The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries Tagged as 'Ephemera'

Illustrations and Designs for General Use

January 6th, 2014 · 4 Comments

Happy New Year!  I’ll get started with a few pages from Illustrations and Designs for General Use, published by Speed-O-Print in 1944.  It’s a box containing a hundred sheets of artwork, to be traced for stencil duplication.  There are many graphic delights on those pages; here are three examples.  As always, please click to enlarge. […]

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Tags: Ephemera

Escort Cards

November 11th, 2013 · 2 Comments

I am, for some reason, preoccupied with the many uses of that most ubiquitous and disposable of printed items, the cardboard rectangle.  The following is a selection of “escort cards,” which eligible gentlemen would once use to ask to walk a lady home.  They featured verses, illustrations, and rebuses, all in the service of formal […]

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Tags: Ephemera

Fortune Telling Cards (6)

July 24th, 2013 · 5 Comments

Harry Ingalls, “the greatest fortune teller in the world,” made the unusual choice to put his portrait on each card in his deck.  And each of those cards, as you can see, offers a variety of fortune telling options, framing that searching gaze.  The box is even busier, a sort of carnival poster in miniature. […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

LIttle Blue Books by Forteans (3): John Cowper Powys

July 16th, 2013 · 4 Comments

John Cowper Powys was a Founder of the Fortean Society, and professed himself delighted with Fort’s work.  Although remembered today mostly for his fiction, his contributions to the Little Blue Book catalog were all essays.  His first was #112, The Secret of Self Development; it was followed by #414, The Art of Happiness, and #435, […]

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Tags: Ephemera · Forteana

Fortune Telling Cards (3)

May 30th, 2013 · 6 Comments

Of course, if you have any gumption, you’ll design your own fortune telling cards.  Above is one of the cards from a Tarot deck by the remarkable Argentine artist Xul Solar (1887-1963).  His deck includes curious personalities such as this (Gemini?), as well as more traditional trumps. And deities from other traditions, such as Bes […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Membership in the Fortean Society

May 28th, 2013 · 10 Comments

The activities of the Fortean Society, apart from Tiffany Thayer’s magazine Doubt, are somewhat unclear.  Perhaps that was intentional; as Thayer said, with his usual bravura, “Many details of Fortean endeavor are necessarily surreptitious, because any activity with the avowed intention of causing men to think for themselves and to cherish self-respect is opposed in […]

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Tags: Ephemera · Forteana

Memorable Magazines (2): Doubt

May 6th, 2013 · 5 Comments

The Fortean Society was founded in 1931 to promote the work of that indescribable author Charles Fort.  The founders were: Theodore Dreiser, J. David Stern, Tiffany Thayer, Ben Hecht, Booth Tarkington, Aaron Sussman, Burton Rascoe, Harry Elmer Barnes, Alexander Woollcott, John Cowper Powys, and Harry Leon Wilson.  Sussman was a book designer, and Stern a […]

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Tags: Ephemera · Forteana

Children’s Card Games (199)

March 28th, 2013 · 2 Comments

“Jodete” was published by Nupro Games, in Buenos Aires.  According to my dictionary, “jodete” means “get lost,” “deal with it,” and other saltier expressions, which I suppose fosters competition.  There are 110 cards, and the objective seems to be to gain 600 points. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Children’s Card Games (198)

March 22nd, 2013 · 3 Comments

This undated “Authors” deck from Russell gets high points from me for including one of the Founders of the Fortean Society.  I like the curious grisaille portrait and the curlicue as well. The other members of this humble pantheon are: Oliver W. Holmes, Joseph Conrad, Charles Dickens, Sir J. M. Barrie, Rudyard Kipling, Longfellow, and […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Children’s Card Games (197)

March 14th, 2013 · No Comments

This German “Black Peter” deck was issued by Berliner Spielkarten.  The pairs represent men and women of different nationalities; I’ve picked a dashing Spaniard for you.  And here’s Black Peter: (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera