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World's Most Curious Ephemera, Part 2

"QUANTUM SHOT" #526(rev)
Link - article by Avi Abrams

In 100 years most of these items will be gone from the face of the Earth

Paper is indeed highly perishable, so it makes sense to preserve and digitize paper collectibles as a historical medium and a cultural heirloom - to display and appreciate the bygone era while we can still touch and feel these items. In a few dozen years... the pulp magazines will be gone, the old restaurant menus and travel brochures will wither and fade, and ephemera in general will become elusive and "ephemeric" indeed.

Previously in our "Ephemera Highlights" Part 1 we featured Marty Weil and his excellent Ephemera collection. Today we'll spotlight more tasty morsels from his site (sort of an "annual hit parade"), and also from Martin Klasch who featured several choice items in 2008:

(image credit: Found in Mom's Basement)

John Ptak from Ptak's Science Books offers "The Dead Geniuses Chess Set". One could endlessly argue about which particular historical figure to chose for a particular set piece:

John Ptak's "Familiar Things Out of Context" series is worth a closer look: see, for example, the Statue of Liberty in Paris, 1884:

Top image: "Scientific American" for May 10, 1884 - Read more

Here is the statue all prepared for transfer to New York, seen in one of the Parisian parks:

Incredible cut-out Valentines, from Nancy Rosin collection:

(images via)

I pity the fool... can't pass these food-n-drink-related labels (check out the McDonalds ephemera collector club super-tongue item on the right) -

(images via and (bottom row) ParadiseCircus)

New York Purim Association' Fancy Dress Ball:

(image credit: Loc.gov, via Lauren)

Chinese fireworks rocket - to the Moon! I love how it "travels at high speeds and can travel long distances" - while the family on the label are all set to go up in flames as a "flammable rocket with report":

(image credit: Robert Newsome)

Some typewriter ephemera can even be spiritual: look at the somewhat profound image on the left:

(image credit: Peter Weil)

One could almost imagine being a member of the Playboy Club (back when it was still a groovy location) - Credit Card collector Chuck Jennings can arrange that:

Here are some pretty dubious posters: the one on the left is from Chinese Health authorities (and the one shown on the right is self-explanatory):

(image credit: Tim Siedel - via)

Collecting ephemera is a huge field, impossible to cover within the format of this article, but let's just highlight some directions for collecting and enjoying the world of printed paper:

Vintage Actors and Actresses

Marylin Monroe ephemera collector Scott Fortner shows some prized items from his collection:

Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman as "Joan of Arc" (1948):

(image via)

French actress Brigitte Bardot:

Alternative Currency Collectibles

Ephemera explains a little about this interesting phenomena. See for example Venezuela's alternative bills, or Calgary Dollars (info, image on the right) -

Vintage Car Brochures and Car Magazines

Sometimes pieces of automotive ephemera contain the most outlandish vintage concept car designs, almost entirely forgotten today. See, for example, nice "Volvo" retro brochures at this Flickr set. It also has a strange Plymouth concept from 1960:

(image credit: pbwoychick)

The Art of Luggage Labels

These are absolutely gorgeous! Rich with Art Deco and Art Nouveau influences, these gems of travel ephemera are preserved by Tom Schifanella - see for example, his pick of Top 10 Labels or incredibly detailed labels by Brügger Meiringen.

(images credit: Tom Schifanella)

Italian Richter & Co. Art Nouveau labels - full set:

"Inturist" (Soviet Union Travel Agency) labels from the 1960s-70s - full set:

Also don't miss the most fascinating travel brochure (with avantgarde industrial design), dated from 1931:

(images credit: Tom Schifanella)

An Ephemeral Sea

Want even more off-beat visual candy? Flickr provides lots of such browsing. You can find some pretty unlikely collections, such as a vintage Dutch sugar packets set, for example. Or the in-flight posters and labels from various airlines (that lady on the right seems to be positively enamoured with aviation) -

(images credit: Tom Schifanella)

And of course - vintage movie posters! Thousands of the most delicious varieties! This subject requires a separate post, but for now - here are a couple of absolutely awesome movie posters (the movies were not so awesome, but who cares):

Now, "happiness" may still be a "warm gun" and hard to come by, but according to this vintage ad - happiness is owning and caring for the Sea Monkeys, bless them!

(image credit: Found in Mom's Basement)

Article by Avi Abrams, Dark Roasted Blend.




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Anonymous Pieter-Jan said...

Those from "Sabena" are Belgian, the air way company Sabena went bankrupt a few years ago and went through some name changing. I think they're now called "Brussels Airlines".

Anonymous Marilyn Terrell said...

No!!!! Sea Monkeys must never disappear. So frolicsome!

Blogger BrianDeuelDotCom said...

I know where you got the movie posters :) I'm glad he got a new host so his huge online collection won't be lost.

That sea monkeys ad was in every comic book for 30 years. Good times.

Blogger Holy Cuteness said...

I love the good old paper stuff...

Anonymous DesignsDelight said...

Loving it so much, it reminds me of a post I posted up

Blogger alvarhillo said...

I was wrhite on mi blog an history about an old suitcase full of hotel labels. I found it beside a garbage container at Valencia (Spain). It´s really lovely.
I less you the link of suitcase fotography.
I hope did you like it.


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