The Birth of the Christmas Card, 1843.

Cultures have enjoyed sharing written New Year’s greetings for centuries. The English-speaking ritual of sending holiday cards, however, dates back only to the middle of the 19th century. Some sources say it originated with Thomas Shorrock, of Leith, Scotland, who, in the 1840s, produced cards showing a jolly face with the caption “A Gude Year […]

Hot Metal Type Pictures.

One panel of a folder for a tea merchant. This is an amazingly creative piece of work, with letters formed from “printers flowers” and border elements, and the letters made structural parts of a scene constructed in Oriental style metal type elements: Combination Chinese Border Series 91, Patented January 18, 1881 by MacKellar, Smiths & […]

‘Flying into San Francisco’ c.1920s.

In 1925, the United States Postal Service began to give airlines contracts to carry air mail all around the country. A company named Western Air Express applied to be awarded the air mail route from Salt Lake City in Utah to Los Angeles. In April of 1926, Western’s first flight took place with a Douglas […]

Japanese Hand-Tinted Postcards, c. 1900.

These hand-tinted Japanese postcards are part of an exhibit titled “The Traveler’s Eye.” The postcards, produced in the early 20th century as Western visits to Japan increased in volume, show off the skills of Japan’s photo colorists. The art of hand-tinting photographs, write the curators of a Harvard exhibit on the early photography of Japan, […]

Fish Market Trade Cards.

Although several nice versions of this Prichard & Knoll trade card with novelty fish lettering were produced in the later 19th century, you might say they are now endangered. These two came from the same dealer and recently sold at auction for handsome sums. They are equally nice, however the first card has much finer […]

A Short History of Postcards.

Postcards 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 […]

What is Printed Ephemera?

“a little museum of common printed things, to illustrate at one and the same time the historical development of our social life and the development of printing” The term ‘printed ephemera’, although used privately by the great English collector, John Johnson, was established in the public consciousness in 1962 by John Lewis’s work of that […]

The Art of Marbling Books.

Marbled paper has been used for centuries in bookbinding, generally as endpapers—front and back—sometimes as outside decorative covers. It is made by floating pigments upon a mucilaginous “size”, arranging the chosen colors as desired using toothed combs and other tools, then laying a sheet of paper or fabric onto the floating pattern to pick it […]

Letterpress Business Cards.

A collection of great business cards printed by the Letterpress Process. Especially suitable for sharp, clear type and images (foiled or embossed). The embossing process always brings out the best in these cards of business. via Letterpress Inspiration: Business Cards » Design You Trust.

Beautiful Vintage Print Ephemera.

Print Ephemera is generally material designed and printed to be useful or important for only a short time, especially pamphlets, notices, tickets and the like So, it just wouldn’t be right would it, if the print companies didn’t indulge in a bit of advertising of their companies using high grade ephemera Here’s some great stuff […]