Mouse in the House background

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Vintage travel ads: Railways of France, Steamship Sailings

Travel-related ads from a 1931 Harper's Magazine.  The Steamship Sailings page might be a nice background in a travel journal.

Bon voyage!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Vintage ad cards

Vintage ad cards are fun ephemera finds.  They're usually colorful and have interesting content that reflects the era in which they were published.

This ad for Quaker sugar (who knew Quaker produced sugar at one time?) reminds me of early readers that featured Dick and Jane and Spot, their dog.  The "Dick and Jane" readers were first printed in the 1930s by textbook publisher Scott Foresman. The sugar packaging includes a copyright date of 1930, further evidence of the age of the ad. Despite torn corners and frayed edges, the colors on the original ad really are this bright; I didn't do any color enhancements.  That means the ad card spent a long time tucked into a book before it appeared at my favorite flea market.

This Carter's Ink ad card also dates to the 1930s.  In 1936, Carter's sold ink stands for the cube-shaped ink containers, so the containers of this shape had to have been produced prior to 1936.  Earlier Carter's ink bottles were round and the earliest had cork stoppers, so these cubes were the height of modern at the time! A previous owner of this ad card was so proud of it, he wrote his name on it in ink.  I left it instead of cloning it out; if anyone wants the ad without the signature, I'll be glad to edit it and send it to you.

The third vintage card advertises wagons made by Ballantine & Van Fleets, a carriage company in Somerville, NJ, in the late 1800s.  The language is funny, isn't it?  "Do you want a wagon of any kind -- If so --"  I love the quaint school clothes the boy is wearing.  How times have changed!

Hope you are enjoying these vintage goodies!  I'd love to hear from you in the Comments.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I am in so in love with birds, I was thrilled when my husband gave me  a box of birdseed for Christmas.  I love waking up to their song, watching them at our feeders and seeing them in flight. I wish I could draw them, but because I can't, I have to settle for printed images of birds.  In case you like birds as much as I do, I've scanned some vintage bird images for you.

This bird, I'm told, is a long-tailed flycatcher.  This gorgeous creature really should have a more beautiful name.  This image was printed on one of those notepads people used to keep beside the telephone -- perhaps in a built-in telephone nook in a home's center hall. The picture has yellowed over time, but I think that adds to the charm.  

Right-facing bluebird

Left-facing bluebird

These sweet bluebirds are from a vintage greeting card printed on vellum and glistening with glitter.  The cover of the card folds inward. You have to open both sides to read the message.  The images are beautiful when paired, but I separated them so they can be used alone or as a pair.

Coming soon: more birds, butterflies and borders.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Vintage bridge tallies

Bridge was a BIG part of my parents' social life when they were young. My 81-year-old mother still plays bridge at least once a week. I'm always on the lookout for bridge-related ephemera, and I recently found a wonderful collection of bridge tallies at my favorite flea market.  

From the front, you'd think the diecut dog and cat below were vintage baby gift tags or children's birthday party invitations, but the backs show a tally of scores from a bridge game played (by adults, presumably) in 1929.  

These next bridge items are quite different.  Below are covers of bridge score books, this time with an Arabian Nights flavor.  A popular new edition of Arabian Nights was published in 1932, so I'm thinking these score books may be from the 1930s.

If anyone would like the book covers cropped to remove the outer border, let me know.  I figure most people have art programs they can use for cropping, but if not, I will be glad to post cropped versions.

As always, you can click on the images to enlarge them, then right-click to save them to your computer. 


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Typography and children's invitations

Title page from vintage German sheet music.  I wonder if it is hand calligraphy or actual typography.

Adorable vintage party invitation with illustration by Florence Nosworthy (1872-1936). She was a prominent illustrator in the early 1900s.

Sweet vintage diecut greeting card from the early 1900s.  

A hint about printing downloaded vintage ephemera:  If you print ivory or other light colored paper instead of white, the copy looks more authentic. 

More ephemera coming soon!  I've been busy scanning.