Collection of matchbook covers from Pennsylvania establishments

Collection 3857

circa 1930-1980
(0.2 Linear feet ; 159 items)

Summary Information

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Collection of matchbook covers from Pennsylvania establishments
circa 1930-1980
0.2 Linear feet ; 159 items
Finding aid prepared by Cary Hutto
Processing of this collection was made possible by a generous donation from the Young Friends of HSP.
Graphic materials [Box]

Preferred citation

Cite as: [Indicate cited item or series here], Collection of matchbook covers from Pennsylvania establishments (Collection 3857), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

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This is a collection of approximately 159 matchbook covers dating from around the 1930s to the 1980s from various businesses from across Pennsylvania. Many originated from restaurants, clubs, hotels, and bars, but other types of establishments are represented as well, such as garages and clothing stores. The majority of them contain business names and addresses, and some display colorful and ornate advertisements, cartoons, pinups, and logos.

The matchbooks had been arranged into two sections, and that arrangement has been maintained, along with the their original housing in acid-free sleeves. The first section consists of those specifically from Philadelphia-area retailers. The second section consists of matchbooks collected from places primarily located in the southeastern portion of Pennsylvania, such as Harrisburg, Lancaster, and Allentown. They have been roughly arranged in alphabetical order by city names. They are also all flattened and the matches in each have been removed. Many of them retain their originals strikes (the strip that is used to light the matches), but on some the strikes have been cut off.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 The Historical Society of Pennsylvania ; 2017.

1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107


The collection is open for research.


Gift of Everett C. Lee, 2014, 2017.

Accession numbers 2014.063 and 2017.002.

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Related Materials

Related materials

At the Historical Society of Pennsylvania:

Collection of matchbook covers from Pennsylvania establishments (Collection 3858).

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Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Philadelphia (Pa.)--Commerce--20th century.
  • Philadelphia (Pa.)--Social life and customs--20th century.

Personal Name(s)

  • Lee, Everett C.


  • Advertising--20th century.
  • Advertising--Brand name products--United States.
  • Advertising--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--20th Century.
  • Advertising--United States--History--20th century.
  • Commercial art--20th century.
  • Commercial art--Pennsylvania--20th century.
  • Commercial art--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--20th century.
  • Commercial art--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--History--20th century.
  • Commercial art--United States--History--20th century
  • Matchbook labels--Collectors and collecting.
  • Matchbook labels--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--20th century.
  • Matchbook labels--United States--Collectors and collecting.
  • Matchbook labels.
  • Matchcovers--Collectors and collecting.
  • Matchcovers--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--20th century.
  • Matchcovers--United States--Collectors and collecting.
  • Matchcovers.

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