Blog: Reference box

From the reference box # 114

#114 - Vintage cotton cards. Some new additions to my sewing ephemera collection - really love the little Pringle card and the colour of the wool!

See more reference box goodies here.

Fri 12 Aug 2011

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Reference box


From the reference box # 113

#113 - Vintage Road Maps. I seem to be gathering quite a collection of these old road maps.

The two above are new additions; a complimentary Washington DC Map and Visitor's Guide from Exxon (the parent company of Esso & Mobil), 1977 (left) and a complimentary Arizona - New Mexico Tourgide Map from Gulf, 1965 (right).

The Gulf one also has a map of the United States on the reverse with little crosses and notes in all the states the original owner had visited - I love details like this on old ephemera!

See more vintage maps and ephemera here.

Wed 03 Aug 2011

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Reference box , Map


From the reference box # 112

#112 - Vintage 'The Young Artist' Watercolours. I picked this little beauty up on a boot sale for a bargain 20p and even though I only bought if for the lovely box, it has a full set of watercolours still inside - shame I can't paint!

The packaging and colour palate screams 1950's (1957 it seems) and I love the paintbrush graphic. All-in-all a very well spent 20p.

See more fabulous vintage packaging and ephemera in our reference box.

Wed 20 Jul 2011

Posted under: Design , Reference box , Packaging


From the reference box # 111

#111 - Vintage Lemon drink labels.

I've already posted about the lime drink and orange drink labels I bought as part of a collection, so here are the lemon ones; C&C (Cantrell & Cochrane) Lemonade, 'new' Kia-Ora Low calorie Lemon Drink and Sunparlor Lemonade with 'New turn off cap!'.

There's something about the print quality and design on these labels that really appeals to me. Sunparlor is my favourite of this bunch - I Just love the slightly off set startburst and the weird centred, but to the right contents info.

Mon 04 Jul 2011

Posted under: Design , Reference box , Packaging


From the reference box #110

#110 - Printing Ephemera circa, 1965. I came across a bundle of old printers booklets ata  boot sale recently, they were only a couple of pounds so I couldn't resist.

The stash included 3 x 1965 copies of Reproductions Review (August, September & December issues), 6 x copies of Inklings: Coates Bulletin for Printers (June & December 1965, March, September & December 1967, June 1969 issues) and a copy of 'acid' paper and ink drying produced by The British Federation of Master Printersin August 1965 as no.4 in their 'production aids for the printing industry' series.

It's really interesting to read about the new printing techniques and machines available in the mid 1960's. These two ads in particular, from Reproductions Review made me smile...
There's lots more vintage ephemera in our reference box, so have a root around it here.

From the reference box # 109

#109 - Fly BEA Map of Copenhagen. I picked up this little gem at the weekend. It was the detailed cover illustration that first caught my eye - it reminded me of the E-boy cityscapes.

The leaflet was a complimentary guide given to passengers of BEA when traveling to Denmark's capital city in 1964. It folds out to a large map on one side and is packed with tourist information on the other.

It opens portrait, to a gorgeously graphic map and suggested places to see from 'Kongens Nytorv (The King's New Market) to Tivoli...

Or opens landscape to reveal a 'Railway Skeleton Map of City, Suburban and Districts Services with Connections'. I love the 'S' graphic with the wings and crown...

and on the back has a handy currency guide...

BEA operated domestic and European flights from airports across the UK from 1946 to 1974 when they merged with their parent company BOAC (British overseas Airways Corporation), Cambrian Airways and Northeast Airlines to become British Airways.

Whilst researching BEA, I found some great old adverts from the late 50's and 60's here and also a selection of timetables from the same period here.

Mon 06 Jun 2011

Posted under: Design , Reference box , Illustration , Map

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From the reference box # 108

#108 - Vintage French, Lait En Poudre (powdered milk) tin. This delightful 300g tin of powdered milk was produced by the Société France-Lait in St Martin Belle-Roche.

I love it's 2 colour print and the overprint created by the dark green on the excess pale green around the pale green type and graphics. I also like the little factory graphic on the France graphic.

Too pretty (and big) for the reference box, this one lives happily on the plan chest in the window enjoying admiring glances from passers-by.

See more vintage packaging and ephemera here.

Tue 31 May 2011

Posted under: Design , Reference box , Packaging

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From the reference box # 107

#107 - 29 Embroidery Stitches, a vintage booklet issued by Clark & Co. of Paisley, Scotland.

In the early 1800's Patrick Clark invented a way of twisting cotton threads together to produce an alternative to silk thread which was unattainable due to the French blockade. Clark & Co. opened their first cotton thread plant in 1812 and went on to offer a range of embroidery threads called 'Anchor Embroidery Threads'.

Clark & Co. merged with J & P Coats in 1952, dating this charming little booklet in the late 40's or very early 50's (I've also read that they merged in 1896, but there is no way this booklet is that old!).

The introduction encourages, "Try out some of the less well-known stitches and you will find a fresh absorbing interest in embroidery". There's a comprehensive guide to the correct threads, fabrics and needle sizes (see below) as well as a lovely illustration demonstrating the correct technique for each of the 29 stitches.

For more fabulous ephemera, have a rummage through out Reference box!

Mon 23 May 2011

Posted under: Design , Reference box , Illustration

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From the reference box # 106

#106 - Vintage Orange Drink labels. Here are the orange drink labels that came in the collection along with the Lime Cordial ones I bought a couple of weeks ago.

They've all got something interesting to me; the Safeway one (top) is actually gold and has great 'orangeade' type - random, but fun. It's the NAAFI logo I like on the middle label and on the Batemans (bottom) it's the little orange graphics.

There are still the Lemonade and Ginger Beer ones to come!

From the reference box # 105

#105 - Vintage Lime Juice Cordial labels. I recently came across a small collection of juice and soft drink labels to add to the reference box. I'm not sure of dates, but would guess late 60's early 70's.

I love the simplicity of the Sainsbury's one (top) and the overlays on the Hooper Struve graphics (bottom), but those limes on the C&C label (middle) look like they've seen better days!

The collection also includes Orange cordial, ginger beer and lemonade labels from a similar era - watch this space!

Tue 03 May 2011

Posted under: Design , Reference box , Packaging

1 Comment

From the reference box #104

#104 - Vintage OXO tin, but no ordinary OXO tin! No, this one is a souvenir celebrating the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2 June 1953 - "LONG MAY SHE REIGN".

Whilst everyone seems to have Royal Wedding fever I thought it only fitting to share this fabulous little tin. It's not in the best condition, but I love it's kitschness - there's even a timeline of the Queens life on the inside of the lid (below).

If you get bored over the Bank Holiday (or any day really) make a cuppa and have a good look through our reference box.

Wed 20 Apr 2011

Posted under: Design , Reference box , Packaging


From the reference box #103

#103 - Vintage Pepys Party Game (Castell Brothers) 'It Pays to Advertise'.

This quirky game has been in the reference box for quite a while and unfortunately most of the cards are missing. As far as I can tell it's from the late 50's, players had to write down the product the characters are associated with as well as filling in the missing words in the famous slogans.

So, are you ready for a just-for-fun Friday game (answers on Monday)...

Fri 15 Apr 2011

Posted under: Advertising , Reference box


From the reference box #102

#102 - more vintage tins, small but perfectly formed!

The Songster Gramaphone Needles tin (top) is my favourite of this bunch. All that detailed design, illustration and typography on such a small tin - it's easy to see why they have become so desirable in recent years.

I think the Snowfire Jelly tin (middle) is from the 1940's - Snowfire Jelly was a hand cream, "for beautiful hands".

The QA Brand Tablet tin (bottom) is really, really small - only 25mm high and 12mm in diameter. QA Brand "quick acting Asprin" were produced by Thompson & Capper, a homeopathic chemist company based in Liverpool.

As always, there's lots more vintage packaging and ephemera in the reference box if you feel like a root around.

From the reference box #101

#101 - Vintage tins. There can never be enough vintage tins in the reference box! My favourite of this little lot is the John Bull, Mend-a-tear one (top) with it's stripey-edged lid. You can't really tell in the pic, but it has a lovely pale grey background. I really love the Ogden's and Bondman type too.

If vintage tins and ephemera are your thing - make a cup of tea, grab a biscuit and have a root through our reference box.

Tue 15 Mar 2011

Posted under: Design , Reference box , Packaging


From the reference box #100!!

#100 - Make Do and Mend, WWII booklet. I promised something special for number 100, and I don't think this will disappoint. It's an original Board of Trade, booklet published in 1943 as part of their 'Make Do and Mend' campaign.

The Board of Trade produced many leaflets and booklets during WWII. This one was specifically designed to:

• Keep clothes looking trim as long as they have to last
• Renovate children's outgrown clothes so cleverly that none is ever wasted
• Turn every scrap of good material you possess to advantage
• Keep your household linen in good repair
• Make do with things you already have instead of buying new

Clothes rationing was introduced in June 1941 and originally allocated 66 coupons per person. By 1943 the number of coupons had been reduced to 60 per person and emphasis put on the maintenance and care of clothing and household linens - cue the Make Do and Mend campaign.

There are 29 illustrations throughout the booklet including these lovely section headings...

I was lucky enough to pick up this original booklet for 50p!! But if you would like one, the Ministry of Information have published reproductions of all their wartime information publications in the, 'Historic Booklet Series'. This one can be purchased here. Also there's a great article about clothing rations during WWII here if you would like to know more.


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