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The Book of Matchbox Labels

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  • The Book of Matchbox Labels

The Book of Matchbox Labels

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A beautiful book for anyone who is interested in this subject. By Roger Fenning


The history of the matchbox label provides a fascinating pictorial guide and reference to social history. This book takes the reader from the beginnings of the industry - with its associated hazards - through its golden age in the years leadinf up to the First World War and on to more modern times. The huge range of illustrations shows just how effective the images used on the matchboxes were.

The matchbox became a source of advertising revenue, and this attempt to beautify mundane objects included the depiction of topical and seasonal subjects, historical events, nature, and personalities of the time; models, film stars and musicians proved particularly popular. Each country had its own trends, and so some subjects covered such as children's games, humour and folklore, gave great insight into national characters and opinions.

Even today, the matchbox label remains a barometer of social activity and a source of information.