She speaks for many, I fear.


It's not my imagination: matches are far less ubiquitous these days. When more people smoked, more shops and restaurants had a box of matchbooks by the counter, often under a small sign that read “For Our ‘Matchless’ Friends.” As a small child I knew there was a double meaning there, but I couldn’t quite grasp what it was.

These come from many sources – estate sales, eBay, antique stores, my own childhood collection. (Yes, they let me play with matches.) I’ve selected the best for their graphic design, historical value, or the sad tale you can infer by holding them between thumb and finger and listening closely.

New matchbook every Monday. As of the end of 2023, there are over 2100 matches. It might not be the largest collection on the internet, but it's the most detailed - I don't just post 'em and leave it at that. Each one is exhaustively researched.

Well, four or five of them, maybe more.

-- Lileks




HINT: clicking on the banner at the top of the page will always take you to the menu for the subsection. ALSO: the indexes are updated through 20232.