I thought I’d take a look at some interesting and unusual hobbies I’ve run across recently and today’s article is about Phillumeny, the hobby of collecting matchbook covers and other related match items. Let’s take a quick look at this hobby and some interesting facts about it.
Why Collect Matchbook Covers?
I searched about for an answer to this question and perhaps the best reason I found was that these matchbook covers represent an almost forgotten time when printers of this kind of advertising graphics could express themselves artistically. When you look at the print jobs done on these tiny covers back in the days before computer aided printing you can’t help but be amazed.
Collectors are referred to as Phillumenists. Some people have put together some impressive collections going all the way back to the invention of the friction match in the 1820’s.
There are many different types of matchbook covers ranging from single top labels to all around labels to match books. Some collectors specialize in a particular type and/or era of covers while others build large, generalized, collections.
Different countries and regions have different preferences in what type of covers to collect. Generally it matches (no pun intended) up with the type of matches that were commonly used in that area. For example, matchbook covers are a popular collectible in the US but not so much in the UK.
People also like to collect match strikers and holders that gentlemen used to carry matches during the 1800’s. Other forms of smoking materials and tobacciana are commonly collected as well.
For more information about this fascinating collecting hobby see phillumeny.com. Do you have any thoughts about the hobby of collecting matchbook covers? If so, leave a comment and let me hear from you.