Stripped Covers: If you're going to collect matchcovers
(no matches), which is the way the vast majority of collectors
go, care is pretty easy and practical.
Ultimately, the covers normally
go into 3-ring binders with plastic pages (see supplies), but if they need to be temporarily stacked,
use paper wrappers rather than rubber bands. The latter cut into
the top and bottom covers and will eventually bond with the cover
surface over time.
- Once the matches have been removed,
with no damage to the cover, the covers have to be flattened.
Any substantial weight on them for several days will do the trick.
I've put a stack of 50 between two small, flat pieces of wood
and left it in a vise. A few days later, voila!
Wherever they go, keep them away
from water and high humidity
- If the covers aren't going into
albums, some collectors house them in trays, which will hold
them on their sides, are space efficient, and maintain their
flatness. They tend to get banged up if they're simply loose
- - Don't keep them on floors (possibility
of flood damage)
- - Don't keep them in garages, basements,
etc. where there would be high humidity (i.e. storing them in
a garage in North Carolina is probably not a good idea!) (Humidity
causes mold and often causes the striker material to deteriorate...taking
the top of the cover with it!)
- - Never keep covers in direct sunlight
or unusually strong light for extended period of time. The colors
- Matchbooks: If you're going to keep the matchbooks intact
(matches remain inside), all of the above cautions apply, plus
you now have the very big worry about fire...which is why most
collectors don't collect full-books (not to mention the hugely
increased storage space problem, bulkiness, and the dearth of
other collectors to trade with. But, if you insist...
It's pretty tough to mount full-books
in albums (too bulky). You can put full-books into the
plastic page sleeves, but, aside from the bulkiness, you'd have
to worry about crushing.
- Match + friction = fire! So...fullbooks
need to be stored so that they are not loose, and there is no
room for movement or matches rubbing against each other...or
anything else. Packed trays are good here.
I wouldn't mention this to your
home insurance agent, either!
- Obviously, keep away from children