Sunday, November 29, 2020

Cards and vintage things: Matchbook Roundup

 Some highlights from various matchbook lots purchased over the last couple of months . . . 

Let's start off with a bang - my first playing-days Joe DiMaggio! He opened his San Francisco restaurat, Joe DiMaggio's Grotto, after his 1936 rookie year. This matchbook was produced in the 1940s.

George Blanda delivers for REA Air Express. This is what I wanted the Blanda card for. Hiring Blanda as their spokesman didn't stop them from going out of business in 1975. This was a cool get for me not just for the NFL connection but my grandmother worked for REA in the 1960s.

Here's another football-related matchbook. This one must have come from the Wisconsin area, right?
Nope, it's from a wire and cable company in Ridgewood, Queens. The Packers ended up going 8-8 in 1981. James Lofton was probably the biggest star on the team, with 1,294 receiving yards.
Here's a variety of fun matchbooks from the same lot, including a Peter Max Uncola 7Up, the long-forgotten Jack Nicholson movie Hearburn, and the restaurant owned by 1930's wrestling legend Howard "Hangman" Cantonwine.

All Dodger fans, and many baseball fans, know Abe Stark's clothing store for the famous sign at Ebbets Field - "Hit Sign, Win Suit".  Outfielder Carl Furillo won a free suit for preventing a lot of balls from hitting the sign.
Bill Zuber pitched for four teams between 1936 and 1947. After his baseball career he owned a restaurant in his hometown of Amana, IA for decades.
Here's my first Topps matchbook. They had several matchbooks advertising gum in the 1940s and 1950s.

Some patriotic matchbooks from World War II.
Matchbooks are an effective way to create a cultural snapshot of the 1940s-1970s, both the good, and the very bad. Look closely at this detail of a 1950s Tennessee State Parks matchbook.


  1. this is a fine assortment! How do you sort and store these?

  2. Great matchbooks. I didn't know Topps had any out there.

  3. That Topps matchbook is awesome! Very cool collectible. The DiMaggio and Packers ones are cool too.

  4. I suppose I hadn't thought about state parks being segregated, but pretty much everything in the south was in those days. As you say, it's a snapshot of history. Incidentally the "Cordell Hull Building" was named after FDR's Secretary of State, who was from Tennessee, and served longer than anyone else in that position.

  5. Is your Bill Zuber Black and White? I have a color version of same matchbook? Do you need it?

  6. I always dig these posts, and it's nice to see you getting such a positive turnout for this one! I actually just bought a small lot of matchbook covers the other day. I can't say that the purchase was inspired by you, but it did make me think of you :)