Collection of matchbook covers from Pennsylvania establishments

Collection 3858

circa 1890, circa 1930-1980
(0.2 Linear feet ; 241 items)

Summary Information

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Collection of matchbook covers from Pennsylvania establishments
circa 1890, circa 1930-1980
0.2 Linear feet ; 241 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 3858), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

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This is a collection of approximately 241 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 coal dealerships, insurance agencies, and dry cleaners. The majority of them contain business names and addresses, and some display colorful and ornate advertisements, cartoons, pinups, and logos.

The matchbooks had been roughly arranged in alphabetical order by city names, and that arrangement has been maintained, along with the their original housing in acid-free sleeves. 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. The cities represented in the collection cover the whole state, from Pittsburg to Philadelphia. This collection also contains a single trade card from the late 1800s for F. B. Rossiter, a maker of window shades in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.

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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 Mrs. and Mrs. Michael Mazzatto, 2014. Gift of Michael Mazzatto, 2016.

Accession numbers 2014.065, 2016.111.

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Related Materials

Related materials

At the Historical Society of Pennsylvania:

Collection of matchbook covers from Pennsylvania establishments (Collection 3857).

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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)

  • Mazzatto, Michael.


  • Advertising--20th century.
  • Advertising--Brand name products--United States.
  • Advertising--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--20th Century.
  • Advertising--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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