Printed Ephemera of Visual Culture, 1820-1920
A Unique Resource of Over 250,000 Classic Images
HomeA Notable PersonJohn Grossman July 20, 1932-August 20, 2016Curatorial Dept.Research & EducationThemes & CategoriesImage GalleryChoice & RareOnline Bookstore-CLOSEDDesign & License InquiriesImage Gallery 2Image Gallery 3ChromolithographyEphemera DefinitionChoice & Rare 2Choice & Rare 3


The Winterthur Library at the Winterthur Museum & Country Estate 
Route 52, Kennett Pike, Winterthur, Delaware 19735. 

Image Gallery 3


Victorians adored celebrations of romance: first loves, weddings, anniversaries and of course Valentine's Day. To help observe these occasions, they popularized the exchange of greeting cards. Lovers of all ages gave, received and cherished cards decorated with colorful die cut images, intricate lace paper, elaborate pop-out designs and moveable parts. Of special note in John's collection are the considerable holdings of works by English Valentine manufacturers including Joseph Addenbrooke, H. Dobbs & Co., George Kershaw, Joseph Mansell, George Meek and John Windsor, and by American Valentine manufacturers Esther Howland and George Whitney.


Not only is baseball an icon of American traditions, it is a favorite perennial theme of American advertising. This selection of cigar box labels, trade cards, score cards, tickets and diecut scraps from about 1880 to 1915, captures baseball soon after the first professional league was formed in America in 1876. Along with other baseball ephemera in John's collection, these images beautifully illustrate the sport's history from its early days as a struggling form of public entertainment to its remarkable achievement as America's number one spectator sport by 1915.


As suggested by the variety of fishing images on these cigar box labels, trade cards. Victorians found diversion and relaxation at their favorite fishing holes. Wealthy anglers traveled to mountain camps or rural vacation homes to fish in crystal blue lakes and streams. Those less fortunate gathered at nearby creeks, ponds and rivers to catch local delicacies or spin tall tales of the ones that got away.

©2016 All Rights Reserved.


A Victorian Christmas was filled with paper ephemera. From books and board games to cards and candy containers, paper products were readily available. Some holiday items featured traditional images like Santa filling stockings, snow angels holding candles, children caroling, wreaths of holly, angelic nativity scenes and jolly snowmen. Others were decorated with nontraditional, fantasy and sometimes bizarre images including Santa riding motorcars, cats throwing snowballs, pine trees kissing, fairies bearing gifts, mice decorating trees and a devil figure named Krampus transporting bad children to a firey underworld.

View more Image Gallery pages below.