Nagurski-Feature

1930′s Football Matchbook Covers

As a football fan, I find the 1930′s Football Matchbook Covers fascinating. Imagine getting a player’s bio information into a space as small as the back of a matchbook! So much more functional than a football card too, because you could light your cigar or cigarette with one of the matches in the matchbook. Try doing that with a football card!

1930′s Football Matchbook Covers – Part of Diamond Match Company’s Group 1 Line

Back in the 1930′s, the Diamond Match Company produced a number of matchcover sets from a wide range of topics, including sports. Within the overall sports category, they produced sets from Baseball, Football and Hockey. All the sets featured various players on a range of different teams. Several years after the production of all of these sets, early matchcover collectors realized there was a problem. There was no known listing of the various sets. No idea who or how many players were featured, for example. Fortunately for those of us in the hobby today, early matchcover hobby enthusiasts and key movers and shakers within the hobby stepped up and documented the various sets. The two gentlemen that undertook this project? Tom Torrent & Frank Tripodi. The lists were known as – and still are to this day – the T&T lists. There were lists for all of the Diamond Match Co. Group 1 sets.
In the sports realm, and in particular the football category, they realized that there were a number of variations to several of the sets of covers. In some cases, the differences were as minute as a brown striker instead of a black striker. Or the ink used was brown vs. black. Or that the players name was below the team name on one set and above it in another. I’m not sure anyone knows at this point why Diamond made the sets with different variations, or if it was even intentional. Regardless, these differences meant there were indeed multiple variations of many of the overall sets.

1930′s Football Matchbook Covers – The T&T Group 1 Sets

In order to give you an idea of the depth of the Diamond Group 1 1930′s Football Matchbook Covers, I’d like to provide you with a brief synopsis of each set and sub set below.

T&T List #17 – First Football (Silver Set)

This set was produced in 1933 and as with the Silver Hockey set, it’s the rarest of all of the sets. Not only was the silver set the first and oldest set, it’s thought to have been a much smaller production run. The First Football set, known in the matchcover hobby as the Silver Football Set provided the 1932 stats of importance for each of the players. The background color of the matchcovers in this set was silver of course, with the players in both a green and pink background. An interesting component of this initial 1930′s Football Matchcover Set was that it included All American College Football players as well as professional football players. Another oddity in my mind is that there was a matchcover that didn’t feature a player that was included in this set. It featured the All American seal on the front and a history of the organization on the back. In yet another strange twist, this cover is a Diamond Quality, while none of the others in the set are. They had the standard Diamond Match Co manumark. Here are some of the examples from this set:

Pendergast_Silver2  Apsit_Silver  Nagurski_Silver

As was the case with all T&T lists, compilation of these lists didn’t take place until sometime in the late 1940′s or early 1950′s, meaning 10-15 years had passed since these sets had been produced. In the case of this particular set – Silver Football – there were a number of covers thought to have been produced, but that at the time of the list publication had never been seen. It’s a pretty fair bet that the listing of 189 covers in the set is correct, but some of the players had only been documented with a stats area in either Pink or Green, but not both. The 189 figure included 94 players x 2 colors for each player + the single All American cover. Seems they had a good handle on the names of the players, but just couldn’t verify various colors for all the players.

Be sure to check out Jack’s entire Group 1 Football Matchcover Collection!

T&T List #18 – Second Football – Type I

The T&T Second Football set had two variations. The first was known as Type I, and surprisingly enough, the second variation was known as Type II! When you see these 1930′s football matchbook covers for sale on sites like eBay, you very rarely see any distinction made between the covers, leaving the matchcover collector to wonder which set the various matchcovers are from. In some cases, the differences – such as the ink color, for example – are very hard to determine from a low res scan.
The Type I set from the Second football set was produced in 1934. It featured four different background colors, including Blue, Green, Red & Tan. At the time the list was compiled, it couldn’t be determined that each player appeared in all four colors. It would certainly seem odd that a set would be made with some in all four colors, while others were only shown in one or two colors, but not the others. In any even, the list as shown indicates there were 114 different players featured in the set, with a total of 176 covers in it. As with the Silver football set, they included some covers they believed were produced but hadn’t actually seen themselves. For example, they included a blue matchcover featuring Lone star Dietz. They hadn’t actually seen the cover themselves, but had heard of its existence. Again, it seems a bit odd to me that Diamond would have produced a set with only some players in a certain color. But I defer to the list as I’m sure that Messrs. Torrent & Tripodi knew of what they spoke when the published these lists. As with the Silver Football set, this set included college players as well as professional football players.
An interesting component of this list as well as all T&T Group 1 Football lists going forward included a notation of what was included on the last line in the bio area, which was located on the back of the matchbook. It’s my belief this was done so it would make it easier for the matchcover collector to determine which set a particular cover was from as they were adding it to their matchcover collection.
The Second Football Type I matchcover included a manufacturer’s imprint on a single line as follows: The Diamond Match Co., N.Y.C. Here are some examples from this set:
1934 NY Giants Ray FlahertyJohn Oehler, Pittsburgh Pirates Turk Edwards, Boston Redskins

Be sure to check out Jack’s entire Group 1 Football Matchcover Collection!

T&T List #19 – Second Football – Type II

The second variation of the Second Football set, featuring 1930′s Football Matchbook Covers was produced in 1935. It differs from the Second Football Type I set in that there was a change in each players descriptive data and that the players appear in only three different background colors as opposed to four. The colors in this set were Green, Red & Tan. Another difference is that each player only appears in one color, instead of multiple colors. One can only assume this was an effort to cut down on production costs of the set. The manufacturer’s imprint is on two lines in the Type II set as follows:
Made In U.S.A.
The Diamond Match Co. N.Y.C.
This variation of the Second Football matchcover set was comprised of 96 matchcovers in total, featuring 96 players. The listing is considered to be complete. Some examples from this set:
Tony Blazine Chicago Cardinals   Pug Vaughan Detroit Lions  Max Padlow Philadelphia Eagles

 

T&T List #20 – Third Football- Type 1

The Third Football set, featuring 1930′s Football Matchbook Covers featured 6 different variations and was produced between 1936 and 1939. The Type 1 set was manufactured in 1939. The Third Football sets differ from the Second Football sets in that the player’s pictures are shown in what appears to be a picture frame as opposed to the square black lined box. The background colors in these sets are as they were in the Second Football Type 2 set – Green, Red & Tan. As with that set, the Third Football Type 1 set has each player in a single color. In a first at this point in these sets, this set contained matchcovers featuring a single team. In the case of this set, it was the Philadelphia Eagles. The ink used to print this set was black in color, instead of the brown ink used in previous sets to this point.

The set contained a total of 17 matchcovers, featuring 17 different players. the manufacturer’s imprint is on two lines as follows:

Made in U.S.A.

The Diamond Match Co. N.Y.C.

These sets serve as a double edged sword for matchcover collectors. On the plus side, there are multiple sets to be able to complete. On the down side, completing these sets can be an extremely difficult as well as costly proposition. Considering these covers are 75+ years old and that many of these matchcovers, just as others from this era are sitting in attics or basements all around the country waiting to be thrown away when the original collectors pass on, there are only a few ways to come by these old time vintage covers. Trading with other like minded matchcover collectors, buying a complete collection, or buying the ones you need via a place such as eBay in an auction format, or via RMS auctions.

Some examples from the Third Football – Type 1 set:

Art Buss Philadelphia Eagles  John Kusko Philadelpia Eagles  Joe Pilconis Philadelphia Eagles

T&T List #21 – Third Football – Type 2

The Third Football Type 2 set was produced in 1936. If you are like most folks, you likely had no idea that there were so many variations to the 1930′s Football Matchbook Covers, did you? Not only was it incredible that there were so many variations to these sets, I find it equally incredible that two matchcover collectors, a decade + later were able to piece together all these variances and put together some very comprehensive lists of all the different covers.

The Third Football Type 2 set differs from the Type 1 set in that the player’s position appears on the back of the matchbook directly below their name and just above the bio area. The background colors are the same in the Type 2 set as Type 1, but each player only appears in one color. All of the players in this set – with the lone exception of Don Jackson – played for the Chicago Bears. The color of the ink used in this set was black.

The manufacturer’s imprint appears on two lines as is the case with most of these 1930′s Football Matchbook Cover sets. It reads as follows:

Made in U.S.A.

The Diamond Match Co. N.Y.C.

There are thirty players featured in this set, and the thirty covers are considered be a complete set. Here are some examples from this set

T&T List #22 – Third Football – Type 3

The Third Football Type 3 set appeared in 1939. This set is almost identical to the Third Football Type 1 set with two differences. First, the ink used was brown in color. Secondly, the background colors for all of the players, with the exception of three, are different from the Type 1 set. The fact that there were different background colors used for nearly all the players is actually a good thing for the matchbook cover collector, although I’m sure didn’t have anything to do with the reasoning behind doing this. It’s a good thing for the collector building out his matchcover collection because it is extremely difficult at this point to tell the brown ink from the black ink. Of course I don’t know if this was always the case or not, but it seems to me the aging process has made it very difficult to tell the difference between the two.

The manufacturer’s imprint appears on two lines as is the case with most of these 1930′s Football Matchbook Cover sets. It reads as follows:

Made in U.S.A.

The Diamond Match Co. N.Y.C.

This set features the Philadelphia Eagles only and is considered a complete set of 17 matchcovers. Here are some examples of covers from this set:

T&T List #23 – Third Football Type 4

The Third Football Type 4 set was produced in 1937. This set is almost identical to the Third Football Type 2 set with a few exceptions. First, the ink color used was brown. There are also some changes in background colors for various players, but it wasn’t the general change as was the case between the Type 1 and Type 3 sets. The list of players in this set is identical to the Type 2 set, but for some reason, Ed Nolting appears in two colors, while everyone else has only one color. As with the Third Football Type 2 set, all the players – with the exception of Don Jackson – are from the Chicago Bears.

The manufacturer’s imprint appears on two lines as is the case with most of these 1930′s Football Matchbook Cover sets. It reads as follows:

Made in U.S.A.

The Diamond Match Co. N.Y.C.

As I mentioned earlier, these sets really become very difficult to distinguish from each other when the main difference is the color of the ink that was used. However, I was able to search out the covers with the differing background colors so as to be able to provide some examples of this set as seen below

T&T List #23 – Third Football – Type 5

The Third Football Type 5 set was produced in 1937. It’s very similar to the Type 4 set, but if you get your magnifying glass out, you’ll see that the size of the type is a bit smaller than is the type in the earlier sets. Fortunately, that’s not the only difference, or the matchcover collector would go bonkers trying to determine what covers went to what sets! In the case of the Type 5 set, there were a number of new players that were featured on the matchcovers and there were some changes to the descriptive data for players who were featured in earlier sets. Whew! That’s good to hear! All members of this set played for the Chicago Bears (Don Jackson of the Eagles must have retired!), and once again, Diamond went back to featuring each player in the set on each of the three colors – Green, Red & Tan. 24 players featured, with a total of 72 matchcovers in the set, which is considered to be complete. The ink color is Brown.

The manufacturer’s imprint appears on two lines as is the case with most of these 1930′s Football Matchbook Cover sets. It reads as follows:

Made in U.S.A.

The Diamond Match Co. N.Y.C.

Here is a sampling of the 1930′s Football Matchbook Covers from the Third Football, Type 5 set:

T&T List #24 – Third Football – Type 6

The final subset or Type from the Third Football master set was produced in 1938. Once again, this set is very similar to a previous set – Third Football Type 5. But, once again, Diamond changed things up a bit. They shifted to black ink again and they also went back to having each player appear on one color background again. This set had the same colors as the other Third Football sets – Green, Red, & Tan. As with the previous set, Type 5, there are 24 players featured, and with only one color for each, there were a total of 24 matchcovers. The set is considered to be complete at the listed 24.

The manufacturer’s imprint appears on two lines as is the case with most of these 1930′s Football Matchbook Cover sets. It reads as follows:

Made in U.S.A.

The Diamond Match Co. N.Y.C.

Here are some examples from this particular set – keep in mind that the brown ink color looks almost identical to black at this stage of the game:

T&T List #25 – Fourth Football

The Fourth Football set has only one version – unlike it’s predecessor, which had 6 types. This set was produced in 1938 and differs from all other previous types. As with the First Football set, the Fourth Football set has a silver background. But that’s where any similarity ends. The front of the matchbook show a head and shoulders of the featured player. On the back, you’ll find a player bio. 12 of the 1930′s Football Matchbook Covers in this set have the bio in a blue box, with the other 12 appearing in a red box. The printing on this particular set was done in white ink. The saddle of the matchbook contains the player’s name and the team he played for, overlayed on a light tan football. It’s interesting to note that all of the players who have their bios in the red boxes played for the Chicago Bears, while those with bios in blue boxes played for the Detroit Lions.

24 matchcovers in this particular set and it is shown to be complete at that number.

The manufacturer’s imprint appears on two lines as is the case with most of these 1930′s Football Matchbook Cover sets. It reads as follows:

Made in U.S.A.

The Diamond Match Co. N.Y.C.

Here’s a sampling of the Fourth Football set:

College Rivals – Type 1

In yet another variation of Group 1 Football Matchbook Covers produced by Diamond Match Co. in the 1930′s, college football rivalries were front and center in this set. There were three different types made for this set, which I will outline below. These listings were put together by Mssrs. Torrent & Tripodi, but interestingly, this list is not numbered as all of the other T&T lists are.

The Type 1 set of the College Rivalry matchbook covers was produced in 1934. The set contains 24 matchcovers. Twelve rival teams are shown and each appears in two background colors – Tan & Black. Knute Rockne is mentioned on the Notre Dame – Army Rivalry matchcover.

The manufacturer’s imprint is on a single line and reads The Diamond Match Co. N.Y.C. The following are some examples from this set:

College Rivals – Type 2

The College Rivals Type 2 Football Matchbook Cover Set was produced in 1935 and contains 24 matchcovers. The set is almost identical to the Type 1 set in that all the same rivalries are featured. The only difference of course is the information about the previous year’s game.

The manufacturer’s imprint is on a single line and reads The Diamond Match Co. N.Y.C. The following are some examples from this set:

College Rivals – Type 3

The College Rivals Type 3 Football Matchbook Cover set was produced in 1935, which appears to be a re run of Type 2 with two differences. First, the manufacturer’s imprint is on two lines on this particular set instead of the single line in the previous two types. Secondly, this set was produced in Tan only, no Black matchcovers were produced.

The following are some examples from this set:

That wraps up the T&T listings of all of the Diamond Match Company Group 1 Football Matchbook Covers. My hope is that if you have ever had an interest in these 1930′s era Football matchbook covers, or have seen them on eBay or in other venues and had questions about them that you found this both educational and informative.

Charles Linbergh

Rare & Historic Charles Lindbergh Matchbook Covers

If you are in the matchcover hobby, there is no doubt that when you are talking about rare and historic covers, the Lindbergh matchbook covers are at the top of the list. For years, there has always been a great deal of discussion of the matchcover that was distributed at a luncheon held at the Astor Hotel in New York City in 1927. Not only is this an extremely rare matchcover, it’s also thought to be the most valuable. This particular cover sold at an RMS auction for $4,000, with Jack being the runner up with a $3,900 bid. Fortunately for him, a collector out in Spokane, Washington had heard about this and called him to ask if he’d be interested in this cover as an acquaintance had one. (There are thought to be only a few in existence today). Of course he jumped at the chance – at a significantly smaller cost than what it went for at auction.

Historic Lindbergh Matchbook Covers

For years, Jack had thought there was only this particular function honoring Mr. Lindbergh. But as we found out several years later, this simply wasn’t so. There were actually two events held to honor Mr. Lindbergh’s 1927 trans Atlantic flight. Jack has the cover that was given out at the Luncheon that was held at the Hotel Astor on June 15, 1927. It was hosted by the Chamber of Commerce Of The State Of N.Y. along with the Merchant’s Association of New York. On this particular matchcover, Mr. Lindbergh is listed as a Colonel Lindbergh. He’d just received this promotion from Captain a week prior to the luncheon.

But this is where things get really interesting. There was also a dinner that was held the night before,on June 14, 1927. I’ve read where there were over 3,000 people at this dinner, but only 200 or so matchbooks were passed out. One reason for this may have been that most may have been disposed of before the dinner. The reason? Because Mr. Lindbergh’s title was shown as a Captain and not his current rank of Colonel. One could see how this could happen – in preparation for the dinner, the matchbooks were printed up prior to his promotion.

Jack Lands The Second Lindbergh Matchbook Cover!

Back in the early 2000′s, I was buying matchbook cover collections around the country and selling them on eBay. We must have traveled 50,000 miles over the Interstate Highways from coast to coast back in those days. It turns out that one of the collections I purchased – and the one closest to my home here in New Hampshire – contained the Lindbergh Dinner matchcover! It was in among a number of old and beat up Diamond Quality matchcovers. Fortunately, I found it and realized what I’d stumbled upon. I immediately gave it to Jack to add to his other Lindbergh cover. These covers are so rare to begin with, it’s really incredible that between us, we came up with both of them and that the two of them are in the same collection! Two of the absolute rarest matchcovers in the hobby in the same collection – one thanks to the generosity of a long time collector in Spokane, WA and the other due to incredible luck.

So, the next time you hear someone mentioning the rare and historic Lindbergh Matchbook covers, point them to this article because there are many out there to this day that don’t believe either of them actually exist any longer.

 

 

Charles Lindbergh Matchbook Cover Charles Lindbergh Matchbook

Charles Lindbergh Matchbook

Charles Lindbergh Matchbook

Text from this Matchbook:

Joint Luncheon
Chamber of Commerce
Of The State Of N.Y.
The Merchants Ass’n
Of New York

In Honor of

Col. Chas A. Lindbergh
Hotel Astor
Wednesday, June 15, 1927

CCC Camps

Civilian Conservation Corps. – CCC Camp Matchbook Covers

Within the matchcover hobby, some of the most interesting & historical matchcovers are CCC Camp Matchbook Covers While there is quite a bit of information available on how the CCC came into being as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal program, there isn’t a whole lot of information available on the history of the matchcovers from these camps. We know that there were over 2,900 camps during the time they were operational between 1933 and 1942. But as far as matchcovers go, we don’t know much more than a guesstimate on how many of these CCC camps actually had matchbooks produced.

CCC Camp Matchbook Covers

Jack has a list of CCC Camps that had matchbook covers that is a single spaced, single sheet listing that was completed on a typewriter. The list looks like it was the list that Roscoe Yorgey of Carlisle, PA compiled back in 1942. This list has 120 different camps listed, including some that had multiple covers. However, in doing some research, I found that some claim that there are over 500 matchcovers known to exist from the various CCC camps that dotted the country. The higher number makes a lot of sense seeing Jack has a number of CCC Camp matchcovers that are not on the list he has. He’s got just over 150 different covers from the various camps – with 3 or 4 that had multiple covers. Most of the CCC Camps had stock matchcovers, which were green and yellow. although early descriptions of these covers showed them as green and brown. The green color was for foliage and the brown signified soil.

But questions abound on this category – at least for me.

First, who made the decision about which camp had their own matchbook? From the start of these camps, through 1939, Department of War personnel or Reserve officers were in charge of the various CCC Camps as “Camp Commander”. There was also a “Junior Officer” that was in charge of the overall camp operation, logistics and training. That they operated during the depression, one has to wonder why the decision was made to produce these matchbooks. It wasn’t as if they needed to advertise. Was it up to the camp commander? Was it up to the Junior Officer? It would seem that the decisions of this type were left to the local camp leaders – otherwise, there would likely have been far more of these matchbooks produced. Where there were only 400+ of these known to have had them, it doesn’t sound like the decision was a centralized one.

As to the “why” various CCC camps would have them produced, was it due to the fact that one of the missions was “heightened morale” of the folks in the program, is it possible that having a camp matchbook was a very small part of building pride in the camp? Perhaps it was a big deal for these guys to have a matchbook from “their” camp? Or was it as simple as most of the men smoking, and it made sense to have matches made? CCC Camps started out as true camps – in that they were tent communities. Perhaps these matchbooks were more of a necessity than anything else. But going to the expense of having them made with the camp name had to be more costly than using generic matchbooks. It’s true that many of the CCC Camps used a stock matchbook cover that was produced by the Maryland Match Company, but there are a number of non stock covers that were produced as well.

CCC Camp Matchbook Covers – Highlighting Those Who Helped Themselves & Their Commun

One of the great things about CCC Camps was all the work they did for local / rural communities. The gentlemen that worked in these camps planted nearly 3 billion trees to help reforest the country, constructed more than 800 parks nationwide and upgraded most state parks, updated forest fire fighting methods, and built a network of service buildings and public roadways in remote areas. Not only did this program get a lot of important and needed work done, it also helped put up to 300,000 young men between the ages of 17 and 23 to work during a time that there was no work for so many. In total, 2,5 million men worked in CCC Camps during their existence.

Where these camps were located in mostly rural areas, the matchcovers from these camps are truly fascinating. So many of them are from communities many have never heard of before. Communities such as Watersmeet, MI or Weeping Water, Nebraska are but two examples of this. There are many other small towns that likely have never their name on a matchcover other than the CCC Camp that was located there.

CCC Camp Matchbook Covers - 3313 - Snow Hill MD  CCC Camps Matchcover- 310 - Hyner PA Alt CCC Camps Matchcover - 751 - Weeping Water NE

CCC Camp Matchbook Covers – Multiple Designations

The more I got into looking into CCC Camps, the more questions I’d come up with. One of the great things in this day and age is that if you’ve got a question about something, it’s more than likely that you’ll be able to find an answer online somewhere. One of the questions I had regarding matchcovers from CCC camps was the combination of letters and numbers seen on many of the matchcovers. Sure enough, a quick search lead me to the CCC Legacy Website that provides a treasure trove of information on all things CCC Camps, including information on the letters and numbers on the various covers. Be sure to check out their site if you’d like more information on exactly where the camps were located around the country.

Be sure to take a look at all of the CCC Camp Matchbook Covers in Jack’s collection.

As for the letters and numbers, here’s the information on their meanings, so when you check out the matchcovers below, you’ll know what type of camps they were:

A Army Military Reservations
A Agriculture (Bureau of Animal Industry)
BF Federal Game Refuge
BS (Biological Survey)
BR Federal Reclamation Project
C of E State Land (Corps of Engineers)
CP County Parks
D Private Land (Soil Conservation Service)
DG Public Domain (Grazing) G (Department of Grazing)
DPE Drainage Private Land Erosion
DSP Department of State Parks
DPS Department of National Parks
DF Department of Forestry
F or NF National Forest
GF Oregon and California Land Grant (Grazing)
GLO (Grazing Service/Land Grant)
GNP (Grazing Service/National Park)
GNP Glacier National Park
MA Municipal Area
MC Private Land (Mosquito Control)
NM National Monument
MP Military Park
NA National Arboretum (Bureau of Plant Industry)
Navy Naval Military Reservation
NP National Park
P Private Forest
PE Private Land Erosion
S State Forest
SP State Park
SCS Soil Conservation
TVA Tennessee Valley Authority
TVA-P Tennessee Valley Authority (State Park Division)
SNP Sequoia National Park
YNP Yellowstone National Park

I can only assume that the numbers seen on the various matchcovers after the letter designation meant that there were more than one CCC camp in that area.

CCC Camps – Matchcover Collector Category Designation

One of the great things about being a matchcover collector is that there really isn’t any set way you have to set up your collection. There are so many matchbook covers that could be categorized in multiple categories, it’s sometimes tough to figure out where to put them. But the choice is yours and yours alone, unlike the way some hobbies are set up. However, this wasn’t always the case of you were an early member of the Rathkamp Matchcover Society. According to the minutes from the December 6, 1941 meeting (yes, the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor), it was decided that matchcovers from CCC Camps would be classified as “Service” matchcovers and as such, were to be stored in albums with other military matchcovers. There was actually a course – known as the “American Bookmatch Course” by Edgar Perkins (of Perkins Americana fame)that among other things, outlined how one should maintain their collection, among other things. The “course” is fascinating and is something I’ll be referring to in future posts.

Going through Jack’s collection has really given me a great opportunity to take a walk back in time. So many many matchcovers provide a window to the past. Although some of the older matchbook covers generate more questions that there are answers for, I find it fascinating to be transported back not only to important historical moments, but also back to the small towns and businesses that made up America during the early decades of the 20th century. CCC Camps are but one example of this.

If you have information on CCC Camps, or any of the matchcovers from the various camps shown below, please be sure to add your comments below with our thanks in advance.

Union Pacific Railroad Agent Matchcovers

Union Pacific Railroad Agent Matchbook Covers

Within the matchcover hobby, a number of people collect railroad covers, including the Union Pacific, Milwaukee Road, Monon Route, along with hundreds of others. Within the railroad category, there is an often overlooked sub category featuring Railroad Agents from the various railroads. By far, Union Pacific produced the most matchbooks with various agents, job titles and cities on them. Other Roads produced agent matchbooks, but certainly not to the degree that Union Pacific did. As with a number of categories within the hobby, it’s difficult to get a handle on exactly how many matchbooks were produced in a category that interests you. Such is the case here. There are lists floating around to be sure, but it seems that anytime I see a list, I find a cover that’s not on the list a short time later.

Steg Stegman  Carl Rexroad  Mac Prescott  Paul Jackson, Union Pacific City Passenger Agent

We thought Jack had a pretty darn definitive list of Union Pacific Railroad agent covers, until earlier this morning. That’s when I found another cover that wasn’t listed on the list he had been given by the late Ralph Arnold who was the long time historian of the Rathkamp Matchcover Society. Ralph knew the history of so many types of covers – it was a real joy to have known him and discussed the hobby with him. It was such a shock to find that additional agent listed on eBay this morning. Jack didn’t have it and we scooped it up pronto!

The matchcover hobby can be very frustrating at times because of situations like this. But every time I run into a situation like this, it’s only a short time later when I run across a cover that has absolutely stunning graphics, or depicts a significant historical event or place and I quickly forget about the frustrating part of not knowing exactly how many matchcovers of a particular set or type were produced.

Back to the Union Pacific Railroad Agents. Jack has a total of 322 of these covers. Based on Ralph’s list + the additional agent cover I found today, we know of a total of 494 UP Railroad agent covers. However, there very well may be a list out there somewhere that has more on it. This is entirely possible, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least. For the time being, here are the covers Jack has in his collection. If you’d like a copy of the Union Pacific Railroad Agent matchcovers listing that we have, please enter your information below and we’ll get it right out to you.

Jack’s complete collection of Union Pacific Railroad Agents.

Eagle Mikado Pencils

1930′s Eagle Mikado Pencils Saftey First Matchbook Cover

This 1930′s Lion Match Company Safety First matchbook cover features the Eagle Mikado Pencil. One of the reasons I enjoy going through my dad’s collection so much is there is so much interesting history behind many of these matchcovers!

Take the Eagle Mikado Pencil, for example. Wikipedia has this to say:

Eagle Pencil Company applied for the trademark Mirado in 1947 (US Trademark 71515261). It is common belief that this was an attempt to disassociate the pencil brand from Japan, as one of the meanings of Mikado is emperor of Japan. Petroski (Petroski, 1990) states that Eagle Pencil Company changed the name after the Attack on Pearl Harbor.

In addition, the Mikado wasn’t always yellow, but they started painting them yellow so they would be associated with the high quality Koh-I-Noor brand. Koh-I-Noor made theirs yellow because it was suggestive of the Orient. Siberia was well known at the time for their high quality graphite. By making their pencils yellow, Eagle thought their Mikado brand would benefit. Funny how the name Mikado had to be changed later on due to the company wanting to distance themselves from anything that would remind people of Japan. It’s also interesting that the color of the standard pencil remains yellow to this day.

Lion Safety First Eagle Mikado Pencil Eagle Mikado Pencil B

Featured Girlie Image

Girlie Matchcover Club

To me, one of the most interesting things about the matchcover collection hobby is how wide ranging it can be.  There are quite a number of collectors who choose to limit their collection to a few different, or in some cases, a single category.  I consider myself fortunate that Jack became a general collector, or someone who collects matchbooks and matchbook covers from any and all categories.  I’m fortunate because I get to see so much history – much of it dating back to the 1930′s – 1950′s.

However, there are a few categories that he’s chosen to keep a very close eye on in recent years. One of these categories is the “Girlie” category.  He’s also focused on Feature Matchbooks as well.  Fortunately, a number of years ago some long term collectors – formed a “Girlie Club”.  This club has put together a catalog that lists girlie matchbook covers.  Currently, there are over 5700 listed.  Many of the additions to the catalog these days are through collectors that have run across girlie covers in their travels that are not already listed in the catalog.  Serious girlie matchcover collectors know that without this catalog, there would be no way to keep track of the covers they have and don’t have.

The vast majority of girlie matchbook covers had ordinary match sticks in them.  However, in some cases, the matchbooks were what’s known as Feature Matchbooks.  Part of the catalog the Girlie Matchcover Club put together and updates quarterly are Girlie Feature Matchbooks.

Girlie Matchcover Club

If you’d like to join the Girlie Matchbook Cover Club, the initial dues are $60 which covers the printing and shipping of the extensive catalog.  The catalog includes a black and white photo of every cover on the list.  My catalog currently resides in 3 2″ binders, along with a 3″ binder as well.  Jack uses his catalog to store his entire collection, which is housed in 9 3″ albums at this point.  Annual dues for the club are $15.  Contact John at Helgibacho@att.net for more information.   I’m currently working on digitizing Jack’s collection and would love to see the day come when the entire catalog could be distributed in full color and in digital format.

To join the Girlie Matchcover Club, please contact us and we’ll get you the details on joining.