While visiting an antique shop recently, I came upon a small bin of matchbooks. I immediately scooped them up. I don’t care so much about the matches, but as a designer, I love looking at the typefaces and artwork. It’s also a great peek into our American history. Most of the matchbooks I picked up are from California or Reno, NV and I’m guessing many of them are from the 1950s-1960s (phone numbers such as 4541 and FA 9-1483 give it away). These little cardboard pieces of advertising history are such fun to look at. Most every business used to advertise like this, until the 1980s when anti-smoking campaigns, among other things, put a strain on the industry. People still light candles and make fires, right? I say we bring back matchbook advertising! Until then, I’m left to sift through this memorabilia from motor lodges, casinos, and hotels of another time. I can almost hear the piano in the bar, ice clinking against glass, and the delighted cheers of “jackpot!”
Photos taken by budding phillumenist, Maggie Mae Moore.