Saturday, April 9, 2011


I have a bag of matchbooks, some of which my parents had collected over the years. They were New Yorkers, so many of the matchbooks are from that area. Some are old, some new. But the ones I have selected to show you here have at least one interesting feature, whether it's the size of the book, the copy or graphics printed on it, or the color of the matches. 

My favorite by far is The Playboy Club matchbox. Everything about it is cool. It dates back to the 1960s. My dad, who was a graphic designer in New York City in the 50s and 60s, may have gone to the club on "business" (anyone a fan of the show Mad Men?).

Lift the cover and you get a surprise illustration!

The next three are from a restaurant in San Diego that I visited. I like the graphics.

The next three are from NYC restaurants. The one on top is from Patsy's, a famous Italian family-owned restaurant that opened in 1944. The one on the bottom right is from Cafe des Artistes, another famous restaurant that sadly closed in 2009. My parents and I had a memorable meal there when I was a child. It was Thanksgiving day, and we had just been to the Macy's parade. I'm glad I was able to have another meal at Cafe des Artistes as an adult. It was as special as I had remembered.

The next one is an interesting size and shape. 

The last one is a nice reminder of a fabulous lunch I had at Gramercy Tavern in New York City with my friend Diane. I love the black-tipped matches. 


  1. How cool. I was looking for some old matchboxes on etsy recently because if you break or cut the corners of the bottom, you end up with a little cross symbol that I thought would be neat for little paintings or drawings. I could only find a few and they were pricey.

  2. Very interesting and as always the photographs are awesome. What a wonderful trip to the past!

  3. I love this- what a terrific idea for a post. You've inspired me to start collecting items such as these! What a wonderful "inheritance" from your parents- such a personal walk down memory lane. I would love to have been a fly on the wall at your dad's "business meeting" at the Playboy Club!:)


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