Monday, May 22, 2017

Debs and Willis Webster's Vintage Matchbook Collection

During a visit to my mom's house, she brought out this cool bag filled with vintage matchbooks. It belonged to my Grandpa and Grandma, Debs Warren Webster and Willis Quillin Webster.

I talked to my youngest brother and he remembers seeing these matchbooks. In fact, he remembers our Grandpa Webster letting him examine them. I wondered if my grandparents had collected these during their travels. He affirmed that by saying, "They collected each and every one of them from their many travels around the nation."

How cool is that!?

I'm so intrigued by these vintage matchbooks. My grandparents didn't ever smoke, so I don't know why they chose to collect matchbooks during their travels. But I'm glad they did collect them and that they kept them through the years. Not only are they interesting historically, they also give me a glimpse into the lives of my grandparents and where they traveled. My youngest son had a great idea to use these to create a map of where my grandparents traveled.

My plan is to scan these vintage matchbooks and share them here in this blog.

Stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2017 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved


  1. Those are great. Matchbooks sometimes have great art. My parents always had many matchbooks in drawers and in bowls although they did not smoke. I have several matchbooks from weddings. They used to be a standard favor. Wedding matchbooks have graphics, the names of the bride & groom and the date of the wedding. Another source for genealogy!

    1. Thank you Colleen! Genealogy sources can come from such unlikely items, can't they? :)

  2. Oh What fun! Can't wait to see what you do with them.
    I DID smoke and collected matchbooks, but stupidly tossed them when I moved. Since smoking became taboo you don't see them around anymore!

    1. Thank you Dianne! I noticed that one of the matchbooks has a recipe on the inside. How fun is that?! :)

    2. The main reason to collect them was because they were free. And cheap advertising for the place. I've never seen any with a recipe inside - that is so cool!!

  3. My grandfather also collected matchebboks. He put them all in an oversized scrapbook. My aunt gave it to me many years ago. Thanks for reminding me. I need to pull it out scan them.

  4. I have an old cream can (at least 5 gal.) owned and used by my grandfather that is now full to the top with unused matchbooks. When I first started collecting them I put them under a glass top on my family room bar in our first house. There was not enough room then for them and certainly would not be now. Often I got two of each so that both sides could be displayed as so many were very artistically decorated. There are hundreds of them in the can but I can't let them go. Many must now be rare collector's items as businesses such as restaurants and hotels no longer have them sitting around for patrons to use.




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