Monday, July 16, 2012

Co-Op Matchbox Labels

A whole series of pictures of matchbox labels was recently uploaded to Flickr by coophistorian as a contribution to Co-Ops Fortnight 2012.

They are a history of an everyday that barely exists in 2012. People don't need matches like they used to, and cheap disposable lighters came along for those who do need a flame.

In the recent past nearly everyone would have needed matches. Not just cigarette smokers, and pipe smokers needed more of them, but to start coal burning fires and ignite gas rings on the stove top. Plus you could do lots of puzzles and tedious party tricks with them.

Hence the marketing opportunity, and they didn't use terms like that, to advertise to your customers. Most of the matchboxes are for the CWS and the matches British Made. But there is a selection from long gone famous Co-Op Societies - e.g. Barnsley British, Brighton, Yorkshire, even Normid. Often these were made in Belgium. Products promoted include Federation Flour, Lutona Cocoa, Prescription Tea (forerunner of 99 tea) and some I'd never heard of like Purple Seal Margarine, Golden Ball Marmalade and Laundene that whisks the dirt away.

Safety Matches So the next time I went into the Co-Op shop I added a box to my purchases. Not that I needed any. But just to see what was was still available.  Price 18p for over 40 brown tipped safety matches in the traditional cardboard box. Made in EU by the Swedish Match Company (they merged with Bryant & May way back in 1926) to form the world's biggest match company. You get a nice illustration of the Ark though matches would have been hard to strike in the deluge. Bit disappointed they didn't say Co-Op.

Matchbox labels from coophistorian on Flickr as a Slideshow, or as a Set (there are some pictures of co-op stores that have snuck in).
Related earlier post Co-Op Matches

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