November 5- 11, 2017: Issue 336

Collecting Matchboxes: A Great Way To Explore History And Art

Phillumeny (also known as Phillumenism) is the hobby of collecting different match-related items: matchboxes, matchbox labels, matchbooks, matchcovers, matchsafes. The word, derived from Greek phil- [loving] + Latin lumen- [light], was introduced by the British collector Marjorie S. Evans in 1943 (who later became president of the British Matchbox Label & Booklet Society, now renamed as the British Matchbox Label and Bookmatch Society). A person who engages in phillumeny is a phillumenist.

Collecting of matchbox labels emerged together with matches. In some collections it is possible to find labels from chemical matches, produced in 1810—1815—long before the modern matches arrived. Quite often people who went abroad brought back matchboxes as souvenirs from other countries. After World War II a lot of match factories worked in close contact with local phillumenists, issuing special non-advertising sets. The hobby became especially widespread from the 1960s through the 1980s. [1]

Collecting matchboxes is a fun, inexpensive hobby that does not take up a lot of space. Before you start collecting, take a moment to learn what is desirable in a matchbox, how to prepare it for display, and what supplies you need. 

What to Collect in Matchboxes
Businesses and stores sold a number of different types of matchboxes since the 1800s. As you get into phillumeny, the wide range of collectible matchbox labels may seem overwhelming. Luckily, most matchbooks and boxes are small and you can keep lots of them without a problem. It helps to learn about the commonly seen matchbox styles when setting up your planning goals. Also do a little research and decide whether you want to collect matchbooks or matchboxes. Collectors of matchboxes and matchbooks are usually more interested in the artwork on the labels than the actual box of matches. However, complete boxes and books do have value and it is acceptable to store and display them intact. 

Matchbox lots with unsorted matchboxes make a good first purchase for beginners. Once you've dipped your toes in you may decide to focus on a certain era or type or to find those that have great stories attached to them. What you collect is as limitless as the kinds of matchboxes or books;Cabarets and nightspots that have come and gone, those that follow the development of match kinds themselves, one-off kinds for events, locally made versions and their different versions for different eras, or the vast array of colourful overseas versions that date from the 1830's to present times. Learning how to recognise matchboxes by year, and country of origin will add a dimension that will add depth to other developments in the humble match

We've put together a little about matches and two local makers - Bryant & May,and Federal, to get you inspired to find out more. These two local makers had series of matches they ran to meet the times - even commissioning artworks for their covers in the case of Bryant and May or changing the 'hairstyle' of the lovely redhead on their Brymay Redhead matches

What to Look for in Matchboxes
When collecting matchboxes, you should look for well-preserved boxes without damage or wear. Phillumenists love near-perfect condition labels and unused matchbook covers. It is best if the box was put away somewhere and not in use at all. Completely flat, uncreased covers are likely salesman's samples and were never matchboxes. Samples are not as valuable to collectors. Avoid boxes with taped covers, mold, and signs of rust around the staple. Even if the design is still visible or unique the matchbook just does not have the same value if it has damage or shows signs of use. 

Those that are rare and in great condition will always fetch more than those that are not. Although many older matchboxes and covers will sell for a few dollars, those that haven't been seen for a few generations have fetched a thousand dollars!

Preparing Matchboxes and Books for Storage
Beginner phillumenists may want to stick with collecting complete matchboxes as they learn more about this delicate medium. When you feel ready to start preparing some display, practice first on brand new, matchboxes and books from the store. Matchbooks and boxes are either open, then pressed flat for display, or the label is no longer in the box. You need a sharp, flat knife, and a steam iron for this work. Use something to press the boxes flat between, such as two pieces of wood and clamps.

To flatten a matchbook, use the knife edge to gently pry open and remove the staple from the book. The matches may be glued inside the book, so slide the knife down the front and back of the card of matches to loosen them and pry out of the book. It is ready to open up and press.

Matchboxes are easy to open by cutting along one corner in the back or prying it apart at the glued overlapping seam. Old labels may be easy to remove as the glue holding them on has probably lost effectiveness. Use the knife to pry it off the box gently. A little shot of steam from the iron can help to loosen stubborn labels by softening the glue, just be careful not to make the label soggy.
Storing Matchboxes for Display
Matchbox albums are available with special pages for storage of your collection. These plastic insert pages hold most common sizes of books and boxes. You may need a standard plastic sheet protector to hold larger packet labels in your album. A matchbook display frame is slightly more than an inch wide and features rows of elastic band to slide the matchbook covers over. A matchbox display made of rows of narrow shelves hold the boxes. Press the labels under glass for display on a wall. 

Look out for labels, matchbook covers, and unfolded matchboxes already prepared for display by other collectors to save yourself some time. The eBay search box allows you to make quick work of the search for matchboxes, display shelves, and albums. Use the search engine to look for matchboxes with certain designs on them,  The refinements menu on the search results page allows you to narrow listings further by price, seller location, and condition.
Matchbox and match labels, 100 years ago - Swedish. By and courtesy Takkk, of Hungary, Budapest.

Matches History

The first modern, self-igniting match was invented in 1805 by Jean Chancel, assistant to Professor Louis Jacques Thénard of Paris. The head of the match consisted of a mixture of potassium chlorate, sulfur, sugar, and rubber. The match was ignited by dipping its tip in a small asbestos bottle filled with sulfuric acid. This kind of match was quite expensive, however, and its usage was also relatively very dangerous, so Chancel's matches never really became widely adopted or in commonplace use.

This approach to match making was further refined in the proceeding decades, culminating with the 'Promethean Match' that was patented by Samuel Jones of London in 1828. His match consisted of a small glass capsule containing a chemical composition of sulfuric acid colored with indigo and coated on the exterior with potassium chlorate, all of which was wrapped up in rolls of paper. The immediate ignition of this particular form of a match was achieved by crushing the capsule with a pair of pliers, mixing and releasing the ingredients in order for it to become alight.

In 1832, William Newton patented the "wax vesta" in England. It consisted of a wax stem that embedded cotton threads and had a tip of phosphorus. Variants known as "candle matches" were made by Savaresse and Merckel in 1836. John Hucks Stevens also patented a safety version of the friction match in 1839.

Friction or Chemical matches were unable to make the leap into mass production, due to the expense, their cumbersome nature and inherent danger. An alternative method was to produce the ignition through friction produced by rubbing two rough surfaces together. An early example was made by François Derosne in 1816. His crude match was called a briquet phosphorique and it used a sulfur-tipped match to scrape inside a tube coated internally with phosphorus. It was both inconvenient and unsafe.

The first successful friction match was invented in 1826 by English chemist John Walker, a chemist and druggist from Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham. He developed a keen interest in trying to find a means of obtaining fire easily. Several chemical mixtures were already known which would ignite by a sudden explosion, but it had not been found possible to transmit the flame to a slow-burning substance like wood. While Walker was preparing a lighting mixture on one occasion, a match which had been dipped in it took fire by an accidental friction upon the hearth. He at once appreciated the practical value of the discovery, and started making friction matches. They consisted of wooden splints or sticks of cardboard coated with sulphur and tipped with a mixture of sulphide of antimony, chlorate of potash, and gum. The treatment with sulphur helped the splints to catch fire, and the odor was improved by the addition of camphor.

The price of a box of 50 matches was one shilling. With each box was supplied a piece of sandpaper, folded double, through which the match had to be drawn to ignite it. He named the matches "Congreves" in honour of the inventor and rocket pioneer, Sir William Congreve. He did not divulge the exact composition of his matches. Between 1827 and 1829, Walker made about 168 sales of his matches. It was however dangerous and flaming balls sometimes fell to the floor burning carpets and dresses, leading to their ban in France and Germany. Walker either did not consider his invention important enough to patent or neglected it.

In 1829, Scots inventor Sir Isaac Holden invented an improved version of Walker's match and demonstrated it to his class at Castle Academy in Reading, Berkshire. Holden did not patent his invention and claimed that one of his pupils wrote to his father Samuel Jones, a chemist in London who commercialised his process. A version of Holden's match was patented by Samuel Jones, and these were sold as lucifer matches. These early matches had a number of problems - an initial violent reaction, an unsteady flame and unpleasant odor and fumes. Lucifers could ignite explosively, sometimes throwing sparks a considerable distance. Lucifers were manufactured in the United States by Ezekial Byam. The term "lucifer" persisted as slang in the 20th century (for example in the First World War song Pack Up Your Troubles) and matches are still called lucifers in Dutch.

Lucifers were however quickly replaced after 1830 by matches made according to the process devised by Frenchman Charles Sauria who substituted the antimony sulfide with white phosphorus. These new phosphorus matches had to be kept in airtight metal boxes but became popular. In England, these phosphorus matches were called "Congreves" after Sir William Congreve while they went by the name of loco foco in the United States. 

From 1830 to 1890, the composition of these matches remained largely unchanged, although some improvements were made. In 1843 William Ashgard replaced the sulfur with beeswax, reducing the pungency of the fumes. This was replaced by paraffin in 1862 by Charles W. Smith, resulting in what were called "parlor matches". From 1870 the end of the splint was fireproofed by impregnation with fire-retardant chemicals such as alum, sodium silicate, and other salts resulting in what was commonly called a "drunkard's match" that prevented the accidental burning of the user's fingers. Other advances were made for the mass manufacture of matches. Early matches were made from blocks of woods with cuts separating the splints but leaving their bases attached. Later versions were made in the form of thin combs. The splints would be broken away from the comb when required.

Those involved in the manufacture of the new phosphorus matches were afflicted with phossy jaw and other bone disorders, and there was enough white phosphorus in one pack to kill a person. Deaths and suicides from eating the heads of matches became frequent. The earliest report of phosphorus necrosis was made in 1845 by Lorinser in Vienna, and a New York surgeon published a pamphlet with notes on nine cases.

The conditions of working class women at the Bryant & May factories led to the London matchgirls strike of 1888. The strike was focused on the severe health complications of working with white phosphorus, such as phossy jaw. Social activist Annie Besant published an article in her halfpenny weekly paper The Link on 23 June 1888. A strike fund was set up and some newspapers collected donations from readers. The women and girls also solicited contributions. Members of the Fabian Society, including George Bernard Shaw, Sidney Webb, and Graham Wallas, were involved in the distribution of the cash collected. The strike and negative publicity led to changes being made to limit the health effects of the inhalation of white phosphorus.

Photo of matchgirls participating in a strike against Bryant & May, London 1888

Bryant and May's take on this:

Bryant and May's Matches. 
At the fifth annual meeting of Messrs. Bryant and May (Limited), the report submitted to the shareholders showed that the net profit amounted to £72,794. The directors recommended a further dividend of 10s per share, which, with that already paid made 17 per cent. for the year. Mr. W. Bryant, in moving the adaption of the report, stated that in the middle of the year they were annoyed by outsiders with reference  to their work people, which for a time dieorganised the works, involving extra worry to the management, and causing a slight. diminution of business. Matters were now settling down, and there was very little at the present time to complain of...would take that opportunity of repeating that the women employed by them received 16, to 25 per cent. more wages than the same class of hands could earn in other factories in East London on similar kind of work. He had been told by a gentleman who was acquainted with the operatives of the north of England, that the money Bryant and May's hands received was at least 10 percent, higher than the same class of hands got in several of the large towns in the north of England. The report was adopted.
Bryant and May's Matches. (1889, March 13). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from

It's worth noting that, according to some reports, if the operatives worked form 5 a.m. until midnight 7 days a week they could earn between 5 and 7 shillings - those 'others in other factories' - 16 to 25% less. 
The 'annoyance' persisted:

MORE ABOUT ' PHOSSY JAW.'' Bryant and May's Matches.

The intelligence that Bryant and May, the big London match-making firm, have been recently fined heavily for not reporting cases of phosphorous poisoning calls to mind once more the terrible lives led by the poor match girls of London. In this instance 11 cases of poisoning were hidden from the authorities, and the poor tortured victims bribed into silence. Unfortunately it pays Bryant and May to pay the fines and continue the poisoning, for the smoker wants his wax vestas, and does not stop to consider the cost to the white slaves who furnish them. Ignorance is responsible for most of the trouble. The general public are unaware of the terrible risks run by the operatives. But as a matter of fact the girls and women directly engaged in the manufacture of ordinary matches are practically certain to become sooner or later victims of a loathsome form of leprosy, known as "phossy jaw,'' phosphor poisoning or necrosis. Most frequently it attacks the jaw— first, the teeth decay and fall out, then, it proceeds to honeycomb the jawbone till it can be taken away in pieces. If the lower jawbone is not surgically removed, the hideous leprosy travels to the upper jaw, and the victim is doomed. The next dread step is a discharging wound under the eye, which soon destroys the sight, and ultimately, after a season of purgatory, kills the poor sufferer. The most appalling feature of the scourge is the loathsome stench, which makes it impossible for any other person to occupy; the same room. 

As ' safety' matches are made of red phosphorus, which carries with it no danger from this dread disease, the public have the opportunity of doing a little towards putting a stop to this cruelty by refusing to use wax vestas, 'wait-a-bits,' or any free matches, confining themselves to the harmless 'safties.' Safe to the maker and to the user. MORE ABOUT "PHOSSY JAW." (1898, June 23). The Tocsin (Melbourne, Vic. : 1897 - 1906), p. 6. Retrieved from

Attempts were made to reduce the ill-effects on workers through the introduction of inspections and regulations. Anton Schrötter von Kristelli discovered in 1850 that heating white phosphorus at 250 °C in an inert atmosphere produced a red allotropic form, which did not fume in contact with air. Arthur Albright developed the industrial process for large-scale manufacture of red phosphorus after Schrötter’s discoveries became known. By 1851, his company was producing the substance by heating white phosphorus in a sealed pot at a specific temperature. He exhibited his red phosphorus in 1851, at The Great Exhibition in London. It was suggested that this would make a suitable substitute in match manufacture although it was slightly more expensive. Two French chemists, Henri Savene and Emile David Cahen, proved in 1898 that the addition of phosphorus sesquisulfide meant that the substance was not poisonous, that it could be used in a "strike-anywhere" match, and that the match heads were not explosive.

British company Albright and Wilson, was the first company to produce phosphorus sesquisulfide matches commercially. The company developed a safe means of making commercial quantities of phosphorus sesquisulfide in 1899 and started selling it to match manufacturers.White phosphorus however continued to be used, and its serious effects led many countries to ban its use. 

Finland prohibited the use of white phosphorus in 1872, followed by Denmark in 1874, France in 1897, Switzerland in 1898, and the Netherlands in 1901. An agreement, the Berne Convention, was reached at Bern, Switzerland, in September 1906, which banned the use of white phosphorus in matches. This required each country to pass laws prohibiting the use of white phosphorus in matches. The United Kingdom passed a law in 1908 prohibiting its use in matches after 31 December 1910. The United States did not pass a law, but instead placed a "punitive tax" in 1913 on white phosphorus–based matches, one so high as to render their manufacture financially impractical, and Canada banned them in 1914. India and Japan banned them in 1919; China followed, banning them in 1925.

The dangers of white phosphorus in the manufacture of matches led to the development of the "hygienic" or safety match. The major innovation in its development was the use of red phosphorus, not on the head of the match but instead on a specially designed striking surface.

The idea of creating a specially designed striking surface was developed in 1844 by the Swede Gustaf Erik Pasch. Pasch patented the use of red phosphorus in the striking surface. He found that this could ignite heads that did not need to contain white phosphorus. Johan Edvard and his younger brother Carl Frans Lundström (1823–1917) started a large-scale match industry in Jönköping, Sweden around 1847, but the improved safety match was not introduced until around 1850–55. The Lundström brothers had obtained a sample of red phosphorus matches from Arthur Albright at The Great Exhibition, held at The Crystal Palace in 1851, but had misplaced it and therefore they did not try the matches until just before the Paris Exhibition of 1855 when they found that the matches were still usable. In 1858 their company produced around 12 million matchboxes.

Jönköpings safety match industry 1872 - sv:Jönköping Tändsticksfabriks AB, lithography from 1872.

Some sources state British match manufacturer Bryant and May visited Jönköping in 1858 to try to obtain a supply of safety matches, but it was unsuccessful. In 1862 it established its own factory and bought the rights for the British safety match patent from the Lundström brothers. The persistence of making and selling of the other product, which killed, is ascribed to pursuit of higher profits by some historians

The safety of true "safety matches" is derived from the separation of the reactive ingredients between a match head on the end of a paraffin-impregnated splint and the special striking surface (in addition to the safety aspect of replacing the white phosphorus with red phosphorus). The idea for separating the chemicals had been introduced in 1859 in the form of two-headed matches known in France as Allumettes Androgynes. These were sticks with one end made of potassium chlorate and the other of red phosphorus. They had to be broken and the heads rubbed together. There was however a risk of the heads rubbing each other accidentally in their box. Such dangers were removed when the striking surface was moved to the outside of the box. The development of a specialised matchbook with both matches and a striking surface occurred in the 1890s with the American Joshua Pusey, who sold his patent to the Diamond Match Company.

The striking surface on modern matchboxes is typically composed of 25% powdered glass or other abrasive material, 50% red phosphorus, 5% neutralizer, 4% carbon black, and 16% binder; and the match head is typically composed of 45–55% potassium chlorate, with a little sulfur and starch, a neutralizer (ZnO or CaCO3), 20–40% of siliceous filler, diatomite, and glue. Some heads contain antimony(III) sulfide to make them burn more vigorously. Safety matches ignite due to the extreme reactivity of phosphorus with the potassium chlorate in the match head. When the match is struck the phosphorus and chlorate mix in a small amount forming something akin to the explosive Armstrong's mixture which ignites due to the friction.

The Swedes long held a virtual worldwide monopoly on safety matches, with the industry mainly situated in Jönköping, by 1903 called Jönköpings & Vulcans Tändsticksfabriks AB. In France, they sold the rights to their safety match patent to Coigent Père & Fils of Lyon, but Coigent contested the payment in the French courts, on the basis that the invention was known in Vienna before the Lundström brothers patented it. 

In 1909 Bryant and May began their plans to make matches in Australia:

The great English firm of Bryant and Mays, match-makers, are to begin manufacturing la Melbourne. Mr. Bartholomew, one of the directors, who passed through Sydney yesterday, said that tho architect was now at work, and they hoped to begin building In March. The first wooden safety matches ever made in Australia would probably be manufactured about the end of the year or the beginning of 1910.

"We are not going to build a separate factory of our own," said Mr. Bartholomew yesterday. "We have come to an arrangement With Messrs. R. Bell and Co., at Richmond, Melbourne, to join with them In making a great extension of their present factory. It will amount to rebuilding the factory, and will Immensely increase' it. About 170 hands are employed there now. We expect to begin with about 300 girls and from 50 to 60 men. In the end, when things can be made in Australia which cannot be made here at present, we shall employ very many more.

"Only wax matches have been made In Australia as yet; wooden matches-safety matches-have so far been imported. We used to export from England a great amount of wooden matches to Australia. But first tho cheap Swedish and Belgian matches, and afterwards the Japanese, filled the market. The preferential tariff-1s a gross on plaid boxes and small safeties when made abroad, and 6d when made in England-helped us a bit. But we decided that we should rather pay that 6d in wages than In Customs duties, and decided to manufacture our own wooden matches In Australia.

"So the new factory will introduce tho new industry of wooden match-making; and we have also determined to manufacture all our wax matches out of non-poisonous phosphorus, instead of the poisonous white phosphorus. With our full support, the Premier of Victoria intends to bring in a bill prohibiting the use of matches made from poisonous phosphorus; and the Federal Government Is going to prohibit their Importation from June 1The firm of Brynat and May voluntarily gave up the use of poisonous phosphorus in England nearly ten years ago. It did so before the result of the inquiry which was going on In England was made known. And it Is the only firm that ever voluntarily gave It up. It becomes illegal in England next January, The phosphorus out of which we make our matches hurts neither those who make nor those who use them. People will not be able to commit suicide with them, though drinking the heads would hardly be healthy as a practice.

"We expect some day to be able to make even our tin boxes in Australia. We shall use a good deal of stéarine, which is produced here, and I suppose glue and gum. Anything we can get here we shall get here-even the skilled labour If we can. We already have a factory in South Africa. We intend to make our factory most comfortable for our hands. We have always been on good terms with them in England, where we employ 2500 In our own factories, and goodness knows how many In the factories we have an Interest In."WOODEN MATCHES. (1909, February 24). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from

1.I US (IK ^n;K.\«LAXD HOOI* I'INE INTO *H< >HT i.i:.N(J Jii>, FOR THE ... MACHINES.
2. PEELING LOGS INTO THIN LAYERS. (The pieces are afterwards chopped into suitable lengths to form boxes.)
3. WAX-VESTA BOX-MAKING MACHINE (where lids of boxes are rapidly assembled).
4. MAKING TVHHS IN STRAWBOARD (afterwards cut into suitable lengths and made into wax-vesta.
No title (1917, November 24). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 32. Retrieved from

MAKING WOOD AND WAX MATCHES AT BRYANT AND MAY, BELL, AND CO.'S EMPIRE WORKS, CHURCH STREET, RICHMOND. (1917, November 24). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 32. Retrieved from

Here in Australia they became and remain well known for their 'Redhead' brand matches - a good way to indicate a turn around - but now made in Sweden once again.

Federal Matches

Action Against Sydney Company
CANBERRA, Tuesday. — An order published in the Commonwealth Gazette to-day obliges the Federal Match Co. Pty. Ltd., of Sydney, to revert to pre-war prices pending a review of Its gross profits. The order specifically fixes the price at that ruling of August 7.

The Commonwealth Prices Commissioner(Professor Copland) stated that no increase In the price of matches had taken place up till recently. On August 7 the Federal Match Co. Pty. Ltd. Intimated that it proposed to increase prices on the ground that, costs had increased since the outbreak of war. -These Increases in cost had been investigated, but the company was informed on August 16 that the Prices Commissioner desired to examine the gross profit margin before permitting an increase in prices. The commissioner added that, despite the intimation to the company that it was desired that the increase be withheld pending the investigation of profits, the company proceeded to sell matches at, the higher prices. PRICE OF MATCHES (1940, August 28). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from

Mr. Carl Gustav .Sundstrom (59), managing director and founder of the Federal Match Co. Pty., Ltd., collapsed and died yesterday while playing tennis with Mr. Edward Budrodeen. He is survived by a widow, four sons, and three daughters. DEATH ON TENNIS COURT (1941, July 6). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

SYDNEY, Sunday.-Mr. Carl Gustaf Sundstrom, 59, of Alt st., Ashfield, collapsed while playing tennis yesterday and died soon after. Mr. Sundstrom was born in Sweden, and came to Australia about 40 years ago. In 1913 he founded the Federal Match Co, Pty. Ltd., of Alexandria, and was managing director of the firm. A son, Lieut. Harry Sundstrom, is on active service abroad.
Obituary MR. C. G. SUNDSTROM (1941, July 7). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 3. Retrieved from

Twenty one Federal Safety Match boxes with patriotic slogans : Miss M Dircks, Voluntary Aid Detachment
Unit Voluntary Aid Detachments
Place Oceania: Australia
Accession Number REL34242
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Chemicals, Paper, Wood
Maker Federal Match Co Pty Ltd
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Date made c1941 - 1945
Conflict Second World War

Twenty one Federal safety match boxes, still retaining their contents. Each box outer is made from thin wood ply with a paper label, and only one side is fitted with a red phosphorous striker panel. The inner drawer is made from folded card wrapped in blue paper. The front of each box features the 'Federal Safety Matches' label in red and white with a kangaroo within a map of Australia and the words 'AVERAGE CONTENTS 60'. The reverse of each box features a design of a triangular trademark in black and white containing the company's address, over a design of wood grain with the word 'IMPREGNATED' running vertically at each end. Printed in red above and below the wood grain design is a patriotic slogan, which is different for each box. The slogans are: '£10 SAVINGS BONDS / YOUR WAY TO HELP' (2 copies); 'PLAY YOUR PART - / BUY WAR CERTIFICATES'; 'HELP NATIONAL EFFORT / BUY WAR CERTIFICATES' (2 copies); 'LEND OR LOSE ALL / BUY WAR CERTIFICATES'; 'HELP SPEED VICTORY / BUY WAR CERTIFICATES'; 'BE IN THE FIGHT / BUY WAR CERTIFICATES'; 'IT'S NOW OR NEVER / BUY WAR CERTIFICATES'; 'CARELESS TALK / COSTS SOLDIERS' LIVES' (2 copies - one with only 20 matches); 'THE ENEMY LISTENS - / GUARD YOUR TONGUE'; 'SAVE AND LEND / BUY £10 NATIONAL BONDS'; 'ENLIST IN MILITIA - / SUPPORT THE A.I.F.'; 'BEFORE SPENDING THINK / BUY WAR CERTIFICATES'; 'LAY-BY FOR VICTORY / BUY BONDS ON TERMS'; 'DON'T SPREAD RUMOUR / SILENCE SAVES LIVES'; 'DON'T GOSSIP ABOUT / SHIPPING MOVEMENTS'; 'NOW, AND EVERY WEEK / BUY WAR CERTIFICATES'; 'IT'S YOUR WAR TOO - / BUY WAR CERTIFICATES'; 'SAVING IS SERVING / BUY NATIONAL BONDS'. Also includes the remains of an outer grey paper wrapping with the 'Federal' label intact.

Related to the Second World War service of Margaret 'Peg' Dircks of Strathfield, NSW. Dircks studied science at Sydney University and graduated in 1937 and during the war worked for the soap makers Lever Brothers in their chemical laboratory at Alexandria, Sydney. She had met David Kenneth Caird Williamson at university and they married on 5 July 1944; he worked at Shell Petroleum in a reserved occupation. Margaret Dircks joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) in early 1942 and was one of the first two women to volunteer as ambulance drivers in New South Wales. Her family relates that in order to practice driving, she borrowed a David Jones delivery truck and drove it around Sydney until she felt confident in her abilities. Margaret Dircks purchased these matches when the Government's austerity, rationing and secrecy campaigns were at their height; when slogans and advertisements exhorting the public to greater efforts appeared everywhere. Rationing frequently induced hoarding which resulted in these matches remaining stored and unused until 2005.
From, By and Courtesy Australian war Memorial

Match Making At Grafton
The Federal Match Co. Pty. Ltd., established its Grafton factory in 1942, and has since followed a progressive policy of. expansion. There are now 112 factory workers employed in the operaiton works, witn more man 50 engaged in forest areas in logging operations and in transporting the timber logs to the factory. An additional 50 operatives are employed in the adjoining case mills, which utilise to the full any waste timber unsuitable for match manufacture. ' The Company's Grafton Factory specialises in the manufacture of match splints and skillets for match boxes, and numerous peeling machines work continuous shifts in order to provide the veneer required for match manufacture. The daily output of match splints is 60 millions.
This picture gives a general view of the Federal Match Company at Grafton.
Match Making At Grafton (1949, October 29). Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1915 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from

1. Phillumeny. (2017, May 9). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from
2. Match. (2017, October 23). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from 
3. National Library of Australia's TROVE
View of the Bryant & May match factory, showing the Church Street facade and south side. This part of the factory was built in 1909, and designed by William Pitt, architect. Photo by Rohanstorey.

 Previous Collectors Corner pages:

Blacksmiths and Tinsmiths  Nylon Stockings Poster Art Furphy's Water Cart   Mousehole Anvil  Sapphire One Armed Bandit  Gould's 1840 Single and Compound Microscope  Tibetan Thangka Wheel Of Life Painting  Cast Iron Seats  Mabel Lucie Atwell Prints  The Customs of Traditional Dining by Hans and Jenny Carlborg  Albert Collins Landscape   Boomerang Harmonicas  Drinking: 18th Century Style Part I by H&J Carlborg  Drinking 18th Century Style Part II by H&J Carlborg Fleece Shears  Wood Case Crank Telephone  1803 Timepeice  Vintage Guitars  Milestones  No.38 Rolls Royce Motor Oiler  Christmas Postcards  Seashells  McCormick-Deering Horse Drawn Mower  Rope Making Machine  Marilyn Monroe 1955 Calendar  Stubbie Holders  Hill's Hoist  Akubra Hat  Fowler's Bottling Kit The Bold Autographed Script  Fishing Tackle  Arnotts Biscuit Tins  Comic Books  Silver Opium Pipe  Mrs Beetons Book  Souvenir Teaspoons  Bendigo Pottery  Gianelli Figurines  Key Fobs  Model Aircraft-static  Porcelain Slippers Wagon Wheels Rhys Williams Painting  Chinese Guardian Lions Australian Halfpenny  Bud Vases  Rolling Stones Still Life LP Autographed  WL1895 Thinking Monkey  Estee Lauder Ginger Jar  Reel Mowers  Surf Reels Millers Car Collection Hilton Lingerie - Slips Miniature Books of Verse - A Romantic Tradition  REGA Pouring Can  R O Dunlop - Sailing At Itchenor Painting Morning Shadows by C Dudley Wood  The Father of Santa Claus - Xmas 2012 HMS Penguin Anchor at RPAYC - Newport  SS Birubi Mast at RMYC - Broken Bay  Helen B Stirling Ship's Wheel at Club Palm Beach   Woomeras  HMSEndeavour Replica Cannon at RPAYC  The Doug Crane Classic Handmade Double Blade Paddle  HMS Bounty Wooden Ship Model Collecting Ladies - Ferdinand Von Mueller and Women Botanical Artists  Australian Bark Art  Chinese Ginger Jars  Hand Plough and Jump Stump Plough - Australian Inventions Frank Clune Books  Frederick Metters - Stoves, Windmills, Iron Monger  Trinket Boxes  1933 Wormald Simplex Fire Extinguisher is Pure Brass  Chapman 'Pup' Maine Engines - Chapman and Sherack  The Beach Ball  Figureheads Salty Wooden Personifications of Vessels Binnacle at RMYC The Australian Florin - Worth More Than 20 Cents to Collectors  Weathervanes; For Those Passionate About Seeing Which Way the Wind Blows Her Majesty's Theatre 1962 Programme - Luisillo and his Spanish Dance Theatre  Cooper's Sheep Shower Enamel Sign and Simpson's and Sons of Adelaide Jolly Drover Sugar Bowl and English Pottery A Means to Gaze into the Past Chief Joseph and Edward S Curtis; His Images of Native Americans an Inestimable Record of Images and Portrait Photographs His Masters Voice, Old 78'™s and Australia's Love of Music Jack Spurlings 'Tamar' Picture 1923  Resch's Beer Art - A Reflection of Australiana Now Worth Thousands  The Compleat Angler - Izaak Walton's Discourse Inspires Generations of Fishers Portable Ice-Boxes and Coolers “ How Many Claim This Invention as Theirs?  Malley's and Sons Ltd. - A Munificent Australian Family Company  Vintage Paddles and Gigs  Nautical Memorabilia  The Crinoline - a 550 Year Old Fashion  B.B. King - King of the Blues Goes Home: a Timely look into Photographs and Autographs and Being Buyer Aware  Deep Down Among the Coral - By Christopher Corr - A Limited Edition Print in Celebration of the seventy fifth anniversary of QANTAS Airways  Old Chinese Rice Bowls for Marriage: Worth More Than You Think...   Commanderie St. John: An Ancient Wine - From 1927 with Lineage to Cyprus in 1210/92 and Methods of Production to Greece in 800 B.C.  Pittwater Regatta Air Race Trophies: from 1934 and 1935 and The Pilot Who Saved William Hughes  Vintage Brass Mortar and Pestle  1958 Bedford 'D' Truck and GM Holden Australian Made Car Bodies  Heart Padlock Charm Bracelets for Newborns: A Golden Tradition  Marvellous Marbles: An All Ages Preoccupation for Collectors  Antique Silver Fish Servers: Artisans Past  Tuckfield's Bird Cards: to Swap or Collect   Joseph Lyddy – O.B.B. Dubbin Boot Polish  Vintage Wooden Tennis Racquets: A Collectors Item As Popular As Summer  Australian Trade Tokens Record Enriching Colonial Histories: the Cascade Shilling First Art Form To Record 'Tasmania' And Kangaroos  Australian Vinyl Singles of the 1950's and 1960's  Dicken's The Old Curiosity Shop bought at The Old Curiosity Shop  Pear's Soap: Artworks For The Masses  Collecting Vintage Photographs: Early Tasmanian Photographer - J W Beattie  Cyclops Vintage Toys  Year Dated Beer Bottles Found In The Estuary Adjacent To Taylors Point - Roger Wickins 

Collecting Matchboxes: A Great Way To Explore History And Art - A J Guesdon, 2017.