I really enjoy ephemera, which for the uninitiated is a term used to describe a wide variety of things (usually print based) that one would discard without too much worry or thought. Although some could argue that even some more semi-permenant products like newspapers and magazines aren’t really ephemera, some people feel that because they’re discarded so freely once they have surved their purpose that they are just as ephemeral as say a coupon, a ticket, a flyer, a receipt etc.
I won’t be covering magazines or newspapers here; nor any form of booklets (visitor guides, programmes etc.) – no instead we’re going to go as true as possible, with genuine things that I come across that are probably very much junk that somehow survived until now.
These items can be an interesting look back at how things were, and give useful insights to the history of companies and processes.
This post is dynamic that means that I will update this post whenever I encounter something else ephemeral that I feel deserves to be here.
There are also seperate posts for some more focused collections:
- This post covers a wide variety of “Sale” stickers, price tag’s that sort of thing that are adhered to products which are for sale!
Barclays International Pensioners’ Club Buffet Luncheon Invitiation – 1997
How’s this for some real ephemera, found inside a video cassette case, this small piece of paper is an invite for members of Barclays International Pensioners’ Club to visit a buffet luncheon at The Victory Services Club, 63/79 Seymour Street, Marble Arch, London W2.
Blue Cross Pet Tips Flyer – 1990
This was included inside the keepcase of Legend’s release of Best Friends – which is a series of animated shorts intended for a children audience that explains the tasks involved with caring for a mixture of domestic pets (a neat idea if I don’t say so myself!).
This flyer explains a few additional tips for caring for a few pets (a cat, a dog, tortoise/terrapin) and includes a cut off to join the Pawprint club which is a way to support Blue Cross.
The Blue Cross still exist today, raising funds for animal wellfare in Britain, although Pawprint seemed to stop sometime around 2016 according to this page, and has since been replaced with an online (free) publication called For Pets.
Halo 3 x Xbox Live x Virgin Media Promotion (2007)
A double-sided card flyer which promotes Xbox Live connectivity for Halo 3 using Virgin Media broadband.
Pizza Hut Delivery Memo
Again found inside a video cassette case (do you wonder what I might enjoy collecting!) was this Pizza Hut Delivery memo slip that had been written on with information about the tapes contents (which has been digitally removed). It’s from the Pizza Hut Delivery franchise that is still operating at 25 Electric Parade, George Lane, South Woodford.
Trafford Catalogue Subscription Card – 1980
This is a two-sided subscription card for the “new” Trafford catalogue, which includes three free gifts including “elegant” scales, Metricook triple dial heat and weight converter and a spoon and spatula set.
I’m yet to find one of these retro catalogues, maybe one day I will find out if they were ever worth the free gifts!
True Cigarette’s Promotion – 1973
This two-sided promotional flyer was found jammed inside a copy of Boat Builder – Summer 1973, which is an American magazine.
Can’t say much about this but I like the design, you can see how alluring they made cigarette packaging in the past. Wouldn’t get away with anything like this today!
Waitrose Petrol Station Receipt – 3rd May 2003
This was shoved inside a video cassette case and was used as a scrap of paper (the note has been digitially removed, along with part of the card number).
This receipt comes from the Southend on Sea Waitrose supermarket and was for a transaction of 18.51 litres of Unleaded Petrol on the 3rd May 2003 at 10:26 AM. As of 2023 there is still a petrol station at this Waitrose location, but it is operated mainly by Shell (although the shop front is still a Waitrose).