I am no longer doing the paper trade show circuit, and I have a large inventory of postcards, books, and ephemera to clear out. (My daughter once asked me, “Mom, what am I going to do with all this stuff when you die?” I responded, “Don’t worry, honey, I’m not going to leave them to you!” But it’s looking more and more like that might happen!)
Postcards, books and ephemera are crowding into my antique mall space–Panucyzk the Collector–at the Glory Days Antique Mall on E. Main St. in Medford. The inventory I have to sell far exceeds what my mall space can hold. If I wanted to list the more significant items on eBay, I could spend my days sitting in front of a computer screen. As friend Sidney says, “It’s a blessing!”On some days it feels less like a blessing than on others.
Postcards: The first picture postcard was made for the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Any U.S. postcard published before 1907 is considered to be a “pioneer.” It will have an undivided back, all address. (Any message was written on the front of the card with the image.) Subsequent postal regulations allowed for a space for the message on the back of the card, and a line then divided the address and the message. A great source for learning about postcards is the excellent website of the San Francisco Bay Postcard Club <www.postcard.org>.
Looking for: Real photos of Medford, Oregon numbered in the 20’s and 30’s. A local photographer took neighborhood pictures in the early Spring of 1911. Number 30 shows our house at 1010 S. Oakdale right after it was built. (We’ve done a lot of research on the physician who built it, and it’s amazing to have a photo showing how it originally looked!) The legend on another in the group is “No. 32. RESIDENCE STREET,MEDFORD,ORE.” (Hand lettered, all caps.) Would like to find the rest of this series!
Ephemera: Ephemera is a term that applies to printed material that was never intended to be collected. Yet collected it is. There seems to be a collector somewhere for everything from bread wrappers to matchbook covers. (Actually, matchbook covers is a popular collectible.) My ephemera includes the brightly colored “scrap” that Victorians put in their albums before color printing became common, colored advertising trade cards that were printed to tout wares in the 1880’s, tickets, Valentines from the 1840’s on, Christmas cards (ditto), the ubiquitous matchbook (some bear fine poster images on their covers), travel brochures, maps, etc. etc .etc.
Books: Everybody knows what books are, though they’re going out of fashion. I’ve been an indiscriminate reader–no mysteries, romances, historical fiction but most anything else–who reads books the old fashioned way. No Kindle, etc. Drowning in books read and unread, I’ve decided, now, to screen my reading and seek out the best. (What others have decided are the best!)