Blog: Reference box

From the reference box #129

#129 - Canadian travel booklet circa late 50's early 60's, from The Canadian Government Travel Bureau. I bought this at the weekend with loads of other travel information and maps from the 50's and 60's. They had belonged to a very well travelled gentleman who had kept everything from each trip (maps, tickets, travel documents, guides, menus). Unfortunately I was beaten to the stack of plane and cruise ship menus and I fought my urge to snatch them and run!

I'll post them all over the next few weeks, but for starters here are some of the gorgeous illustrations throughout this guide. There's no illustration or design credit which is a shame and an internet search has drawn a blank, so if you do know who the illustrator is, please let me know.

There are lots more vintage goodies in our reference box, have a rifle though them here.

From the reference box #128

#128 - Vintage bulb packaging. I just saw that the lovely Maraid was selling some vintage bulb packaging on Ebay (can't believe I missed them!), anyway it reminded me that I had a few somewhere and here they are.

A DR. G. Fischer Autolicht car bulb for a Helphos spotlight (left), a British Electric Lamps Ltd. decorative bulb and a neon crucifix light bulb. Maybe I'll start collecting these too!

From the reference box #127

#127 - Post Office Telegram, 14 November 1946. I picked this up at a car boot sale last summer. The envelope is only slightly bigger than a business card and made from extremely thin paper (as is the telegram).

I bought it because the simplicity of the type on the envelope attracted my attention- clear and functional, with no hint at the message inside. In this case a happy one ' [to] Brown 9 Watsons Walk St-Albans= Congratulations on your 21 st birthday love= Jean D+'.

If you like this, check out more of our reference material here.

Mon 16 Jul 2012

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Reference box


From the reference box #126

#126 - Disque de controle do stationnement (a vintage French parking control). Another dial for my collection, and a variation of one I already have. The only difference is that this one advertises 'Vittel' water, and my other is advertises Citreon cars.

Have a look at my other dials here, or have a look through our ever-growing reference box here.

Wed 11 Jul 2012

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Reference box


From the reference box #125

#125 - Instructions on how to build a model Armstrong-Whitworth Whitely Bomber. This is a pull-out that came from Hobbies Weekly, No.2360, 11 January 1941.

Each week had a different instruction pull-out, the diagrams are fantastic and for some reason they are mostly printed in green.

Watch out for more of my collection, they're all fantastic. I do wonder if anyone ever built any of the models and furniture suggested. It would make a great exhibition.

See more form the reference box here.

Tue 29 May 2012

Posted under: Design , Reference box , Illustration


From the reference box #124

#124 - More fabulous Carte-de-visite, some new additions to the reference box.

Both are from Sheffield, but from different studios; GV Yates, The City Studio (top) 'Portraits from life in oil or water colour' and the lovely little embossed one (bottom) is from James Tulley, Landscape & Portrait photographer.

You can see more of our Carte-de-visite here and find out more about them here.

From the reference box # 123

#123 - Two new Carte-de-visite. Two additions to my Carte-de-visite collection; a large Scottish one from Marshall Wane, Edinburgh that has lovely gold edges and a much smaller example (bottom) from G Willis, Scarborough which isn't as elaborate as others in my collection but lovely all the same.

See the rest of my collection here and for more information about Carte-de-visite read this post.

Wed 14 Mar 2012

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Reference box


From the reference box # 122

#122 - Vintage slide rules and dials from the 40's, 50's and 60's. I realised after finding the Nuclear dials and slide collection the other day, that I had only ever posted a few of my own dials and slides.

So here are a few more, from Dial-o-metric to Trigonomotry ratios, there's almost a dial for every occassion!

You can see the rest of my collection here or have a rummage for the others in our reference box.

From the reference box # 121

#121 - Vintage Tourist Map of Greece.

I love the contrast of the traditional style cover against the gorgeous graphic maps inside - they're so bright and colourful with a very modern feel.

It was designed in March 1967 for The National Tourist Organization of Greece by M Katzourakis.

Shrug off those January blues with some tea, a slice of cake and a dig around in our reference box!

Mon 23 Jan 2012

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Reference box , Map


From the reference box # 120

#120 - 1950/60's Christmas cards. A festive offering as we sign-off for the holidays.

Hope you all have a fabulous Christmas and a very merry New Year - see you on the other side!

And if you do find yourself browsing the internet on your new ipad, or pretending to work on your laptop to escape from the relatives, have a look through the rest of our reference box - it'll keep you 'busy' for hours.

Fri 23 Dec 2011

Posted under: Ephemera , Reference box

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From the reference box # 119

#119 - Vintage meat cuts leaflet from, 'the most extensive - Curers of Bacon & Hams in Europe', Denny's. I'm guessing here, but I think it dates from the mid 50's. The cuts of meat are really well illustrated and they're all number/letter coded so you can cross reference which part of the pig each cut comes from.

Henry Denny & Sons Ltd. were an Irish meat curing company started in 1820 in Waterford who expanded during  the late 1800's opening pork processing plants in Denmark, Germany and the US. They are also credited for patenting many production methods for bacon and helping the development of the Danish bacon industry.

This leaflet was used to advertise local butchers who stocked their meat. 'Denny's Star brand' with it's trademark star graphic (seen on the front of this leaflet - top) was their brand established purely for the UK market.

According to Wikipedia "Denny’s sausages receive a mention in James Joyce’s Ulysses - ‘And a pound and a half of, Denny’s sausages…The ferreteyed porkbutcher folded the sausages he had snipped off with blotchy fingers, sausage pink’ and the company also claims to have invented the skinless sausage in 1941".

For more vintage ephemera and paper goodies, have a root through the rest of the reference box.

Thu 08 Dec 2011

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Reference box

1 Comment

From the reference box # 118

#118 - 1961 Karta över Skansen (Map of Skansen). This beautifully illustrated map is one of my favourites. I bought it purely for the folk style illustrations and had no idea what or where Skansen was.

After some research I was fascinated to discover that Skansen is a living open-air museum in Djurgården, Stockholm, Sweden - the first in the wolrd in fact!

Founded by Artur Hazelius in 1891 as the outdoor annex to his Nordiska Museet (Nordic Museum), Skansen was the culmination of years of collecting and saving ethographical relics. In 1872 he had realised just how quickly life in Sweden was changing and set about " collect clothing, household utensils, furniture and hand-tools from the old farming culture: everything that needed to be preserved for posterity".

"At the beginning of the 1870s, three million of Sweden’s population of just over four million people still lived in the countryside. But country life had changed. The number of independent farmers had declined and the ranks of the landless had grown. The increase in population created a growing body of tenant cottagers, servants to the gentry and indentured labourers. Land reforms that destroyed villages and re-allocated the fields transformed the way of life in the countryside as well as its buildings. Agriculture became mechanized, industrial products did away with crafts and new means of communication opened up more efficient ways of distributing goods."

"The landless classes left their homes to seek work on the railways, in the shipyards and the factories and in the sawmills of northern Sweden. Sweden developed into an urban society. Crop failures at the end of the 1860s caused more than 100 000 Swedes to emigrate to America. This wave of emigration reached a peak in the 1880s when 325 000 Swedes left for America and a further 52 000 emigrated to other countries."

It wasn't enough for Hazelius to show static exhibitions, he wanted people to experience complete environments; the everyday life and sounds of the old Swedish culture, "fully furnished houses occupied by people wearing period costume surrounded by their domestic animals in a natural landscape". 

Skansen is still a popular tourist attraction today, though I think it will look a bit different to how it did in 1961 - here's the full fold-out map from back then in all it's glory...

Unfortunately I couldn't find out who the illustrator was, there is the word Järk in the map border, but that's the only clue. If you do have any ideas as to who it might have been, please let me know.

From the reference box #117

#117 - French Carte-de-Visite (vintage photographic studio cards) from the early 1900's. They're my first European cards and it's amazing how similar they are to the UK ones I have.

As always the lettering and design is delicate and beautiful, but something I haven't seen before is a red background. It's now my favourite card, the red and gold really adds a touch of luxury.

Find out more about Carte-de-Visite here and see more of my collection here.

From the reference box #116

#116 - Cover of (what I think is) a Hawker P.1067 advertising supplement in the 30 November 1951 issue of 'Flight' magazine.

I bought it purely for it's unusual cover and the big yellow block of colour. Originally I thought it was an issue of Flight magazine, but it's actually full of Hawker Aircraft Ltd. history, from biplanes to their 'new' Hawker P.1067 - the aircraft that broke the sound barrier for the first time in April 1952.

Whilst trying to find out about this publication I came across Flight Global, a great resource with every (or almost every) issue of Flight magazine from 1909 to 2004 scanned in page-by-page for all to view. Some of the old ads are great - well worth a look.

Information on Hawker P.1067 from Thunder & Lightnings

Mon 26 Sep 2011

Posted under: Design , Reference box

1 Comment

From the reference box # 115

#115 - First Book of German, published in 1966 by the 'Société Internationale des Écoles Berlitz' (International Society of Berlitz Schools), Paris.

It's not very often you see a beautifully designed text book cover, so this language book with it's subdued colour palate and bold, geometric shapes really jumped out at me.

I love the contrast between the simple cover design and the detailed Berlitz schools logo - you never know, it might even help to improve my German!

Dig deep in the reference box for more delicious design and ephemera!

Mon 22 Aug 2011

Posted under: Design , Reference box , Books



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