Sunday, August 02, 2015

A Slack Sunday Morning Post From Ephemera Burnett


There is a name for people like me: or so it would appear if eBay is to be believed. It is obviously a slack Sunday morning for the on-line auction site so it sent me a focused email pointing out some upcoming bargains in areas I have been active in - and those areas are as a "collector of ephemera". This obviously sent me straight to the Dictionary to double-check the exact meaning of "ephemera" ("a thing that exists or is used for only a short time"), and reassured that it was nothing too embarrassing, I decided to embrace the description and even considered incorporating it into my name - Alan Ephemera Burnett has a superior ring to it. I shall ignore for the moment (although I might later return to this on some slack Sunday morning in the future) the fact that the bits of old paper and pasteboard I hoard and collect are remarkable for their longevity rather than their transcendental nature and focus on a my bit of Sunday morning ephemera - the receipt for the deposit paid by my father for the house he bought in 1939. It has sat in an envelope for 75 years - until I took it out and scanned it this morning - slowly gathering creases, dog-ears and history. It has soaked up a patina of economic and social significance and achieved a kind of strange beauty that Frank Shepherd would never have believed back in 1939.

7 comments:

  1. That is a super piece of ephemera

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  2. Very interesting, and rather nice of them to not let you miss something on the chance that it's just what you're looking for!

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  3. And I wonder if messrs Shepherd were prepared for the 1940 decade with new blank statements, or if they used up old stock, striking through the "3". It was a frugal time, too.

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  4. Interesting though my interest in ephemera is usually ephemeral..:)

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  5. Our real estate contracts have become longer and longer over the years...haven't seen a deposit contract for some years but presumably they have also grown and become ridiculously complicated. How refreshing to think back to the days when you simply had to make sure you didn't go overdue. Did the Dr mean Doctor to or debtor to?

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  6. That's a proper little treasure. And look at the price!

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  7. Hey I like your new name! Perhaps I should change my middle name to Old Photos..oh well we have to have something to do in our old age:)

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