Saturday, February 8, 2014

Period Paper - Another Resource for Helping with Toy Identification

Friday, February 7, 2014
               (Milder and Overcat)

Period Paper
(Another Resource for Helping with Toy Identification)

   Sometimes, a solution to a problem is so obvious that you never think of it. Ad so it was just the other day, while I was researching for new material for a post. I've already presented original and reproduction toy catalogues, book resources about antique toys,  and even very old catalogues such as Montgomery Ward or Butler Brothers. However, I completely forgot about old magazines!

   I was doing a search on ebay for old toy catalogues when I noticed something totally different. Of course, whenever you do any search on ebay or a search engine you always get some things that you don't want. or are totally unrelated to the search. However, in this case, I got something that was related! These were vintage and very old advertisements from a long time ago. This reminded me of the slogan from the V8 vegetable juice company - "Now why didn't I think of that?".

   I have used old car photos and even an occasional old an car photo in writing about old toy cars, but this ebay was fantastic. Here was a resource that I could easily find in libraries (probably on microfilm), or even as originals! The company that I saw on ebay is named Period Paper, and is owned and operated by a husband and wife team and several of their staff.  Mr. Troy Ylitalo answered my e-mail with his reply below:

"Sarah Linn and I (Troy Ylitalo) founded Period Paper together in 2004 and I am now on the west coast and Sarah leads the company in Whitewater, WI where we've been located since 2007. Our business is much larger now than when the article was created. We have over 100,000 original items sold, to customers in over 40 countries since our inception. And, we love supporting our audiences of collectors, educators, curators, and archivists."

"We are a world leading source for vintage print advertising, historical prints, and collectible paper ephemera. Since 2004 our focus has been on finding, preserving, and protecting paper ephemera that we acquire from a variety of sources dating from from the early 18th century through the late 20th century. Our staff diligently researches and indexes this material to make items available that might otherwise be lost or discarded. Our original print collection now includes over 120,000 items.We are dedicated to providing this collection of communication art and illustration history in a manner that protects, preserves, educates, and supports those who seek these pieces of paper ephemera. As a collector, decorator, archivist, hobbyist, gift giver or historical romantic, you can always expect more from us. And get it. More added value. More choices. And more ways to display, protect and enhance your investment. All backed by our 100% commitment to your satisfaction.
We look forward to serving you.
-The Team at Period Paper"*

* Courtesy of Period Paper

 If you ever looked through a magazine from the 1920's-1940's, it's like going back in time. There are just so many interesting things to see. Things that are no longer made, different lifestyles, different philosophies, and so forth. For me, it's the photos or illustrations of "old" - anything old! Old cars, old wash machines, old pens, old bicycles, and so on! But the beauty of a resource like Period Paper is that they gave the resources to find these types of things. However, their specially is specific pages  from old magazines, rather than the whole magazine. 

They have a large source of different areas such as:
* Vintage advertising, 
* Movie, Stage and Celebrity
*Antique & Vintage Art
*Rare and Limited Edition Pieces
* War & Wartime

It was the above advertisement that caught my eye - a 1925 advertisement for the A.C. Gilbert Company. Sometimes,I may not find all the information that I want, and many times sellers do not have the information either, or don't bother to research an ad the material. So a resource such as Period Paper is great.

Notice also, that  Troy and Sarah, and their staff present large-sized files on  ebay.  I've shrunk the size to fit my blog, but it's a pleasure to read the print (writing) and see the photos in excellent detail.

The above advertisement page is from  November 30, 1895. What's interesting is that there are no brand names to the toys. However, I have written Clockwork Beetle, and the Brass Steam engine, and if you search my blog from the "labels" side of the blog, you may find who made these toys (Gunthermann and Georges Carette or Bing- most likely). Now a seller might know the name of the toy,but not when the toy might have been around. However ,from this advertisement page, we have an approximate date.

The above ad would be personally interesting from the point of view of adding new material to my blog. Here is an older advertisement from 1944. However, lets' say we didn't know the date of the advertisement. From the type (writing of the ad), and the address, you might close in on an approximate date.

Hawker Typhoon
"A new model of Britain's newest and largest fighter"…..

The type in red would indicate sometime about WWII - 1940's

Joe Ott Manufacturing Co.,
415 West Superior Street,
Chicago, 10

Chicago, 10 gives us a more advanced address from the beginning of an area code. really old addresses would simply have the address:

415 West Superior Street,
Chicago, Illinois, USA

then later:

415 West Superior Street,
Chicago, 10

more recent

415 West Superior Street,
Chicago,  60654

the latest

415 West Superior Street,
Chicago,  60654-8556

Of course, if you do more research, you could see that the ad is in 1 colour (red), and the layout design might also give you an idea as to the approximate date. And when people are in ads, the clothing, hairstyles, and jewellery (e.g. watch or hairpins, or broaches) could certainly help you with dating a toy.

The above ad is from 1955

A 1932 ad for the Comet company - another possible future post!

A 1907 Ad from a less-known American Company

Notice that the address simply has the street number, the city, and the state, 
which helps you identity approximate what or what isn't the time of this toy.

A 1917 Advertisement for the Meccano Company, Inc.
This is the original British toy kit company.
What you should notice here are:

1. The address
2. The clothing - the young boy is wearing a white shirt -certainly a "clue" as to the date
3. The prices of the toy kits!- relatively inexpensive compared to today's toys
4. The rectangular black framing around the ad - very old style of ad

The above ad is from 1908 - 115 year ago

What's of interest here is what an automaton is. I've only included 1 page from 5 or 6, but the whole article of 5-6 pages would inform you what an automaton was. I've written an article about these most fascinating items, which might be of interest to you.

The final ad is from 1918. There is no indication of the manufacturer's names, but it wouldn't be hard to find out.

>  The "erector" set is definitely A.C. Gilbert.

>  The fire truck  would have been horse drawn, and there only 
about 5-8 American companies that would have made such a toy (cast iron or tin)

The single tone of the advertisement (lack of colour), the frame around the ad, and the young boy with a tie, dress shirt and cufflinks, most certainly tells you about when 
such an ad or toy might have existed.

   I asked  Troy  in another e-mail about  how he and  his wife Sarah store their merchandise, and send their  sold items. However with a very successful business with lots and lots of work, he had not written me back by the time of this posting. I did find the description below.

  • "Product Packaging. Every product is placed against custom black acid-free board with crystal-clear, archival protective closures. We are the only sellers in the industry who provide display-quality black boards with every item (which also make exceptional presentations for gift-giving). Oversized engravings are protected by museum quality tubes."
*Quote courtesy of Troy Ylitalo and Sarah Linn. 

Sometimes, as a writer or a blogger, you have to become a detective to find information about a particular toy. Of course, if you are great with searches on the Net and with different search engines, you can most surely find information about anything. But sometimes, finding information about a toy is more fun with the search rather than the discovery.

Thanks for visiting,
and have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be.
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