Ephemera Archives


Vintage Pen Matchbook Advertising

You have seen matchbooks before and you likely have one or two books in your home for emergency use, lighting candles, or even for that celebratory cigar. A matchbook is a small paper folder that holds up to a couple rows of matches and a striking surface. It is not unusual to find a blank matchbook cover but more often than not, the cover will be printed with a logo, artwork, or advertisements. Phillumeny: the …

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Perfect Pieces – Counter Top Display Case

If you need the perfect piece to display your pens, this Anonymous/Parker counter top display case, circa 1920, is fully operational and quite interesting, although the case and trays are a little threadbare. The rear door is hinged, unlocked, with no key. This display case measures 25 ½” x 9.5″ x 4″, and has three wooden trays – two vintage and one more modern reproduction. All have the ”Parker Lucky Curve” reproduction label. A great piece …

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Waterman Tokens

Some interesting vintage Waterman ephemera: Waterman tokens! These chips have been found in red, white, and blue. It also appears there may be a black. From 1910, they were  handed out as good luck tokens, for example, with the purchase of the Secretary model Ideal fountain pen (see advertisement below), but they have also been used as poker chips.

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Dummy Pens

In addition to demonstrators/Ink-Vue fountain pens for showing customers how the inside of a fountain pen worked, Waterman also made Dummy Pens. They look like a regular Waterman at first glance, but they were not functional pens – they were just “dummies” for display. Since the pens often sat in display cases in shop windows, they were painted black to minimize fading from sunlight exposure. A hard rubber pen sitting in sunlight and heat for …

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Waterman’s Ideal Ash Tray

Waterman also produced ash trays. They were rather popular at a certain time, especially amongst people who smoked! Others seemed to prefer the Waterman fountain pens. The ash tray pictured below was an effective advertising unit for Waterman, so long as it wasn’t filled with cigarettes. Which would you pick? An ashtray or a fountain pen? I still suspect Waterman fountain pens and inks were more popular.

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Waterman Lock Boxes

Following up on a recent post about the Waterman Signagraph machines: what are those lock boxes about? The lock boxes that accompanied some of the machines were designed and used for storing the fountain pens and inks that were used in the signagraphs separately from the machine itself. The purpose of the boxes was simple – it was a security measure; by having the pens locked away from the machine itself, a corporation could more likely prevent …

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