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The Joys of Collecting Vintage Match books, and Matchboxes

Updated on February 24, 2015
The wonderful things about collecting match boxes is all the amazing subjects the covers of match boxes are about, from restaurants and hotels to town halls and exotic places; these little pieces of history cover the remarkable places of the past.
The wonderful things about collecting match boxes is all the amazing subjects the covers of match boxes are about, from restaurants and hotels to town halls and exotic places; these little pieces of history cover the remarkable places of the past.

The Amazing World of Collecting Match Boxes and Matchbooks

The wonderful joys about collecting match boxes and match books are all the amazing subjects the covers are about, from restaurants and hotels to town halls and exotic places; these little pieces of history cover the remarkable historical, political, and geographical events of our past, and the books, boxes and matches are very well made. When collecting match books the whole box is kept intact along with the matches. Theses wonderfully made matchsticks are very remarkable. Back in the good old days of the 1950s and 1960s you could pick up a matchbook or match boxes from the counter practically every nightclub, cafe, hotel, restaurant, airport, train station, department store, or even a hardware or specially store. Matchboxes and Match books are like time capsules into our remarkable past and also of individual lives. They tell where a person has been, the way people once lived, and the places of entertainment that once flourished in our recent past civilization. Two of the best places to find these vintage match boxes to collect are eBay and antique stores.

In Recent years with the collecting of match boxes, and  matchbooks, these treasures of the past have regain some of their popularity as a vintage advertising items, and many are becoming very valuable.
In Recent years with the collecting of match boxes, and matchbooks, these treasures of the past have regain some of their popularity as a vintage advertising items, and many are becoming very valuable.

Matchbooks and match boxes grew in popularly during the 1940s and 50s, then steadily declined after the 1960s, mainly because of the anti-smoking movement, and the manufacturing of disposable lighters. In Recent years with the collecting of match boxes, and matchbooks, these remarkable treasures of the past have regain some of their popularity as a vintage advertising items, and many are becoming very valuable.

Back in the good old days of the 1950s and 1960s you could pick up a matchbook or Match Boxes from the counter practically every nightclub, cafe, hotel, restaurant, airport, train station, Department Store, or even a hardware or specially store.
Back in the good old days of the 1950s and 1960s you could pick up a matchbook or Match Boxes from the counter practically every nightclub, cafe, hotel, restaurant, airport, train station, Department Store, or even a hardware or specially store.

Matchbook Collection --(Weird Paul) Vintage Old Matchbooks Matches Art

The outside of the matchbox or book was covered usually with beautiful artwork that was imprinted with a producer's logo, often with wonderfully detailed and creative artistic decorations that usually served as the promotional advertisement medium for the product or service of the place that was giving them away. This made match covers quite popular as souvenirs or promotional items.

Matchboxes are like time capsules into our remarkable past and of also of individual lives. They tell where a person has been, the way people once lived and the places of entertainment that once flourished in our recent past civilization.
Matchboxes are like time capsules into our remarkable past and of also of individual lives. They tell where a person has been, the way people once lived and the places of entertainment that once flourished in our recent past civilization.

The nice thing about these matchbooks and matchboxes, that even when they are 50. 60, or even 70 years old they will still work. If matches have been kept in a safe and dry place they still work like new. So in the event of a worldwide calamity you will be the savior of your little tribe because you have the magic of fire, and the history of your culture in your matchbook and matchbox collection.

Matchbooks and match boxes grew in popularly during the 1940s and 50s, then steadily declined after the 1960s, mainly because of the anti-smoking movement, and the manufacturing of disposable lighter.
Matchbooks and match boxes grew in popularly during the 1940s and 50s, then steadily declined after the 1960s, mainly because of the anti-smoking movement, and the manufacturing of disposable lighter.

You will be surprised at the amazing pieces of history you can find in matchbooks, and matchboxes. Priceless treasures await you in your Great Uncle or Grandfather’s sock drawer, attic or storage shed. Or for those without ancient relatives you can do your hunting on eBay.

You will be surprised at the amazing pieces of history you can find in matchbooks, and matchboxes.
You will be surprised at the amazing pieces of history you can find in matchbooks, and matchboxes.

The age of matches began in the year 1827

The age of matches began in the year 1827 when John Walker an English chemist had discovered that if he coated the end of a wooden stick with certain mixture of chemicals and let them dry, he could start a fire by striking the stick anywhere. This discovery was the first time friction matches were ushered into the world. The chemicals John Walker used were potassium, chlorate, antimony sulfide, gum, and starch. Later after John Walker died a man named Samuel Jones saw Walker's matches and decided to market them, Samuel called his brand of matches Lucifer’s and they became popular especially among smokers, but they had a bad burning odor and many were used to mask the orders of more unpleasant things, and were used in outhouses for that purpose.

Some of My Matchbox, and Matchbook Collection

Say it with Flowers Vintage Brekkes Jewelry Matchbook

Say it with Flowers vintage matchbook with front strike. The vintage matches are very cool and the inside cover reads Brekkes jewelry and flowers Chatfield’s gift center.
Say it with Flowers vintage matchbook with front strike. The vintage matches are very cool and the inside cover reads Brekkes jewelry and flowers Chatfield’s gift center.

The First Safety Matches

It was in the year 1830, that a French chemist by the name Charles Sauria created a match made with white phosphorus. Amazingly Charles Sauria's matches had no odor, but they made people very ill and sick with an illness called phossy jaw. Because the main ingredient was white phosphorus and it is very poisonous to humans. Luckily in the year 1855 the first safety matches were patented by Johan Edvard Lundstrom who was from Sweden. Johan Lundstrom put red phosphorus on the sandpaper that he attached to the outside the matchbox and then other ingredients on the match head, and thus he solved the problem of the phossy jaw illness, and creating a match that could only be safely lit from the side of the box it was carried in. The outside of the box had the specially prepared striking surface.

Saratoga Vichy Mixer Matchbook.

A Lion brand matchbook for Saratoga Vichy Mixer, of Springs New York, the matches are shaped like bottles.   This 15-stick Feature Matchbook is in NEAR MINT condition; no missing matches, and striker is fresh and black.
A Lion brand matchbook for Saratoga Vichy Mixer, of Springs New York, the matches are shaped like bottles. This 15-stick Feature Matchbook is in NEAR MINT condition; no missing matches, and striker is fresh and black.

Joshua Pusey and the Diamond Match Company

It was in the year 1889 that Joshua Pusey invented the matchbook that we know today; he called his matchbook matches the flexible-matches because they were made of cardboard and not wood and could bend and be torn out of the book. Almost at the same time the Diamond Match Company had invented a similar matchbook but their matches were wooden and not flexible and their striker was on the outside; Mr. Pusey's strikers were on the inside. Joshua’s patent was later purchased by the Diamond Match Company in 1896 for $4,000 and they gave him a wonderful job offer. Then in 1910, the Diamond Match Company patented the first nonpoisonous match in the United States, which used a new chemical called sesqui-sulfide of phosphorus.

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w chemical called sesqui-sulfide of phosphorus.

The Diamond Match Company, Wilmington, Delaware,

Barber Match Company became Diamond Match

The Diamond Match Company was founded by O.C. Barber and was first called the Barber Match Company, it was the largest manufacturer of matches in the United States in the late nineteenth century. The Diamond Match Company first operating plant was built at Wilmington Delaware it was one of the largest matchbook producing plants in the world. Then in 1932 the company was taken over by Ivar Kreuger. The company now also has a modern plant in Barber, California.

100 Shares fo Diamond Match Company Stock

 The Diamond Match Company was founded by O.C. Barber and was first called the Barber Match Company, was the largest manufacturer of matches in the United States in the late nineteenth century. The Diamond Match Company first operated plant was built
The Diamond Match Company was founded by O.C. Barber and was first called the Barber Match Company, was the largest manufacturer of matches in the United States in the late nineteenth century. The Diamond Match Company first operated plant was built

Three Vintage feature Matchbooks

Three vintage feature Matchbooks, Inside saddle area cracking in all  three. Casa Cubana, The Cove and Joy Month at the Butterfield Theaters.
Three vintage feature Matchbooks, Inside saddle area cracking in all three. Casa Cubana, The Cove and Joy Month at the Butterfield Theaters.

Casa Cubana, The Cove and Butterfield Theaters.

Casa Cubana, brings you Havana, The Cove, Philadelphia's distinctive restaurant, and  December is Joy month at the  Butterfield Theaters.
Casa Cubana, brings you Havana, The Cove, Philadelphia's distinctive restaurant, and December is Joy month at the Butterfield Theaters.

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    • Burke Mathes profile image

      Burke Mathes 

      3 years ago

      We gave away matchbooks at the Curtis Mathes showrooms, they were big, bright and had psychedelic artwork on the outside, very 1960s hippy look for an old television manufacture, we could not keep them in stock, they moved faster than our TV's ... lol

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