They come in a very uncommon format and even though they are rather small, to a designer or artist they make a great canvas! Over the last hundred years, safety matches have become associated with beautiful packaging, and of course they make a great collection. Read on if you are a phillumenist or simply want to get inspired! We have put together a collection of today's artists' designs as well as some of our favorite classic matchbox labels! Enjoy!
There is -of course- a story behind the name „Safety Matches“ and it is not the nicest one, to say the least.
It took a great deal of time for the matches to become phosphorus-free and therefore safe. Back in the 19th century they were mainly known as Lucifer matches. Sadly they were highly toxic due to the white phosphorus. Workers exposed to the chemical suffered from horrible consequences, resulting in death or the removal of the lower jaw-bone. Fortunately the Swedish invented the safety matches, which made them the dominating manufacturer. They also set the tone for the matchbox labels, that soon almost all international labels would adapt to. In 1936 the „Solstickan“ was created. Artist Einar Nerman was in charge of the label drawing and „it has been said to be the most reproduced work of art in the world“.
LOUISE FILI LTD
SAFETY MATCHES INSPIRATION
Below a collection of some of our favorite matchbox labels!