Illustrated advertising covers were a ubiquitous fact of life in the second half of the 19th century and well into the 20th century, the "junk mail" of the day. They were, however, more favorably received in those days, welcomed as colorful and interesting novelties. Personally, I was first enticed away from collecting stamps to collecting printed ephemera by graphically illustrated ad covers . Advertising covers bridge and include stamp collecting, postal history and ephemera.
This 1862 cover is considered by many to be the finest U.S. advertising cover, with its artfully executed scene in multicolored crayon lithography by the firm of Sarony, Major & Knapp. ( Collection of Benjamin Franklin Bailar, U.S. Postmaster General from 1975 to 1978, and a current member of the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee. )
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