Much like ashtrays (see our Ashtray Collection elsewhere in this catalog), matchbooks were once a ubiquitous means of advertising. Many businesses ordered matchbooks with their company’s name and contact information on the matchcover. It was an inexpensive means to market one's business by providing a free, useful giveaway to the public, smoking and non-smoking alike. While some businesses still allocate a portion of their marketing budget to customized matchbooks, the decline of smoking in the 21st century, as well as stringent legislature prohibiting smoking in many public venues, has reduced the efficiency of this form of advertising. Matchbooks have become an endangered species, and collections such as this one preserve the many differing styles of matchbook design and advertising techniques found on these artifacts.
This collection contains matchbooks of varying sizes from hotels, restaurants, and businesses on Long Island during the 1920’s through the 1950’s.