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, July 27, 2010

One Room School House

Madeline went to school in a one room school house in South Newbury, NH called South School.  This unique experience was a major factor in shaping her personality I believe.  Here are a few school photos:

This photo was taken in 1929.  Madeline is the second from the left, first row.

This pic is from 1933.  She is smack in the middle of the first seated row.

Here is one of her school books:

This is a workbook with lessons and quizzes.

Example of inside page.

I found a test paper inside.  (You knew she'd have one!)

Back side of test.

Here's an old spelling book we found at the house.  It's too old to be one of Madeline's school books I believe.  Here is some info I found about one room school houses in South Newbury:

Much of the vitality of a village came from its young population, and schools are required for their education. The original South Newbury Schoolhouse, in need of repairs, was moved from its site next to the church in the 1850s to Sleepy Street, where it was renovated and where Lorenzo Heath lived. A new school house (the present Friendship House) was built in 1853. When Newbury became part of a seven-town centralized school district, elementary school children were sent to Bradford, and the many small one-room schools were abandoned or put to other use.

By the 1900s, South Newbury abounded with children. Richard Perkins reports that in the late 1930s and early 1940s, there were up to 35 students in the one-room school house. Some of the seventh graders were sent to the Center School in Newbury to alleviate overcrowding. After eighth grade, students went by train to Warner for high school, and some to Newport. School was an opportunity for socializing as well as learning. Several residents who grew up in the area in the 1930s remember winter toboggan and double-runner bobsled rides that started up on Old Post Road. Perkins says, “Ten kids would climb aboard and take a run down Old Post Road, ending up in the parking lot of the Church on a really good ride.” This was before the new Route 103 brought traffic and barriers that put an end to the toboggan runs. “Often in winter,” says Perkins, “we would skip lunch at school to go skating on the ponds. There was a ski jump built for the Grange Winter Carnival across from the church. The hill there was much higher before the state took much of it for road fill for Route 103.”

A summer term was usually taught by a woman; students included the youngest children. During the winter a male teacher taught the older boys, who had less work on the farms during that season. Students throughout the year ranged from tots of 4-5 to girls in their late teens to young men in their 20s.

The school in South Newbury, now known as Friendship House, was built about 1853. In 1855 Martha S. Shepard was paid $18 for teaching nine weeks of summer school. George W. Skinner received $43.64 for teaching nine weeks in the winter. A broom and chalk purchased for the school cost 37 cents; a water dipper cost 15 cents.

Here is a photo of Madeline's school:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Beautiful Vintage Greeting Cards in a Box

If anyone who reads this blog ever wonders why it usually takes me a week to post something new, here's the reason:  I sometimes get so caught up in researching items that I literally lose track of time.  Such is the case with these greeting cards.  Madeline kept almost every greeting card anyone ever sent her.  And she kept them from way back when up until she died.  I'm drawn to the vintage ones, so I set up a filing system just for greeting cards.  As we unpack boxes and the contents of the several desks in her home, I slip them into their file folder for safekeeping, arranged by holiday or occasion.  I have been especially drawn to these oversized greeting cards which came in their own cardboard box instead of an envelope.  These are from the late 1940s to 1950's and are from her husband Archer.  Due to the way she stored them, they are in excellent shape.  Most of these were stored in a desk that was in the dining room but now has a new home in our guest room.  These cards are truly works of art, and in fact, there are collections of old greeting cards in the Smithsonian.  Enjoy!

This is a beautiful birthday card from Norcross Inc., NY.  It is actually a card within a card.

This is the little card inside the envelope on the big card's inside page.

This is the back of the card.  The stems are actually part of the roses on the front cover.  Just beautiful!

This is a birthday card with a satin raised cover.

Just love the verse inside, too.  Why don't we find many cards like this today?  Let's bring them back!

The back cover.  Just a sweet flower or two.  This is a Gibson card.

A valentine card from Norcross.  That is netting around the satin heart. 

"My heart is yours--not just for today but forever."

Christmas!  Candles and pinecones, smells like Christmas to me.  The candles are made of a clear plastic that has what looks like silver glitter underneath. 

This is a Hallmark card from 1951.  Wonder is she turned it over and said "Aw, it's a Hallmark." 

Another Hallmark Christmas card, this one from 1949.  The cover is satin with a gold fern border.

"You are my everything, Sweetheart, My life, my world, my all . . ."

A Mother's Day card, beautiful floral design with a white satin middle.

Once again, the perfect verse.

Love the back:  My Love's "Reserved" for you!

This enclosure in the box is actually very helpful for our historical purposes.  You could mail the card with third class postage if the lid was tied securely with string or cord.  But you could not seal it.  A mailing label was even included in the box.  What I find amusing is the fact that the card could only carry a signature from the sender, no written message permitted.  (Who was checking, the card police?)  Of course if you wanted to send a message you had to send it first class. 

The American Greetings Company website has a lot of historical information on greeting cards.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

World's Fair Pin

I found this gem inside the box of campaign buttons.  It is sharp!  Could be a hat pin or a lapel pin.

This is the front side.

And this is the back.  (Click to read words.)

From what little information I could find on these pins, they were molded for you right at the Bakelite pavilion and came in a choice of colors.

The New York Public Library has a slide show on the Bakelite pavilion at the 1939 World's Fair.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Political Campaign Buttons

Madeline had a beautiful old tole metal box filled with all kinds of campaign buttons.  Whenever she went antiquing with us we knew we could find her either at the old jewelry or the old campaign buttons.  It was fun to go through her collection to see what she really had.  Here are some pics:

She had several copies of some of these Reagan buttons (no surprise!).

Also several of Bush 41.

Some of these are unusual.  James Farmer was her Dad and he was Mayor of Keene, NH and ran for Governor.

Alan Keyes did not have much of a budget!  I know she only acquired the Kennedy button for historical purposes.

I don't know who Crane was but Peabody and King were MA candidates.  Love the "Coming Soon Republicans 1982".  We need to resurrect that one for 2012.

And just because Madeline had such a great sense of  humor:

Friday, July 9, 2010

1939 World's Fair: The Story of Lucky Strike

I discovered this little gem in a stack of old books I picked up off the floor of our guest room where they have been hiding for quite some time.  It is becoming clear to me that Madeline was really impressed by this World's Fair and the promises of the future that it showed her.  What is sad is that I honestly don't remember her ever mentioning that she went to the 39 World's Fair and if she did it didn't make an impression on me.  I wish we could share a Diet Coke and a slice of chocolate cake right now and she could tell me the story.  Since that's not possible, let's enjoy what she left behind for us.

This 94 page hardcover book, by Roy C. Flannagan, details the history of tobacco and the making of Lucky Strike cigarettes.  Here is a pic of the Lucky Strike exhibit at the fair:

Here are some of the photos from the book:

As an added bonus, the inside front cover has a very colorful label with Madeline's name and address.

The book closes with this paragraph:  "With the smoke of a Lucky Strike curling upward, a man can dream of Pocahontas in her garden at Varina, of settlers farming with holstered pistols on the handles of their ploughs, of early craftsmen at work upon the first rude blends, of  Nicot teaching the courtiers of Catherine de Medici the pleasures of the Indian plant--and then of countless men whose art and labor improved the leaf until it became the greatest solace of a troubled world."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Creating a Family Time Capsule

The Library of Congress has a good information article on making your own family time capsule.  It outlines many things you need to take into consideration when undertaking such a project.  It's actually got me thinking it may be fun to put some of Madeline's Memories into a capsule to be discovered by some lucky person in the future. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

1939 World's Fair: Three Travel Booklets

Madeline always had an urge to travel so it is no surprise to me that she seems to have collected every single travel booklet available at the 39 World's Fair.  I selected three to highlight today:  "Adirondack Region"; "Palisades Catskills Region"; and "Relax in New England".  Enjoy!

This is a beautiful, thick, black and white booklet with many photos of the Adirondack Region.  The center fold pages are a large map of the 7 counties that make up the region.  There is much written information about the region as well. 

This is also a thick, black and white booklet detailing information about the counties of the Palisades Catskills region.  It details the history of the region and shows off its natural beauty.

This is a color and black and white brochure from the New England exhibit at the New York World's Fair.  They were trying to entice visitors to travel to New England after their time at the Fair.  It is really a guide to Northern New England:  Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.  It has maps, photos, guide to transportation, and hotel listings.