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Welcome to Automatic Ephemera, an independent organization/library for historical research and education, sharing public domain documents relating to vintage products.


 


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What does the word ephemera mean?
The dictionary defines ephemera (pronounced eh-fem-a-ra) as: Because these paper products had no or very limited value and were not meant to be saved these items are so rare 25 to 75 years later.

Who created and runs this site?
We are a small group of historians and collectors who celebrate great American manufacturers both past and present who produced and continue to produce amazing products for the home. We search for, restore and use vintage appliances, furniture and other household collectables as well as related printed documentation. Many times we find an old appliance at an estate sale or antique store, but the instructions on how to properly use the item is long gone and no longer available from the original manufacturer. Sometimes the item is in need of repair as well and an original service manual for the machine is an invaluable resource. Other times we just want to read the original sales literature to see all the features and specifications of the item we have found or would like to find. We have joined together to create this historical and educational library to help share these vital documents with others who might need or simply enjoy reading them.

How do I download a file that I would like to read?
It's simple, just click on the checkbox next to the file you are interested in and select “Review Selections & Checkout”. Once you pay the fee for the item via PayPal, you will be sent an email to the address listed in your PayPal account with a link to download your file(s). Once you download the file and save them to your hard drive simply navigate to the file via Windows Explorer or your Mac Finder and double click on the file to open it and read it. You may also print the file at this point as well. In order to read these documents you need Adobe Reader 7 or greater installed on your computer, which is free software from Adobe available here. Be sure to download your files within 1 day as the download link is only good for 24 hours after purchase.

How do I know these document file(s) will be compatible with my computer?
Most computer purchased within the last seven years or so that are still operating properly should have no problem. If you are unsure, please download and read our sample files to see the quality of our work and to check that your computer reads the files properly.

Do you accept any other payments besides PayPal?
No at this time we only accept PayPal to pay the download fees associated with these documents. It is fast and easy and you don't even need a PayPal account to use PayPal. Please note that PayPal will never share your bank account or credit card information with us, PayPal only sends us the documents number(s) you ordered and your email address so we can send you the download link.

The fee to download items seems a bit inconsistent, how do you come up with the download fee on each item?
Since we are historians and preservationists, how popular a file becomes is irrelevant to its download fee, what does matter is simply how big the file is. The bigger the file the more expensive it is to store and transmit to the end users. The idea behind the download fee is simply to pay for our many costs to run the site as well as help in finding new materials to add to the site over time. The fee is simply calculated at .09 cents per megabyte with a $3.99 minimum. So a file that is 24mb in size will calculate out to be 24 x .09 = $2.16. Any file that is smaller than 22mb is $2.49 to download as a minimum fee to the library. The only exception to this is for the first three days after a document is introduced into our system we charge an introductory rate of $1.39.

I have some vintage documents I would like to lend to the Automatic Ephemera Library to share with others, can I do this?
We are always on the lookout for more items to add to the library. At this time we are only accepting items that were originally printed in the United States. We do have a generous document exchange program in which you can send us your items and we will scan and return them to you as quickly as possible. In return you will receive a free document for every item we accept for scanning. For more information please click contact us and let us know you are interested in participating.

What is your privacy policy?
The only information gathered from our website visitors is your IP address and browser to properly format the pages. Your privacy is important to us and no other information is collected nor is any information ever shared in any way.

We also use third party advertisements on Automatic Ephemera to offset our ever rising costs. Some of these advertisers may use technology such as cookies and web beacons when they advertise on our site, which will also send these advertisers (such as Google through the Google AdSense program) information including your IP address, your ISP, the browser you used to visit our site, and in some cases, whether you have Flash installed. This is generally used for geotargeting purposes (showing Minnesota real estate ads to someone in Minnesota, for example) or showing certain ads based on specific sites visited (such as showing cooking ads to someone who frequents cooking sites). You can chose to disable or selectively turn off our cookies or third-party cookies in your browser settings, or by managing preferences in programs such as Norton Internet Security. However, this can affect how you are able to interact with our site as well as other websites. This could include the inability to login to services or programs, such as logging into forums or accounts.

If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.

Are these documents copyrighted?
Automatic Ephemera respects copyright law and will continue to do so. Some of our materials are definitely still under copyright protection but most never were registered and/or their copyright registration has expired without re-registration. Before we post any item on the site we confirm that it is the public domain with the United States Copyright Office. Any document that we would like to add to the library but find it is still under copyright status we contact the content owner and ask for written permission to offer their works in our library. Please do not assume that any work in our library is copyright free as there are some items that definitely are still under copyright status, but we have personally received permission as an educational library to offer them. For more information on copyright terms and duration, please see copyright.cornell.edu under the section “Works Registered or First Published in the U.S.”. For our full license, trademark and copyright information statement related to these documents, please click here.