Cigar Box Labels.

Elaborate Vintage Cigar Box Labels: A Plethora of Themes and Visual Curiosities
wefqwfqwfqwfThe collecting of cigar boxes is, like the collecting of stamps and coins, a specialized field of interest.
Peculiar Postage, which previously appeared here on Dark Roasted Blend, was not intended as a detailed study of stamps, merely a look at some of the more curious examples.
Similarly, the following article examines just a small selection of some of the most striking cigar box artwork from years gone by.image18
(Images in this article, unless otherwise noted, are courtesy Cigar Box Labels; used by permission)
Originally, cigars were sold to customers in bundles covered with pigs’ bladders, if you can believe it…
This hardly seems guaranteed to drive sales, but you’ll be relieved to know that vanilla was used to make this pork packaging smell a little sweeter. Large chests that could hold around 1,000 stogies were next introduced, but by the 1830s, cigars were being packaged in sealed cedar boxes.
image12Cedar apparently stops the cigars from drying out and matures the tobacco as well, but either way it sounds like a distinct improvement on the bacon bladders.
Between 1800 and 1960, wood was used to create around 80% of cigar boxes. The most common variety, called “nailed wood”, comprises six pieces of wood nailed together and holds 50 cigars.
via Dark Roasted Blend: The Golden Age of Cigar Box Art.

“Cucumber Man.”

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Cucumber Man, a superhero who unfortunately did not stand the test of time… Pictured is an Advertising Card for Rice’s Seeds from 1887.
Cambridge, NY Nichols’ Medium Green Cucumber Man.
Source: via Public Domain Review – cambridgephoto.com

“A Short History of Postcards”.

wishyouwerehere-675x460Postcards are extremely popular to collectors because they portray a lot of subjects, from picturesque landscapes to portraits of famous people. They can even portray various forms of art, architecture and events.
Postcards may also be considered as indicators of history, but it all depends on the determining factors that a certain postcard portrays. There are lots of people who appreciate the value of postcards, which is why many of them collect postcards as a hobby.
Postcard collecting is technically known as deltiology, and is now considered one of the popular collectible hobbies.

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Theodore Hooke posted the first picture postcard in 1840. It was a hand painted postcard depicting the post office and its workers (see above).
Apparently, it was Theodore Hooke himself who posted it as a practical joke, as it featured caricatures of the postal office workers themselves.
The American postal card was first conceptualised and patented by John P. Charlton in 1861. He eventually sold the rights to Hymen Lipman, who added borders to the postal cards.
These cards though, did not contain images and were known as “Lipman’s Postal Cards”.
A few years later, Leon Besnardeau made another picture postcard version. The postcard, became the first picture postcard in Britain.
It depicts emblematic images on one side of the postcard. However, there is no existing evidence indicating Leon Besnardeau mailed this postcard without an envelope. The postcard contains an inscription reading “War of 1870. Camp Conlie. Souvenir of the National Defence. Army of Brittany”.
A year after Britain’s first picture postcard was created, the first picture postcard that served as a souvenir came from Vienna. The following year, the first advertising card was distributed in Great Britain. In 1874, the first German postcard became available to the public.
In 1873, Morgan Envelope Factory was the first to develop the American postcard. In the same year as well, John Creswell, who was the postmaster during that time, presented the first pre-stamped postcards. The main function of these postcards was to make convenient means for people to easily send notes.
Two decades later, the post office created the first postcard souvenir to inform the masses of the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This boosted the sales of the postcards. In 1880s as well, the cards depicting other forms of images became extremely popular. This has led to the “Golden Age” of postcards until the 1890s.
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Postcards became popular especially during the early 1900s, when postcard publishing companies printed images of buildings and other structures.
In 1908 alone, there were approximately 700 million postcards mailed. Almost two decades later came the “white border” era. This era featured postcards with white borders around them.

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Eventually the “white border” era was replaced by the “linen card” era, which took place in the early 1930s. These linen cards feature a texture similar to linen cloth. This ‘linen card’ trend lasted until the 1950s.
via Overnight Prints

“Baby in a Basin.”

A number of years ago, I came across a copy of this carte de visite (CDV) photograph, copyrighted 1875 by the photographer William Shaw Warren of Boston.
It is without doubt the source image for a trade card design issued by Pond’s Extract, a patent medicine of the day.
Quite possibly the photograph was commissioned by The Pond’s Extract Company specifically to create their pond-pun trade card image.
The trade card can be found in a number of slight variations.

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This one was printed by Mayer, Merkel & Ottman of New York City.

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This one, in color, was produced by the firm of A.J. Maerz of Brooklyn.
Continue reading at Dick Sheaff’s wonderful blog via Baby in a Basin | Sheaff : ephemera

“Postcards of Nurses”.

d05277editA postcard exhibit at the National Library of Medicine shows how the cultural perception of nurses has changed over the decades.
By Helen Thompson
Florence Nightingale knew how to work the press. The Times first painted her as an iconic female healer—the “lady with the lamp”—for her work in the Crimean War in the 1850s.
Nightingale used her nursing image to drive public health legislation and improve sanitary conditions in the British army.
“The postcard is a very fleeting art form, and one that in the age of electronic communication—email, twitter, selfies, Flickr, and Instagram—looks ever more anachronistic,” says Hallam.
Today, postcards have been relegated to documenting exotic vacations.

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But, in their heyday at the turn of the 19th century, postcards were all the rage, an easy way to keep in touch without having to write a lengthy letter.
First patented in the U.S. in 1861, early postcards featured printed images of drawings, paintings and comics.
With the rise of personal cameras, “real photo” postcards became all the rage. As a result, postcards can provide a snapshot (both literal and figurative) of popular culture.
Over the years, postcards depicting nurses were used as recruitment tools, fundraising, advertising and even propaganda.
The current exhibit draws from the NLM’s collection of 2,588 postcards produced between 1893 and 2011, donated by former nurse and collector Michael Zwerdling.
Read on via The Evolution of the Nurse Stereotype via Postcards: From Drunk to Saint to Sexpot to Modern Medical Professional  Smithsonian.

“The Age of Scrapbooking”.

julaug14_d06_scrapbookingHow much media do you see in a single day?
God knows there’s more than ever being produced.
In the next 24 hours, for example, the New York Times will write more than 700 stories, the Huffington Post will post 1,200, Forbes and BuzzFeed will generate 300 to 400 and Slate another 60.
Of course, this is just the smallest sip from the fire hose. Throw in, say, YouTube, and you’ve got 144,000 hours of new video to watch every day.
How do we sift through this onslaught of news and information? Largely by using social media.
People now routinely cull through their favorite sites for photographs and bits of news, then post them online.
Collectively, we’ve pinned more than 30 billion items on Pinterest, shared a staggering 400 billion photos on Facebook and tweeted more than 300 billion times so far.
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Jolie Gabor (mother of actresses Eva, Zsa Zsa and Magda) scrapbooking in the 1950s. (Bettmann / CORBIS)
Cutting, pasting, collating: This feels like a new behavior, a desperate attempt to cope with a radical case of information overload.
But it’s actually a quite venerable urge.
Indeed, back in the 19th century we had a similarly intense media barrage, and we used a very similar technology to handle it:
the scrapbook.
Now read on via When Copy and Paste Reigned in the Age of Scrapbooking | History | Smithsonian.