Today is the day, so first off, wishing those who celebrate it a Happy Halloween!
I have quite a few collections, but would have to say that my most cherished one is my vintage paper collection, which includes greeting cards of all types, but only ones that have never been used. Also, included are seals (which are stickers with a gummed backing that has to be wet in order to stick), gift tags, valentines, letter-writing stationary, and gift wrap. I also have some post cards but collecting these is a whole genre unto itself.
I love the graphics on these items, and the fact that I could very well be the only person in the whole wide world to actually possess some of these original items in pristine condition. This is because the whole premise of these things was to use them; people normally wrote in greeting cards, on valentines and gift tags, as that was the purpose for which they were made! This being so, finding ones that have survived decades without ever having been written on, is a challenge in deed.
Another reason I like this particular collection so much is that it doesn’t take up a ton of space! Nick kindly shared his mother’s ‘teak office-in-a-box’ for the purpose of keeping my paper things (and unused vintage tea-towels, but that’s another story waiting to be told!), which I’ll have to show you pictures of soon because it’s such a neat piece of furniture. Basically, it’s a desk with shelves and a drawer that all closes up into a box, from the early 70s.
And as an avid collector of vintage things in general, I imagine I would have more Halloween related items if they were available, but I have found them scarce. This is probably because the holiday, while being a very old one, has not been traditionally celebrated in the same way around the world. I’ve read blog posts from writers in Australia, for example, who are experiencing it for the first time now. (Noting a highlight for me for reading blogs .. you get a fascinating look at what people are like in other lands!)
So what I have to show you today is not plentiful. In fact, only one item, the seals, is a true Halloween item that I actually own. Made by Eureka of Dunmore Pa, these are special because every seal is intact within it’s 5 pages, and they are clean and not stuck together. A search for this item on the internet did not turn up a single other sample of these particular stickers, though I did find another booklet of different images, but some of the stickers were missing. I found a statement indicating that this type of seal was manufactured between the 40 and 60s.
While the owl greeting card has the tone of the holiday, it’s a birthday card that came in a box of 14 different cards, and is not specifically for Halloween. It’s worth noting that it came with the envelope, with the seal still dry and unstuck, a particular rarity in collecting vintage greeting cards. The box, which contains all 14 of the cards, with envelopes, identifies them as “Humorous Hi Lites, All-Occasion Assortment”, but does not indicate where or when they were printed. And while I do have the adorable box, it was busted during mailing, after I bought them from e-bay :( (I’ve bought many things from e-bay and this is the only item that ever arrived in less than perfect condition though, so I don’t want to scare anyone off from using it!)
The third item, the little pumpkin and pumpkin-head figures, belong to my sister. These are quite tiny (to get the scale, those are the bases of two Pez dispensers behind them), and I think they were probably made to be cake decorations.
The final item, the die-cut Pumpkin and Owl wall decoration is a wish-list item I gleaned from the internet a few years ago. It is made by a company called Dennison, and while I do have some of their Christmas Seals, alas, no pumpkin die-cut!
I hope you enjoyed this little look at vintage Halloween items. Enjoy the day, and if you’re trick-or-treating with little ones, have fun!