Ephemera is a broad term used to describe items of paper that were created for use in a short time span and meant to be thrown away after one or two uses. Items generally put into the ephemera category of collecting would be sheet music, posters, stock certificates, post cards, cigarette cards, magazines, catalogs, and the like.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Irish Cigarettes

This is very interesting to me. First of all I love the color and the graphics on the box. It actually is a box flattened out. Very small size, but then it only held 10 cigarettes. On the back in Madeline's handwriting is "Irish cigarettes, King". No idea what King means. I don't believe she ever smoked, but then again she was in her 50's when I met her. I'm sure she saved this because it reminded her of an event or a person. When I googled "Gold Flake cigarettes" I learned that this box is pre-1945. I also found a few glamorous advertisements of woman smoking these cigarettes. And I learned that they are the most popular brand today in India.

This is all so fascinating to me, learning about each of the hundreds of items that she saved. I could very well spend the rest of my life learning about it all.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Today's memory is a 1950's decade oversize Christmas card that reads "Merry Christmas to a Fine Big Boy". I pulled this from the box and was happily surprised when I turned it over and saw that it was addressed to my husband, "Billy". Santa looks so happy in this card, but the elves are a little scary. Love the bright colors and the size of the card. Merry Christmas to everyone.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New York World's Fair

The 1939 World's Fair was held in Flushing Meadows, New York and was the largest World's Fair of all time. Madeline must have been quite impressed with the exhibits as she collected many brochures as she made her way around the fair. (I actually attended the Montreal World's Fair in 1967, but collected nothing as I went with my mother.) I just reached into the box and came up with this. Madeline was just a few years older than I was at my World's Fair experience. I'm sure she enjoyed the House of Jewels exhibit. I never pass a jewelry store window display without thinking of her. She always insisted we stop and admire the jewels, even if we would never wear them. She actually donated two diamonds from a family ring for my engagement ring. So in a way it is very fitting that the first memory I posted is about jewelry.

Of the five jewelers listed in the exhibit program, only three are in business today--Tiffany, Cartier, and Black, Starr & Frost-Gorham. However, Black, Starr, & Frost-Gorham only has a store in CA and closed their NY store. Marcus & Co closed in 1962 and Udall & Ballou closed their doors on Dec 24, 1949. A Udall & Ballou gold compact was recently listed on Ebay for $1998.

Friday, October 16, 2009

This is a blog about a box. A box of memories. Madeline's memories. Madeline was my mother in law and she entered the next world about a year and a half ago at the age of 84. She lived life to the fullest and saved anything that would remind her of her fun times. She had many scrapbooks and photo albums and had plans for so many more. Her greatest fear in her last years was that her family would throw them all out in the trash when she was gone. My husband and I assured her that we would not let that happen and I reassured her that I would take possession of all her memories and make sure they were shared with her grandchildren and future generations.

So we carted boxes of her memories from her home in Massachusetts to our home in Maryland and found a place for them among our memories. As we were cleaning out her home, I found many programs, advertisements, brochures that appealed to my love of everything old. I threw them all into a large rubbermaid container, which now sits in my office/craft area. Because all this is history, I wanted to share it with others. I've decided that the best way to do that and to get around to looking at all the items was to blog about them. I really don't care if anyone else reads this. It's just something I feel I have to do. My plan is to pull an item from the box every day and post an image and description and in doing that tell the story of Madeline Farmer Parquette.

The journey begins.