Pictures of Matchbook Men

Posted inPrint Design Articles
Thumbnail for Pictures of Matchbook Men

My family recently inherited a collection of old matchbooks. There are probably about 200 or so matchbooks in the box they came in, all of them from the US, and most of them from California, specifically San Francisco.


Being a resident of San Francisco I’d heard about the famous “The Old Poodle Dog” (second row from bottom, far left). This restaurant was one of the first French restaurants in San Francisco. It opened in 1849 and was actually named “Le Poulet D’or” but commonly called “The Poodle Dog” (probably because of the poodle logo?). This matchbook is from a later incarnation of the restaurant (the original failed to survive prohibition) which opened in 1933 at 65 Post Street.

The location of the Fickle Fox now houses one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco, Range. I wonder what the cocktails were like at The Fickle Fox? And the decor.

These little bits of graphic history got me wondering about the places they once belonged to–some of them still with us, some of them long gone. And matchbooks as souvenirs. We don’t see many matchbooks these days, and the ones I do see aren’t as graphically interesting as some of the ones from way back when.

I’m curious if anyone has frequented any of the locations above. Or has their own matchbook collection.