What is Ephemera?

What is Ephemera?

Ephemera is anything of very short life or duration. As far as pen and ink related ephemera goes, things included in this category are invoices, billheads, package enclosures, letters, envelopes - in general pieces of paper that were not originally intended to be saved. Many pen and ink collectors acquire ephemera to display along with their collections. Ephemera is also an excellent resource for researching your pen and ink collection.


We have hundreds of original pen and ink advertisements! Ads are available from all major pen manufacturers; Parker, Waterman, Sheaffer and Wahl Eversharp as well as many smaller manufacturers.

These ads date from the late 1800s to the 1970s. Old advertisements are a great source of reference for those of you doing research on pen manufacturers, many times allowing us to better pinpoint a pen's date of manufacture or garner other obscure information.

Many of our customers purchase vintage advertisements for framing either for themselves or as a gift. We must admit they look great framed and we have a number of these old ads gracing our own walls! We've had quite a bit of practice putting together pen and ink ad packages for decorating purposes.

If you're looking to put some spiffy ads on your office walls, drop us an email. We can pull together a nice assortment of ads for you, perhaps a grouping of classic fountain pens or pens from a certain time period. We've even matched up ads with customers' birth years - these make wonderful personalized birthday presents!

Many times, Parker put more than one style of pen in an advertisement, we have endeavored to note the primary pen in the advertisement. We suggest you read through the descriptions thoroughly as we try to note other pens that appear with the primary pen.


Written references to blotting paper in America have been found dating to as early as 1791. It was not until the 1850s that blotting paper came into common use in America, when Joseph Parker and Son started manufacturing blotting by means of the Foundrinier Paper Machine. In 1872, a patent was issued for improved blotting paper which featured a smooth surface on one side. Rocker blotters were an important piece of desk equipment from the late 1880s until the 1950s. Advertising blotters, up until the 1950s and the introduction of practical ballpoints were as common as business cards are today. Nearly every company in business in the 1920s through the 1950s handed out blotters with their advertising on the front. We are pleased to offer select advertising blotters from days gone by!

Poster Stamps

Poster stamps were made primarily between 1890 - 1940 and are as the name suggests posters in stamp size. Most feature brilliant colors & many times quite simple, but eyecatching artwork. Poster stamps were used as advertising and affixed to invoices, envelopes & other correspondence. Some of the poster stamps listed below are from actual pen or ink companies, some are from other fields, but all have artwork featuring pens, inks or writing. Poster stamps have become quite collectible and are becoming harder to find in good condition. All of the ones listed below are in excellent condition!

Sheaffer'S Review Company Magazines

Sheaffer started publishing Reviews at the beginning of World War II. So many of their male employees went off to war, that the Reviews began as a way of keeping everyone in touch with fellow employees and family members during the war. The Sheaffer Review continued as an in house employee newsletter through the 1960s, sometime in the 1970s the title changed to Sheaffer Eaton Times for a brief period, then was re-named Face to Face. Sheaffer Ink replaced Face to Face sometime in the 1990s. One thing that we are always reminded of when we page through these old company magazines is how employee and family oriented Sheaffer Pen was. Picnics, sports teams and leagues, birthday celebrations - Sheaffer was indeed a huge family oriented organization. And we mustn't forget any special occasion was a reason for lots of good homemade food, indeed that tradition seems to continue in Fort Madison where food always pulls people together! All issues listed below are in very good condition unless otherwise noted.