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The Ephemera Society Journal

The Ephemerist

No 193 Summer 2021 issue of The Ephemerist, the society’s high quality journal, was posted to members on 9 July 2021.

The cover reproduces John Hassall’s advertisement for Colman’s Mustard, 1899, courtesy of Look and Learn Archive.

Contributions to Issue Nº 193 of The Ephemerist include Sumner’s collection of the humble paper bag, now spanning a century, Twyman’s investigation into English and French official public notices of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and Scott’s collection of Bills of Lading, shipping cargo notices from the same period. A ‘glamorous’ side of travel is revealed through Weir-Hughes’ study of airline menus, while Gosling’s article serves as a nostalgic reminder of holidays at home, through the iconic posters of John Hassall.

Our regular features Mrs Pepys and Notes & Queries complete the issue. The Editor
Submission deadlines are:
Autumn Nº 194, 15 August 2021
Winter Nº 195, November 15 2021

Why not become a member today? A year’s membership of The Ephemera Society entitles you to four issues. Join us! The Ephemera Society is always pleased to welcome new members. Payment can be made online via PayPal.


The Ephemerist  call for articles



1-31 October 2021 · On-line Phillumeny Exhibition

matchbox label

The BML&BS are excited to announce they will be holding an on-line Phillumeny exhibition in October, which will actively promote the hobby of matchbox label and bookmatch collecting (phillumeny) and encourage international collaboration among collectors of all ages.

The exhibition will be available on the society's web site and will include an (on-line) exhibition catalogue, a visitor book, and there will be awards. They also will be offering weekly guided tours (using Zoom) with opportunities to talk with the exhibitors.

Each exhibit will consist of up to 10 images together with a title, a description of the exhibit and a biography of the exhibitor. Short video exhibits are also welcomed. Exhibits must be of phillumenistic material but can be on any topic. Also, we would encourage exhibits about “why I started collecting”. Exhibits need to be in English, but can be dual-language exhibits.

Anybody can submit an exhibit to the exhibition organisers, using the on-line form on the web site or by writing to the address below. It is free for BML&BS Society members to exhibit, non-members will be charged £10 per exhibit. Everybody is welcome to visit the exhibition.

  • On-line Exhibition
  • 22 Seafield Road
  • Millbrook
  • Southampton
  • Hants
  • SO16 1NT
  • UK
  • https://www.phillumeny.com


John Hassall: The Life and Art of the Poster King

By Lucinda Gosling

Book cover

During the early twentieth century, John Hassall was one of Britain's best-known and most high-profile artists. Working across a variety of disciplines, he was a prolific book illustrator, a humorous artist for postcards and magazines, an art school founder and teacher, a painter in oils, consummate clubman, and a designer of toys, figurines, pottery and nursery decor.

But it was through his commercial illustration for travel companies, political causes, theatre and well-known brands that he made his name in an age when advertising hoardings were known as the, 'poor man's art gallery'.

Hassall's natural affinity for poster art, and the popularity of his creations, was to earn him the title, 'The Poster King'. Employing bold line, flat colours and an engagingly cheery style, Hassall's designs had immediate impact with many creations, notably his famous, 'Skegness is SO bracing' poster, becoming embedded in popular culture.

Drawing on previously unpublished artwork and sketches along with letters, diaries and photographs, this lavishly illustrated book seeks to explore the full scope of John Hassall's body of work, and to celebrate the life of this extraordinary artist a century on from his heyday.

Publisher: Unicorn


Tom Eckersley: A Mid-Century Modern Master

By Paul Rennie

Book cover

Tom Eckersley (1914-1997) was an English poster artist and design teacher, and part of the “outsider” generation that transformed graphic design in Britain in the mid-century era.

As a graphic designer and poster artist, he was at the forefront of the explosion of print culture in Britain during the 20th century.

He is best known for his posters, which used bold, bright colours and flat graphic shapes to convey their message in a simple and effective way.

His design work spans WWII and the decades following, and his impressive client list includes the BBC, Ministry of Information, British Rail, the Post Office, Guinness, Keep Britain Tidy, London Transport, Imperial War Museum, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Gillette, Ealing Films, Shell, and BP. The book is packed with Eckersley's instantly recognizable, bright and colourful posters.

ISBN: 9781849946049 · 256 pages, 220 colour illustrations
Publication July 2021 · Publisher: Pavilion Books


Book cover

The Inks of De La Rue & Co.

By Peter Young FRPSL

Identification of bank notes, stamps or postal stationery is primarily by colour, as are labels for grocery products, railway tickets, or other paper ephemera. Obviously, printing on them may spell out their denominations or reasons to exist, but it is colour that the eyes identify first.

But that is determined by the inks used which, in turn, are determined by their ingredients and recipes. Yet the subject of inks has been the least studied aspects in printing history despite some shades of colour being more eagerly sought by collectors than others.

This book should appeal to both philatelists, notaphilists , or collectors of ephemera, as well as printers and social historians wanting to know more about printed products in previous ages.

The Inks of De La Rue & Co. and their introduction of synthetic and aniline ingredients c.1850-1910
432-page hardback (ISBN 978-1-913015-09-1)
More details: The Royal Philatelic Society London


This Is What Democracy Looked Like: A Visual History of the Printed Ballot

Book cover This Is What Democracy Looked Like, the first illustrated history of printed ballot design, illuminates the noble but often flawed process at the heart of democracy.

An exploration and celebration of US ballots from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this visual history reveals unregulated, outlandish, and, at times, absurd designs that reflect the explosive growth and changing face of the voting public.

The ballots offer insight into a pivotal time in American history---a period of tectonic shifts in the electoral system---fraught with electoral fraud, disenfranchisement, scams, and skullduggery, as parties printed their own tickets and voters risked their lives going to the polls.

Details: Hardcover, Size: 6.75 X 10.25 inch, Pages: 176, Colour: 200, ISBN: 9781616898878
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press