Digging into 'Bag of Old Paper'


Many of us have spoken about thrifting and antiquing being a lot like archaeology... Sifting through the remains of the past for golden treasures. Of course, those golden treasures might be something as simple as a missing saucer for a beloved old teacup... Or finding beauty in an antique print. Or uncovering knowledge and adventure, in the guise of hundred-year-old National Geographics.

Me, I'm fond of batches of ephemera. As regular readers know, give me an old cookbook, a 30s magazine or a quaint product brochure, and I am one happy gal.

Fortunately, the indoor flea markets and antique malls know the way to my heart, too.

Both the L&L Fleatique in Adamsburg, and the Ligonier Fleatique in... well, Ligonier, PA... have vendors who bundle vintage goodies into bags and sell them as a lot.

This week, I treated myself to...


... "Bag of Old Paper." And today, I thought you all might enjoy exploring it with me!

What was the clincher in the purchase of "Bag of Old Paper," for me, were these beautifully-designed certificates of graduation from Sunday School in the 1920s...



Just look at the detail on this!...


Sherman Dietrick is the name, and the date is 1924. Little Sherman went on to earn this next one in 1926, when he was promoted to the Junior Department of his Colorado Sunday School...


I loved the soft pinks and greens, the tangle of roses, and the central portrait...


By 1927, the Certificate of Promotion was smaller-- about the size of a postcard, versus a full 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper. But it was full-color and equally ornate...


Here's a closeup of the figure here...


So who was Sherman Dietrick? Hard to say, exactly... But, if grouped properly-- I wonder if he isn't the fellow in this photo from "Bag of Old Paper"...


If so, this would be Sherman 20-some years on, in 1945. The same couple are found here...


Sherman's trying a bit of a Gable moustache here, I believe.

And again, if we can assume the Bag of Old Paper was owned by just one person, it would seem Sherman and his wife did quite a bit of traveling! We can assume two people went (Sherman and his wife above?) from the two copies of the same brochure included in the bag. And it appears like the Dietricks went to... Washington D.C.!...


Plymouth Massachusetts!...

(Love that 50s Massachusetts brochure-- we may come back to that some day for a Virtual Vacation!)...

And it appears that even Miami, Puerto Rico, Upstate New York, and Thomas Edison's home in Ohio was on their travels.


Like I said, we may take a more detailed look at individual items in future posts, but I thought it would be fun for you all to have a chance to dig into "Bag of Old Paper" with me today.

Before you go, I would really like to thank everyone this last week who took the time to respond to Sunday's post and share your own interests with me. I've found it very helpful, and it's given me some terrific insights into what tickles your fancies, and what fun things I can share with you in the future.

I'm serious when I say, I feel extremely lucky to have you all along for the journey with me each week.

Don't forget to pop back for this Treasure Box Wednesday, if you get a chance, because I think there will be some goodies that you'll enjoy seeing.

Cheers, folks!

9 comments:

Da Old Man said...

Isn't it fun to weave those bits of old paper into a story?
With your talent, you could turn it into a historical novel.
:)

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Da Old Man- It's just the most fun seeing just what unfolds with a bag of papers like this! A small investment, and then so many little mysteries to unravel. :)

Down Comforter said...

I love looking through "old paper". You never know what goodies you'll find :)

pammyjo said...

I've just come across your blog from another area. I just enjoyed your post so much. I love digging through old papers and I have a new bundle myself. Mostly old magazine advertising and several needlecraft mags from 1910 through 1916. I'm scanning many fun things. Will be visiting often, I've added you to my favorites. Thanks for the great post. :O)

Choocha said...

This is wonderful! It's like finding someone's long-lost diary... a friend of my husband's while in Paris years ago came across a team of people emptying the apartment of someone who'd passed away. They loaded boxes of papers and photos on the curb which he then toted home. This man's whole life was in those boxes! Archaeology of human geography, indeed.

Thrift Shop Romantic said...

Down Comforter- It's really true. Some of my favorite pieces of ephemera were from bags like these, where someone was thinking ahead enough about preservation to bag and sell them, and not just toss them out.

PammyJo- Oh, old magazine advertising is SO much fun, and things around 1911-1920 were really beautiful-- lots of art nouveau and art deco influence, lovely colors... I bet it's amazing.

Choocha- It really is, I'm glad your husband was able to preserve some of them. I just don't know how people throw out family photos and things like that. It's sad to think either no one wants them, or no one is left from the family TO want them.

Pink said...

Great finds! Half the fun is opening up and seeing what's inside 'hm? Those old pieces are so nicely made too!

Rosemary said...

Ephemera is one of my favorite things. The promotion certificates are really pretty. We never had pretty ones like that.
Old paper is such fun!!
Thanks for sharing yours.
Rosemary

Andrea said...

What a fun post! I'm catching up on all of your writing, as we've been to New Orleans. Can you imagine how much history is waiting to be uncovered in those treasure shops? It's too much to even imagine. I loved those certificates that you got! You always spark my enthusiasm to get out and hunt. THANKS JENN!