Monday, June 29, 2020

Cards and vintage things: yes, more matchbooks.

I picked up another lot of matchbooks, this one my biggest yet, over 1,200. It really fills my desire to collect "history" in an affordable way. I really enjoy the old advertising. I just wish there was a community for these the way there is for baseball cards. The matchbook community is so much more rigid on the "right" and "wrong" way to collect, and what is considered collectible and what isn't. Imagine a combination of rookie-card speculators (at a much lower dollar value) and the most strict people on TCDB. I guess it's the difference between a hobby people come into as a kid vs. one that people come into as an adult. Still, I've had good luck picking up lots on eBay and I am really enjoying this one. I am only showing a tiny section of the matchbooks and will thrown in a few cards to not completely scare away my usual small audience.

One attraction to me was that this lot was heavily Long Island/NYC focused. Here are a lot of supermarket brands, some long-gone, some recently so. I had read a lot about Hills, Korvette and their ill-fated merger. I've seen some Korvette matchbooks but I can't find a single reference to a Hills-Korvette matchbook, so I was excited for this find.
 Here are some really cool WNEW matchbooks from various points in the 1960s. Their names are forgotten today but they were all quite famous at the time. The New York Giants schedule is from 1966, so I paired it with a 1967 team card with a photo from their December 11 game hosting the Steelers. As the matchbook notes, that and other home games were not aired on TV.
 I got into matchbook collecting on the soda side. Because I focus more on 1950s-1960s than earlier (one sign that I am not a "serious" collector according to the experts), I actually had a lot of these already, but the 1964 World's Fair one was new to me. I added in a Coke baseball card from one of my trade boxes.
 Lots of fun transportation-related ones including my first Long Island Rail Road matchbooks, featuring "Dashing Dan" and "Dashing Dottie". I'll be working from home for at least the rest of the year and probably much of 2021, perhaps permanently. While there is a lot I really like about working from home, I miss the city and even miss the LIRR a little bit. The Texaco Fuel Chief matchbook at top right is from Paragon Oil in Hunters Point, Queens. I had been meaning to take a wallet-card photo of that building next time I took the train through there. Oh well . . .
 The seller played both sides of the 1964 election. These are my first Presidential election matchbooks. I paired them with a '64 baseball card from my trade boxes, another Johnson from Texas. I've actually got a fair amount of '64's to trade.
 Some department store matchbooks. I like collecting old-time stores like Gimbel's and S.Klein, and older versions of familiar ones like Macy's and KMart (which notes it was owned by Kresge) at the time. Incidentally, liking "national" businesses as much as local ones is considered a sign that I am not a serious collector.
 I love matchbooks that date themselves to a specific year. I don't know what happened with WABC in 1963. The Joan Baez is from 1967.
 I couldn't get a good picture of the inside of the Baez, but it's a pretty good selection of the popular music of 1967.


  1. What an amazing summer of music at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium! I feel a little ashamed of myself for not attending any of those concerts, as I lived pretty close to there, but I suppose the fact that I hadn't quite turned 1 yet was a mitigating factor.

    But what really gets me is the billing for July 29--"One of America's Favorite Female Vocal Trios & The Four Tops". That sure sounds like they mean the Supremes, and indeed that's who it was. So why couldn't they be mentioned on the matchbook? Is it possible that they hadn't been confirmed, and there was a chance they'd substitute Martha & The Vandellas? More likely they couldn't be mentioned on the same matchbox as Diet Rite Cola, as the Supremes endorsed Coke in those days. Weird! Fascinating stuff from these matchboxes!

  2. Nice post! My sister was given a bunch of old matchbooks by a co-worker. What matchbook collectors site would you recommend checking out?

  3. Awesome stuff. Especially love the concert matchbook of Joan Baez! Very cool.

  4. The Waldbaum's and Gimbels matchbooks are my favorites of the bunch.

    As for the LIRR, I don't miss it very much at all. But then again, it was a big reason why I moved away from Long Island ;-)