or preserved. The word derives from the Greek, meaning things lasting no more than a day.
And yet, for some wonderful reason—these paper treasures lasted!
Ephemera can be anything—postcards, labels, magazines, theater tickets—according to the Ephemera Society (yes, there actually is a society!) there are over 500 categories of collecting.
Similar to most collectibles—the range of expense, sophistication and knowledge is vast. Often the high end of a hobby or interest is the only version we are easily exposed to. Unfortunately, that glimpse can be the cause of a door closing, rather than the wonderment of a door opening! Often an interested person may feel that collecting is “out of their league financially” or that the required education of the topic is lacking.
Collect pieces that move you—your collection does not have to become a significant or important item in a famous auction to have value—the value is in the joy you experience in looking, selecting and cherishing each piece and your collection!
The history lesson which is often accidentally stumbled upon, as was the case in the purchase of The Decoration Day Greeting postcard (pictured above) can inspire us, while connecting us to the past—assisting us to be mindful of the lives and the events that have come before us.
Hoping to achieve inspiration for designing an invitation to our Memorial Day—Parade-Viewing—Breakfast (the name is a mouthful) I discovered the postcard for Decoration Day Greetings. I came to learn, prior to the holiday becoming Memorial Day, the original name was Decoration Day, as this was a day to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers. The artwork of this postcard is so beautifully touching—I love the American flag dress the artist created and the sorrowful expression on the woman’s face. The background is a lovely landscape depicted in soft blues and greens. Printed on the gravestone in gold metallic ink is the year 1860 as the year of death. Indeed, I was inspired.
Dated May 28, 1909 and stamped with a one cent stamp, the poem reads;
Though more than forty years ago,
in Freedom’s cause he fell,
While facing furious, Gallant foe,
He is remembered well.
The Collection of Vintage Postcards at Rooster Ridge is small and has only just begun. I found this new-Vintage-style postcard rack and it sits at the top of the stairs in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge. Our collection of Vintage Postcards is inexpensive—purposely—to encourage holding, picking up, exploring and touching—admiring, dreaming and reading. The dated and handwritten messages on the cards from the original sender are a peek into bygone days. The addresses are interesting and often contain minimal information, studying the postcards is similar to a film set in a specific time period—these period pieces are a mere snapshot!
The inscription of one card dated 1910 reads;
Received the socks this morning. Thanks immensely. They are fine for the purpose.
Another dated 1909 reads;
Please excuse me for not writing sooner but mamma and paw both working every day and don’t have much time. We will write a long letter later. Your friend, Maude Mitten
The Campbell’s Tomato Soup Advertisement is from The Ladies Home Journal dated October 1926. With the significance of the historic soup kitchens just a few years later, there is subtle irony in the wording which proclaims;
WITH THE MEAL OR AS A MEAL SOUP BELONGS IN THE DAILY DIET
12 cents a can
Advertisements and labels from boxes and cans are often—simply put—beautiful art—which can become unique pieces to be framed and used in decorating.
Join us as we delight in the beauty, the history and exploration of the