These adorable matchbooks with tiny printed match heads are from Japan via ReubenMiller. Seeing them reminded me of my family’s habit of collecting matchbooks. We had examples from all over the United States and Europe. A highly incendiary collection!
“A matchbook is a small cardboard container (matchcover) that holds a quantity of matches inside and has a coarse striking surface on the exterior. A flap on the front is lifted to access the matches, which are attached to the interior base in a comb-like pattern and must be torn away before use.”
Phillumeny is “the hobby of collecting different match-related items: matchboxes, matchbox labels, matchbooks, matchcovers, matchsafes, etc.”
Virtual Museum Match World. The Japan Match Manufacturers Association and Japan Match Lateral Corporation operate this Match Museum. The biggest feature of this museum is superior match labels, which are specially selected from Rankei Library’s gigantic match label collection of twenty or thirty thousands pieces owned by the Japan Match Manufacturers Association. Visit the museum to learn about the history and science of matches.
Contemporary Japanese matchbook from Virtual Museum Match World.
The Virtual Matchbox Labels Museum is “dedicated to the images on the matchbox labels – the small artworks that most of us do not pay much attention to. But they reflect our history, our likes and dislikes and sometimes they are real artworks in themselves.”
Best Match. Made in Japan. From The Virtual Matchbox Labels Museum.
Surprisingly, matches are a relatively new invention, dating back to 1827 when English druggist John Walker marketed a sulfur tipped splint called a “Congreves.” The first matches were explosive in nature and unpredictably dangerous to handle. Matchcovers didn’t receive much recognition as a collectible until the 1930s. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, there were over 1 million matchcover collectors in United States and Canada.
When a match is rubbed against a rough surface, friction supplies the match head with sufficient heat energy to enable the chemicals to react, and because the rate of heat production by the reaction is greater than the rate of heat loss to the environment, they burn with a flame.
Judo. Holds and sweeps. Madi in Japan. From The Virtual Matchbox Labels Museum.