Friday, June 14, 2013

What the "Eph" is Ephemera?

One question we are asked on a regular basis is “What is  ephemera?”, so here is a quick breakdown of what exactly is ephemera. 


  1. Things that exist or are used or enjoyed for only a short time.
  2. Items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to be discarded after use but have now become collectibles.
The most fascinating and broad category of collectible we sell is ephemera. It includes everything from matchbooks to telephone books, posters to postcards, and so many countless forms of advertising it would (and has) taken entire books to describe them all.  In our store we focus on a few key areas of ephemera including:
Postcards -   Collecting postcards is just plain fun. No matter what you like be it local history, humor, nature, people, planes, trains, or automobiles postcards have it all.  Postcards became popular in the late 19th century and continue to be mailed even today.  Real photo postcards from the 1910s and 20s are considered by collectors to be the most valuable but don't discount the "artistic" cards.  Some of these full color cards can also bring top dollar because of rarity or artist collectability.  A postcard collection can be started with pocket change and never stop growing so the next time you are looking for something to do stop by and browse through our thousands of cards starting at $0.25!
Advertising -   Ever wonder who decorates TGI Fridays and Bennigan's?  We don't either, but we are sure they would love to browse our Ad Ephemera.  Posters, flyers, and magazine ads from the "classic" era of the 40s, 50s, and 60s are always a great way to start an ad art collection.  We also like matchbooks, labels, flyers, calendars, and even some newspaper clippings.  "And remember folks, if your ephemera is not authentic Oddfellow's brand ephemera you have settled for less!" 
Local - Local ephemera is just that, Topeka, KS and nearby photography, pamphlets, official documents, stock certificates, yearbooks, etc.  And while Topeka is our favorite, we have a collection of ephemera items from many Kansas small towns as well.  We have files dedicated to local ephemera and try to keep it organized too.

So there you have it, ephemera is collectable paper items that were originally intended for short term use.  Now, what do you have around the house that will be considered ephemera one day?

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