Mouse in the House background

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Class photo

Class photos are always fascinating...  I love to study the clothes the children (and teachers) are wearing, the posture, the expressions on the faces.  

I found this one at a California flea market, and it seems to be from the area. I'm guessing this is a class from the 1940s because of the teacher's coat, shoes and hairstyle.

At least 10 of the boys are wearing overalls, and at least one of them is barefoot. Some of the kids are in short or rolled-up sleeves, but the teacher wears what looks to be a very warm coat. Notice how the teacher stands at a bit of a distance from her pupils?  I wonder if this says anything about her relationship with those students.  Only a few of the children are smiling.  

You can left click the photo to see and download a large version. If you use any of the ephemera shared here, I'd love to see photos of your projects!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Red Bird Notebook

Today's ephemera download is the cover of The Red Bird pocket notebook from the 1930s. I love the typography, don't you?  

This little notebook was well-used.  The front pages were filled with math problems and geography homework, and back pages included grocery lists.  I'm thinking the student married just after high school and continued using her school notebook for household tasks after schoolwork was behind her.

I'm old enough to remember Blue Horse school tablets, but Red Bird books were before my time.

When I posted this on my Flickr site, I got the most interesting comment:

"Thanks so much for posting this picture! I'm researching Eudora Welty for my Master's Thesis and she references "Redbird school tablets" in her short story "Lily Daw and the Three Ladies." I had little reference to what a school tablet from the 1930s looked like, much less a Redbird school tablet. Now I can see it so I know what Ms. Welty was referencing - I'm so glad I found your photo!"

Ephemera is not just fun to look at and nice to use in art projects; it can also give us a unique perspective on history!


Monday, March 28, 2011

Cold feet

I've wanted to start a blog for a long time, but I've had cold feet.  On this chilly, rainy Spring morning, I resolved to be brave and get on with it!

I've garnered a wonderful collection of ephemera over the years, and I hope this will be a good way to share some of my collection with collage and mixed media artists and other ephemera fans.

Today's free ephemera download is an ad from an early edition of The Cosmopolitan, founded in 1886.  The Cosmopolitan offered one-year subscriptions for $1.00.  I'll share more ads from this vintage treasure in future posts.
Below are three of my favorite books about using vintage ephemera in art projects. All of these books are full of eye candy and inspiring ideas.