Q:

What is the name for collecting matchboxes?

A:

The practice of collecting matchbox labels, printed matchbox covers and whole matchboxes is called phillumeny. The proponents of this hobby are called phillumenists. The term was introduced by a British collector named Marjorie S. Evans in 1943.

The hobby was especially popular from the 1960s through the 1980s. Some collections have labels dating back to the early 1800s, long before the development of modern striking matches. The oldest labels were from the boxes of chemical matches. The Guinness Book of World Records lists Teiichi Yoshizawa of Japan as the most prolific collector of matchbox labels. As of 2009, his collection numbered 743,512.


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