Sunday, April 28, 2013

Paper, Postcards, and Postage!

And I thought it couldn't happen so close to home!
A box of postage- and postmark-laden envelopes.
On Saturday, I drove an hour to Allentown, Pennsylvania, and then spent five hours poking around and shopping at the Allentown Paper Show.  Two enormous rooms filled with about 250 vendors--it was an ephemera-lover's heaven!  I just found out about the show's existence from my friend Sue about two weeks ago.  I was so excited to find out about this opportunity so close to home!
A selection of vintage magazines and sheet music.
Vendor booths held vintage postcards, magazines, posters, sheet music, postmarked envelopes, matchbooks, photos, cigarette cards, books, currency, receipts and bills of sale, school report cards, contracts--if it's made of paper, someone had it!  There were also bottles, lace, tin toys and tea sets, and vintage box games.
Rows and rows and rows and rows of postcards.
Many vendors had large boxes overflowing with disorganized photos for sale, four for a dollar.  Other vendors had carefully encased photos for sale for up to $12.  Many vendors had boxes filled with postcards for 25 cents or a dollar.  Most others had carefully categorized postcards ("animals," "children," "coffee drinkers," "trains," "Christmas," "risqué") individually prices from $2 to $12 or more.  It was amazing the range of prices that could be found! 
A vintage tin tea set.
Sixty-something men predominated when it came to the demographic of both vendors and shoppers.  Most of the women appeared to be there as sidekicks to their husbands.  I probably saw less than a handful of people who were my age or younger.
A range of paper-oriented objects in one vendor's booth.
The vendors were friendly, and happy to strike up conversations about what kind of items the buyers might be looking for.  One man guessed my interest in collage, and began pulling additional boxes of postal ephemera out from under a folding table.  Most were happy to offer deals at check-out, and it was clearly acceptable to make an offer to pay less for items of interest. 
More carefully-curated postal ephemera.

Vintage toys and game boards.
A box of stamps and postmarked envelopes was for sale for $30, but the vendor accepted my offer of $20.  Letterpress stamps were selling for $5 each, but I got two for $5 when I asked.  At one booth, I collected a bunch of coupons that the seller originally wanted $1 for every two, but then I ended up getting a bag filled with rubber banded coupons that cost me much less.  I won't say I got out of there "cheap," but I will say that I got a lot of ephemera for my money.
Another booth with a wide range of collectibles.

Poster booth.

Awesome hand-illustrated envelopes.  The vendor wanted $75 for the set of 12...a little outside my budget!
Within an hour, my fingers were covered in the dust and grime of vintage papers.  After five hours of deliriously-contented browsing, I walked out with a treasure trove of ephemera to add to my collection.
Box of random vintage photos.

Cigar boxes.
If you come back by the blog on Tuesday, I will share photos of what I purchased, as well as give you details about a GIVEAWAY!

See you on Tuesday!

21 comments:

Jewels said...

Wow - thanks for sharing - yes i really don't understand the formulas used for pricing these sorts of items (free is best i say LOL). Looking forward to seeing more.

PamelaArtsinSF said...

Looks almost exactly like our vintage paper fair here in SF -- isn't it wonderful?? Now let's see what you make with all that postal goodness!

lee said...

wow I wish we had something like that here, I would be in heaven,
looks like you had fun, cant wait to see what you got

Patty said...

What a neat way to spend 5 hours. I love the tea set and the box of old photos. Can't wait to see what you picked up!

Anne said...

Wish I'd been there! Would've loved finding some actually affordable photographs!

donna!ee said...

wow...you're a blest girl indeed to have been there! ;D

Carolyn Phillips said...

What an amazing place, think most of us could have spent many happy hours there.

aimee said...

oh be still my heart... all that vintage ephemera!!

uncustomary said...

Oh my godddd. I need to sign up for some kind of alert so if a paper show is within three states of me, I can go to it! Ahh.

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Jo Murray said...

What a fabulous place! We have nothing like that here in Australia. You must have some wonderful stuff.

iHanna said...

What an amazing adventure to go there! It's paper haven indeed. Lucky girls!

Janet said...

Wow! What a great paper adventure you had...and so close to home. I'd love to find something like that out here.

Karen Isaacson said...

What fun! can't wait to see more.

Indigo said...

I never knew that paper shows existed! What a wonderful adventure for you! :D

Sue Hare said...

So glad you had a good time and found some wonderful treasures. Anxious to see what you do with your finds!

April Cole said...

Awesome!!
Looks like you had a terrific time, Andria... WOW! :]


** so much eye-candy!

Bree said...

Such neat findings!! :D I would love to go shopping at a place like that too but sadly there is no such place here in Malaysia! I think my wallet will 'slim down' instantly if I ever stop by a place like that!!

Esmee Lynne said...

Please draw me:) I would love this infusion to my stash. I moved last year and just now got caught up from unpacking and settling. I had no time to make any Flea Market/Thrift Store runs. Thanks for the giveaway chance.
Esmee Lynne

Terrie Purkey said...

How fun! Paper overload....I'd want a little of everything!
Wanted to stop by with a quick thank you for the p/c I received while I was on vacation. It's all covered with your hand carved stamps - what a great idea! Thanks so much.

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