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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

vintage ephemera

Until a few months ago, I had no idea what ephemera was. For those who don't know, ephemera is generally characterized as something that's not meant to be kept, usually made of paper. Examples would be post cards, magazines, newspapers, coupons, ticket stubs, etc.  We usually find a fair amount of these things at estate sales for little money. The other good thing is that they don't take up a lot of space and so are easy to store.

While I haven't purchased a ton of ephemera, I have found myself drawn to it. We've picked up several old magazines and newspapers, as well as maps, pamphlets, and brochures. One thing that I seem to be particularly drawn to is anything related to travel and landmarks. Today I thought I'd share a few with you.

The Civil War battle at Chickamauga was the last major victory for the Confederacy. A couple months later, the Union took Chattanooga.

The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first in the American Revolutionary War.

Colonial Williamsburg is on my to-see list. One day.

My only trip to DC was a single day trip, which of course isn't nearly enough time to see even a fraction of it.  I definitely want to go back and do a White House tour.

These Canada travel guides are neat and make me want to take another trip there.

I just love this bright, colorful guide to Alaska.

I've been to Yellowstone a few times. It is truly an amazing place, so I just had to have these when I found them.

Finally, an old field list of birds in the DC area. I'll have to take this with me when I go see the White House :)

Happy hunting!


  1. ooooh, Prince Rupert, British Columbia in Canada is a nice place to visit but expensive to fly from Vancouver. It is a misty place where you can see pods of orcas swimming in the ocean...

  2. I pass on that most times. Once, Aubrey was with me and he purchased some old magazines. I thought it was weird - but whatever. Anyway, he had this old Harley Davidson accessories catalog from the 60s in his stack. He decided to put it on eBay a couple of weeks later. The thing was only 6 or 7 pages. I was AMAZED to see the auction go up, up, up to $67! I think he might have paid a nickle for the thing!
    Anyway, since then,I have paid more attention to paper things! I just haven't found anything good since!

    I just love your guide to Alaska! It is so bright and colorful!! Good luck with them in your shop!!! BTW, how is the shop? Mine is super slow and I am currently having my worst week yet!!

  3. angela - jeff has a bunch of old car brochures that he were his grandfathers. we've seen them on ebay for up to $60 each, so i know what you mean!

    wish i could say sales were through the roof, but only 17 so far this month. i'm trying not to get down about it, but am focusing on trying to get stuff listed (what else is new?) - seems when i list new stuff, i get sales.

  4. I once lived in Prince Rupert and have visited several times since (though the last time was 23 years ago which may be more recent than your brochure). Canada is a vast and widely varying geographically. I would recommend Haida Gwai (the Queen Charlotte Islands when I lived there) or the west coast of Vancouver Island (less expensive). Atlantic Canada is also very beautiful and interesting. I have a 'Travel' magazine from the late forties and several copies from the early seventies of 'Beautiful British Columbia'.