Phillumeny - The Hobby of Collecting Matchbook Covers

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.

continued below…

Phillumeny Facts

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 Do you have any thoughts about the hobby of collecting matchbook covers? If so, leave a comment and let me hear from you.


RSS feed | Trackback URI


Comment by Judy Online
2008-07-08 09:30:37

Phillumeny sounds like a very interesting hobby, but I imagine it’s a hobby that will eventually die out, won’t it?

It seems less and less common to see matchbooks in restaurants, stores, or other public places, as fewer and fewer people smoke any more. But as historical items, I would imagine that collectors get a great deal of pleasure from matchbooks covers, every bit as much as philatelists do from their stamp collections.

2008-08-01 00:03:52

It is nice to know the word for my former hobby of collecting match book covers. I had a rather large collection but it did not survive a flooded basement. At one time I was adding a dozen or so to my collection each week, thanks to the help of my travelling friends and friends who went to a lot of company business dinners. I wish I still had my collection.

2008-08-06 14:30:03

Judging by some of the eBay listings on this post, many philumenists seem to collect thematically. There are matchbook collections from Massachusetts cities, from truck stops, and even from the Playboy club!

I’m not a great collector of ephemera, but I can understand the appeal of collecting within narrow guidelines, rather than thinking “Oh, a matchbook … gotta have it!”

Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
A Link To Your Site
Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)
You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> in your comment. Comments with links are automatically moderated but are normally allowed after review. New commentators are automatically moderated. You may use anchored text in your signature link as long as your comment is meaningful and on topic. Signature links inside of the comment body are not allowed.


Some graphics Copyright 2005 Riverdeep Interactive Learning Limited, and its licensors. All rights reserved
Some graphics Copyright 2005 Cosmi Corporation, and its licensors. All rights reserved.
All graphics are intended for viewing purposes only.

Directory of General Blogs Personal blogs Top Blogs Marketing SEO blogs Webfeed (RSS/ATOM/RDF) registered at BRDTracker blog directory