26th June 2008

Why Were Matchbooks So Naughty?

Not that I’m complaining. So many midcentury matchbooks just seem to have been designed to appeal to 12-year-old boys. Or, more accurately, the 12-year-old boy in each of us. This matchbook from the Carnival Room is fantastic, no?

From the collection of Bay Park Buzzy
From the collection of Bay Park Buzzy

It gets even better…. the back side is after the jump…

From the collection of Bay Park Buzzy

Hee hee!

There are currently 5 responses to “Why Were Matchbooks So Naughty?”

  1. 1 On June 27th, 2008, erik_flannestad said:

    It’s fantastic how everyone has tried to “scratch off” the black spot, like it is a lottery ticket!

    What were they expecting to win?

  2. 2 On June 27th, 2008, Humuhumu said:

    Oh, but it’s even better than that! It’s all scratched up because that’s the strike pad, where you light the matches. That’s one hot patootie! Ooh la la!

  3. 3 On July 1st, 2008, Lance said:

    Why were matchbooks so naughty?
    You guys REALLY don’t know? Ok. Imagine office-life back in the early 60′s and 70′s… First off, people are smoking all day IN the office, and wearing horn rimmed glasses (the ONLY style available…). It’s hot with very crude if any a/c. When you get done with work for the day, you and your awful-polyester-suit-clad buddies all meet down at the local watering hole for a Rusty Nail, or a Manhattan, or a Martini, or a “Whisky, neat”. This is an era where we’ve recently been through a depression and several World Wars. It is the era of growth and discovery in America. The era of the silver streamline camping trailer and taking to the roads, where everyone is discovering faux Polynesian music and drink, and the newly minted barbeque grill. Alas, it is the era of “keeping up with the Joneses.”

    And the entertainment? Well, quite often it was the waitress, dressed in a sort of Chiquita Banana (like a modified bikini — very daring in those days) getup taking orders from cigar smokin’ balding, ogling, office warriors stopping off to squelch the pain of a hot office filled with smoke. Often, there was a little erotic dancing (but not by today’s standards) think belly dancing. BTW, the illustration style depicted here is as much a result of the printing process used (two-color) as it is just the style of that era… A quick search of illustration of the 60′s and seventies will tell the story quite well.

    Regards, Lance

  4. 4 On July 1st, 2008, Humuhumu said:

    Ah, the question was rhetorical, I just needed to come up with a title. I am intimately acquainted with the midcentury mindset. Thanks for breaking it down anyway — it’s a bit of mental time travel I always enjoy taking.

  5. 5 On August 25th, 2008, Jim Cherry said:

    A greater mystery:
    What is meaning–”Headquarters for white hats?” as inscribed on backside of matchbook?