Tuesday, August 2, 2016

It is what every camper and smoker needs. An amazing little book of matches that can evoke such power, The power of fire.Forest firers are now going wild just seven miles from Los Angeles. When will they call in the National Guard or even better give shovels out to every citizen to do something to put the fires out?  Sorry if I am always looking for a solution to a problem wacky or not. What is amazing is that small book of matches that has the power to invoke havoc on a civilization.  You used to get the phone numbers for dates on those tiny books of pleasure too. 
Related imageThey come in different shapes sizes and colors. A simple fire starter can become a small work of Art.  Are you a Phillumenist? Then you are a collector of matchbooks. They are becoming rare now since people don't smoke everywhere. Every restaurant and hotel would give them out for free at one time. Unfortunately the ones we see the most now are those ugly white ones. Some have glossy covers, artwork, some are round, or flat. The matchbook is a mini billboard for advertisers.  
There is a debate as to who invented the matchbook. In 1892 Pennsylvania Patent Attorney Joshua Pusey  filed a patent for what he called the flexible match. It was meant to be attached to and enclosed by a suitable cover. Folded and adapted to be opened and closed as the covers of a book. Some collectors have a quarter million matchbook boxes which is remarkable since institutions are not making matchbooks any more due to the lack of new smokers and the invention of the portable lighter. The finest restaurants and bars still have matchbooks available for their clients.
Even if you don't smoke or start fires, they are a good reminder that you have been to a notable place. The memory box all of a sudden becomes the focus of a conversation. Matchbooks tell a story. The good  the bad and the ugly at only one square inch in size. What story does your matches tell?

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