Match Safes 

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Matchsafes (or Vesta Cases as they are called in England) are small containers for carrying matches that became a vehicle for all manner of inventive design.  They came into being when wooden friction matches were invented in the middle of the nineteenth century, and they were widely used until the 1930s, when safety matches, matchbooks, and gas-powered lighters became more popular.  Early friction matches were unreliable and highly combustible.  In order to protect them from moisture and carry them safely, without having them light spontaneously in a pocket, a closed container was needed to reduce extra friction.  Matchsafes were the protective and decorative boxes into which matches bought in bulk could be transferred for one's personal use.  The below links focus on a few matchsafes made for the Masonic fraternal bodies.

Match Safe made to look like a Keystone

Match Safe Collection of R.W. Jerome Pascoe

1904 Masonic Matchsafe w/Blue Lodge Symbolism

1909 Roundy - Oriental Consistory Matchsafe

Early English Enameled Porcelain Matchsafe

Early Past Masters 9kt Gold Matchsafe

Early Collection of Beautiful Art Nouveau Matchsafes

Early pair of Sterling Silver Shrine of N.A. Matchsafes

1886 23rd Conclave Knight Templar Anheuser Busch Matchsafe

1889 24th Conclave Knight Templar Anheuser Busch Matchsafe

1892 25th Conclave Knight Templar Anheuser Busch Matchsafe

1904 Odd Fellows Matchsafe

Rare Celluloid Matchsafe from Roswell, New Mexico

Early Mason's Fraternal Accident Association Matchsafe

1914 Masonic Presentation Vesta Case

Whitehead & Hoag Masonic Celluloid Matchsafe





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