This exhibit is not a treatise on matches, though I do hope to present one someday. The more modest goal of this exhibit is to show and explain some of the categories of match-related give-aways and premiums the cigar industry used over the years. If I am successful, you will be able to identify and put names to what you own, the better to research or sell it.

    Don’t be surprised if the item you own and would like to learn about isn’t depicted. Only a modest number of each type item is shown, with an emphasis on the most collectible, those with advertising. My collecting years were focussed on the cigar industry and the development of its packaging. Premiums, cutters, lighters and other “go-withs” have always been of only peripheral interest; little effort was made to collect or study them. After six decades collecting, my holdings of this type remain modest.

    The only match-related collectibles with any personal connection are the girlie match books I would find on the street in my childhood during the 1940s. They featured girls drawn by Petty, Vargas and other top cheesecake artists of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. This uncut salesman’s sample was used to show prospective customers the selection of different “girls” they’d get if they ordered matches printed with their ad copy. Printing dies were set up so each customer would get the same ladies, the same colors on the hinge and front; only the wording of the copy (usually set in the same standard type faces) would be changed when ‘customizing’ the matches, thus keeping them modestly priced. This selection by Match Corp.. of America in Chicago.

    Matchbooks advertising cigar brands and stores are collectible. An exhibit of them is coming one of these days. Meanwhile, while you’re waiting, here’s a look at some other match-related collectibles.


Match Related

A National Cigar Museum Exclusive

© Tony Hyman