Vintage West Coast Advertising Matchbooks

Vintage West Coast Advertising Matchbooks

We love to find a stash of a specific collection. In this case, vintage advertising matchbooks from west coast locations around California and Nevada. The set we found contained lots of matchbooks from businesses on the west coast, almost all totally unused and immaculate. We photographed them and uploaded them here as a free digital download.  Each matchbook is a tiny study in mid century graphic design. The Cat Vintage loves to archive all the vintage and antique ephemera we can to preserve history.

 The Cat Vintage - free digital download - advertising matchbooks

West Coast Vintage Advertising Matchbooks

Sam and I found this awesome stash of vintage matchbooks in the bar of a gorgeous midcentury house in Moraga, California. The bar was fully decked out with all the coolest 1950's and 1960's barware. Upon seeing that I knew there must be a stash of matchbooks somewhere. Low and behold, I found a large bag of vintage matchbooks from hotels and other businesses in the surrounding area. Most people with money went on a lot of vacations and you can often find their souvenir of choice in great shape. Matchbooks were much more commonly handed out between 1950 - 1980 when more of the population smoked.  Eatery has a great article about The Brief History of Restaurant Matchbooks and how smoking habits effected this tradition.

The Cat Vintage advertising Matchbook - Howard Johnson Motor LodgeVintage Paper Souvenirs  

At first glance we didn't realize how greatness of the stash we found.  We like to pick up vintage matchbooks to use as fun gifts, and customers love to browse through them. Vintage ephemera, especially matchbooks, seem to strike a chord with people who visit The Cat Vintage. Many customers tell us of how they remember the location. I personally save all the beautiful paper scraps and advertising material I get on my own vacations and store them as special tangible reminders of the fun I had. As I write this I'm looking at a paper bag that from Cafe Du Monde with a gorgeous retro illustration that I saved from a trip last year.

 Ephemera from Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans

Vintage Matchbook Advertising Art

Matchbooks that you can pick up from business establishments are great mini marketing and graphic design studies. West coast advertising artwork focused on a gorgeous font. Maybe it featured a beautiful simple illustration of the building, and a quick saying on the back.  These matchbooks make for wonderful inspiration for your own artwork.  We love to use all the vintage ephemera we digitize as part of our "digital scrapbooking" projects.  You can take an element, like an illustration of a car in front of a hotel, and make something totally new!

Vintage Howard Johnson Motor Lodge Matchbook 

Free Vintage Hotel Matchbook Art Digital Download

The Cat Vintage is committed to honoring and preserving the past in any way we can.  We've digitized these matchbooks and made them available background-free digital downloads for anyone to use! Enjoy these Vintage Advertising Matchbook downloads.  If you use any in artwork, we'd love to see it!


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