Personal Treasures & Ephemera

Tonight I will be listening to a talk on how to store your personal paper treasures. I have always be intrigued by ephemera – those odd scraps of paper and things people throw away (movie tickets, grocery lists, etc.) In fact, once I had the privilege of holding a job where a good chunk of my responsibility was going through such papers at the Urban Archives at Temple University.

Not long ago, a dear friend of mine came across some wonderful personal ephemera – the bill from the hospital when she was born as well as some other goodies related to the event! She very graciously sent it to me and allowed me to share it. Aside from the prices, I get a kick out of the simplicity of the address on the envelope. At the time, the area was very rural. And the least I can do in gratitude for her allowing me to share this is to also share the link to her website (truly one of the most gifted pastel artists of today)

6 thoughts on “Personal Treasures & Ephemera

  1. Also this reminds me- in the tiny Illinois town where my dad grew up, if you were sending mail within the town, you put the person‘s name and then “City”. And until the 80’s, I think, my grandparents’ address on their mail was just their name and the name of the town, Louisville, Illinois. Then they got RFD box numbers, that was an adjustment.

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  2. This is wonderful, Diane. I love all the printing, no doubt done by some small job printer in or near Ottsville. My father got a professional hand press in the 50s and intended to start his own business (maybe he had early retirement in mind, but he died just before his 60th birthday) and “teach me the trade”. In fact he did show me how to set type from a “case” using the “stick”, then “make it up” in a “chase” with the wooden “furniture”, prep and ink the press etc etc. Too bad I wan’t more enthusiastic or some boy printing genius who would take that and run with it, instead of an ungrateful sullen mama’s boy dreamer. Maybe he thought he’d transform the basement into a “shop” and “Hansen and Son” would become the local go-to printers. He did acquire or maybe was given a framed document “This is a printing office…” that he hung on the wall (similar to attached) – wish I could find it. My mother and I kept the press and cases of type for years, but she finally sold most of it to another job printer, and I didn’t care. Of course I was an idiot, because once I was truly in the trade I did become interested in getting my hands dirty and would have loved to have had the press for printing art and maybe small hand-set editions of poetry etc. World’s worst chess player almost always makes the wrong move…

    Wonder what my 1947 birth cost at Methodist hospital in south Philly. In 1965, Nikki cost about $500 at rural Elmer hospital don here. These days it must be several thousand…

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  3. Anders – what a lovely and bittersweet story. But you know the old saying, hindsight is 20/20. You are not alone in you laments for the things you shoulda-woulda-coulda done. But we all must let them go. It simply was not the right time. I recall you telling me some things about your father and setting type. Focus on those very nice memories!

    On another note, I was born in Doctor’s Hospital in South Philly. It no longer exists and I think was a hospital that was dedicated to families of firefighters and most likely also families of police.


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