Archaeology, Ephemera & Vintage

  • The Online Archive of California has a wonderful display of Silicon Valley history ephemera dating from the 1850's and from various local institutions. 
  • Stanford University maintains a Silicon Valley Ephemera collection which is referenced on the Online Archive of California site. 
"Found" Objects
(Okay, this was a hard section to quantify, for reasons you will see below.)
If you can catch him, amateur archaeologist, Mark Huddleston, does an interesting talk on what can be learned about early settlers by digging out old outhouses, calling himself "The Outhouse Archaeologist." He was last seen digging in the South County area near Gilroy.
Post Cards
  • Former Cupertino resident Darlene Thorne gave slide-talks to local groups in the Bay Area highlighting local history and displaying cards from thousands in her vintage 100-year-old postcard collection. Her themes for 60-minute slide-talks were "Postcard Vignettes of the Valley of Heart's Delight," "The Women's Suffrage Movement," and, "Engagements, Weddings, and Thereafter: Myths and Humor." Her 30-minute slide talk programs included, "Valentines Day: Not All Hearts and Flowers," "Halloween," and "Veterans." Darlene was an absolute delight and had a wealth of little-known lore about the history of this region. She passed away in 2018 yet is fondly remembered by friends at the SF and San Jose post card clubs.
  • The Online Archive of California has compiled digital collections of antique postcards which can be searched by city or topic. Here are the results for a search on "Silicon Valley," which has been cross-referenced by DAOC staff to show early "Valley of Heart's Delight" images. 
  • The San Francisco Bay Area Post Card Club has a lovely site with galleries of antique postcard images, a monthly newsletter, lists of coming antique shows and sales, and a summary of talks and presentations from their monthly meetings at Fort Mason. Their Member and Reference Links are outstanding. 
  • The San Jose Postcard Club hosts monthly meetings and talks, along with a monthly newsletter. 
  • The Smithsonian offers a brief chronology of the Picture Postcard online, using the image of the Smithsonian Museum as an example. 

Vintage and Pseudo-Vintage

  • The Lincoln Avenue area of Willow Glen is developing as a great, quaint, city stroll filled with vintage delights, as vintage goods purveyors line both sides of the block between Willow and Minnesota. This makes for a great excursion when broken up with lunch at one of the great restaurants in this gem of a neighborhood. Park Place Vintage offers wedding dresses, home goods, art, and men's clothing, While Hicklebee's displays old photos of authors, as well as their autographs, drawings and musings, as written on store walls and their bathrooms. HiJinx Comics offers a buffet of titles for the collector. 
  • "Old" Campbell Avenue is another great place for an urban stroll and lunch, where Vintage and Vogue, among other merchants, offer heritage and historic goods, and there are small enclaves of second-hand stores and top-drawer eateries. 
  • In Palo Alto, there seems to be a scattering of vintage and retro clothing stores off El Camino Real on up to Menlo Park, as this Yelp! search indicates. 
  • Likewise, Los Altos offers a cluster of consignment and vintage stores in a lovely, walkable village setting. There are a variety of food, coffee, and wine purveyors, making this location a joy for strollers.

---Catherine Alexander Bright,