Matchbooks have been around since the 1890’s, and matchbook collecting has been a hobby almost as long. Collectors are known as Phillumenists. Early matchbook cover art typically featured vivid colorful graphics in hundreds of different themes, mostly related to advertising.
I collect vintage matchbooks too, but mine are the sterling silver variety. In my opinion they are much more fun to display – I get to wear them. I wonder if I would be referred to as a Silumenist? My matchbook charms have old hotel, club, and restaurant names. Most are from the Chicago area. I assume they were souvenirs that were sold in the gift shops.
I’ve also seen sterling silver matchbook charms with college and university logos and names. Not sure why that would have been an effective way to promote higher education but in the mid 20th century attitudes were different.
Here are some matchbook charm pictures I’ve seen on Pinterest.
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Category: Private Jewelry Collection