In a matchbox , even matchbox , are matches packaged, stored, transported and sold. It consists of a drawer with a matching sleeve on which one or two friction surfaces are attached to the side. As with the term Schachtel often in German, it is specified by combining the term for its content. Phillumenie describes the collecting of matchboxes and booklets.
Matchboxes used to be very common, but with the advent of inexpensive lighters - especially disposable lighters - their frequency has decreased. With the advancement of technology, many areas of application for matches have ended, for example through automatic igniters in gas stoves or special gas lighters.
Safety matches can only be ignited with the rubbing surface on the box. A typical friction surface consists of a glued mixture of non-toxic red phosphorus and glass powder . It is applied in the form of an aqueous suspension by roller coating . Nowadays, the glue is then made water-insoluble in order to prevent it from discolouring. B. become damp from rain or sweat.
Matchboxes are sold in many shapes. In the beginning they were made of thin plywood, nowadays they are mostly made of cardboard. But there are also boxes made of metal or plastic. Cardboard boxes usually measure 5 cm × 3.5 cm × 1.5 cm.
Many matchboxes are still produced around the world, and they often serve as attractive advertising media .
With the advent of the matchboxes that are still common today, all sorts of accessories developed, especially cases .
A variant are the match letters, which contain one or two rows of matchsticks connected to one another; the matches are broken out for use. Match letters are mostly used as advertising media , as they offer more space for printing (including on the inside of the flap) than a box. The advantage over matches in a box is that, due to their flat format, they can easily be sent by post (e.g. as an enclosure to a letter ) and the matches cannot fall out, as is possible with a box. The disadvantage is the lower number of matches that can be accommodated in it, but this does not matter if it is distributed as a free promotional gift.
If several matchbooks are carried in the same bag, there is an increased risk of accidents, as the ignition heads of one packet can come into contact with the friction surface of another and ignite unintentionally.
- Alexander P. Hardt: Pyrotechnics , Pyrotechnica Publications, Post Falls Idaho USA 2001, ISBN 0-929388-06-2 , pp. 74 ff.
- Silke Eilers: Match labels as a historical source. Dissertation . Westphalian Wilhelms University , Münster 2002.
- Handbook of the Phillumenie. Match labels as a historical source; a visual examination. (= Modern Imaginarium. 1). Ahlen 2003, ISBN 3-8330-0524-6 .
- Paul Fleischman: The Matchbox Diary. Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline. Publishing house Jacoby & Stuart , Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-941787-20-9 .