Wikipedia describes ephemera as "The word derives from the Greek, meaning things lasting no more than a day. Some collectible ephemera are advertising trade cards, airsickness bags, bookmarks, catalogues, greeting cards, letters, pamphlets, postcards, posters, prospectuses, stock certificates, tickets and zines".
This corset trade card is great and perfectly captures another era.
Whether it's old advertising trade cards, vintage postcards, old newspapers and tickets, there is something so appealing about finding an old hand-written letter or greeting card or vintage photo, so much so that it's hard to discard them. I recently acquired some turn-of-the-century 1900 receipt books in unused condition with a wonderful aged color. I'm fascinated with them. They'd be great for scrapbooking, if I were so inclined. I like the way they look just sitting out on a desk with an old pen and paperweight. Things like that are perfect accessories for decorating. Old photos are wonderful for adding a nice touch, too. The accents of old photos makes it look like there's a family with a history living there. Framing vintage photos and antique postcards are a great way to enhance any room, no matter what the style.
Vintage sheet music, particularly sheet music from France, is especially desireable right now. You can use them as a wall paper in the back of a glass fronted cover to lend an old Paris look. It's very effective.
This is a photo of my mother as a young child, had to be around 1925 on the sand in Mission Beach in San Diego. My grandparents loved to go to the beach for picnics. I have this photo in an antique frame on the wall in a grouping of family photos. This is one of my favorite pictures of my mom and I treasure it.