Once, you use to be able to find a bowl of matchbooks next to a bowl of mints on your way out the door of a restaurant. But many restaurants no longer carry matchbooks; something many of us probably never gave a second thought too until Tropical Storm Irene.
Matchbooks, however, provide more than just the ability to light a candle they let us glimpse into the past. Mystic resident Bill Martley shared the following five matchbook covers with Patch. The matchbook covers are from businesses in the Mystic area. Some of them are long gone, but others like the are still around.
According to The New York Times, the Diamond Match and a traveling opera company produced the first commercial matchbook in the 1890s when the opera company decorated blank matchbook covers. It wasn’t until the 1940s that the practice of selling ads on matchbook covers became big business.
Take a look through the matchbook covers from Mystic and tell us what you know about the businesses, add your own matchbook cover photos and if you want to see even more matchbook covers the Boston Public Library has quite the collection on Flickr.