The free Celluloid pocket mirror from a cigar company, the Celluloid fountain pen from a bank and the Celluloid pocket calendar from a local business are all often imprinted with the business name and/or address. These items are called Celluloid Advertising Giveaways
These are only three celluloid items that are familiar examples a thing of little value or importance given away free to encourage a customer’s business. Celluloid Advertising Giveaways like these were big business in times past before TV and radio. Lavish illustrations and decorations, striking color lithography and often amusing advertising messages make these Celluloid items prime collectibles. Some are easy to find here at this website or in Grandma’s closet or drawer. Others are rare and command high prices. Old Celluloid advertising giveaways are generally more desirable than those of recent vintage. We look for Celluloid advertising made anytime from the 1890s to the 1940s.
Celluloid Match Safes
Advertising Match Safe production began about 1840 and lasted until the 1920s. Their design and decorations illustrated the fashion and fads of the day. Pocket match safes were made of silver, nickel and Celluloid. All matchsafes are rare and desirable especially one with advertising like Austin-Western Road Machinery Company shown on the left.
Amusing designs are not as common as the one on the left and were made in the form of pigs, the man in the moon, man in the outhouse and even tombstones. Whitehead and Hoag of Newark, New Jersey made most of vintage match safes in the United States.
The need for a matchsafe was eliminated by the invention of the safety matchbook and the pocket lighter in the 1920s. Celluloid Match Safes For Sale
Celluloid Fountain Pens
Lewis Edson Waterman developed the first fountain pen. Advertising Celluloid Fountain pens bearing Waterman’s name are highly valued by collectors including later fountain pens from his competitors – Todd & Dard, Conklin, Sheaffer and Mont Blanc. Celluloid Fountain Pens For Sale
Celluloid Pocket Mirrors
One popular advertising giveaway item from the early 1900s was the pocket advertising mirror, whose celluloid faces advertised everything from Coca-Cola to cigars. Company’s would usually give pocket mirrors away as a promotion. Customers would carry them around in their pockets or purses. The mirror would remind customers where to shop.
All Collectors love pocket mirrors for their advertising, imagery, art and colors. Celluloid Pocket Mirrors For Sale
Celluloid Pinback Buttons
The advent of a new material called Celluloid in the late 1800s stimulated the production in huge quantities of a variety of small items with diverse uses. One was the pinback button.
Pinback buttons were used by political, fraternal and religious affiliations as well as popular consumer products like this Celluloid pinback button for Loose-Wiles Biscuits of Kansas City, Missouri. Used from 1900 to 1912 this pin or one like it is one of the most popular Celluloid collectibles around. Celluloid Pinback Buttons For Sale
Celluloid Advertising Tape Measures
The Celluloid advertising tape measure or measuring tape is a flexible ruler made of steel and Celluloid. The first modern tape measure device was patented in 1868. This is a colorful Mead Johnson and Company of Glenview, Illinois Celluloid advertising tape measure in mint condition. Most Celluloid advertising tape measures had great graphics on both sides like this one and used by carpenters and dress makers. Celluloid Tape Measures For Sale
Celluloid Advertising Calendars
Celluloid Advertising Calendars were made in every shape and size imaginable. However most were of the size small enough to fit in your shirt pocket or wallet. This is a 1926 Celluloid Wells Fargo Bank & Union Pocket Calendar. Celluloid Advertising Calendars For Sale
Celluloid Advertising Letter Openers
Celluloid Letter Openers were companions to writing instruments like pens and pencils. They were used often in an age when communications by letter was very popular. Celluloid Advertising Letter Openers For Sale
Celluloid Advertising Rulers
Rulers or rules began as an attempt to standardize measurements based on the foot. One group of manufacturers used their experience with Celluloid to promote White Celluloid Advertising rulers with black print. Celluloid Advertising Rulers For Sale
Celluloid Advertising Card
Victorian Advertising trade cards are an early form of collectible advertising. Trade cards originated in the late 1800s with tradesmen advertising their wares and goods. Celluloid Victorian Advertising trade cards typically had a picture on one side and an advertisement on the other side. Celluloid Advertising Cards For Sale
Other popular Celluloid advertising items include small clothing brushes, pin holders, ink blotters, paper weights, baseball game counters, bookmarks, combs, compacts, badges, postcards, boxes, pencil clips and many souvenir celluloid items.
Listed here are some of the best known Celluloid Advertising manufacturers – American Artwork, American Badge Company, Baldwin and Gleason Co., Bastian Brothers, Brown and Biglow, Cruver Mfg. Co., St. Louis Button Company, Parisian Novelty Co., Peacock Co. and Whitehead and Hoag Co.