Space exploration Matchbox labels
Right 55 years ago, on April 12, 1961 the world has learned the name of the first man in space – Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. The USSR printing factories released in large quantities posters, stamps, matchbox labels devoted to the great event. This post features Space exploration Matchbox labels of the time. People began collecting match-box labels as soon as they appeared. There were collections in the Soviet Union which included labels made in 1846. During the past 100 years collecting match-boxes has become a very popular hobby. Thousands of Soviet people collected match-box labels, sold, bought, and exchanged them. The labels show not only the name of the factory and the year of production. They are priceless source of information on history, culture, science, art. On matchbox labels were printed portraits of outstanding people, significant and even historic events in the life of the country, kinds of plants, species of animals, sports, etc. So collecting match-box labels is not just a hobby. Together with philately and numismatics it enriches our minds with interesting and useful information.
Matches that we know were invented by a Hungarian called Irini, and were first produced in 1835. They were phosphoric matches and the inflammable head was very harmful causing an illness to the workers who made them. In the years that followed scientists tried to find a substance to substitute the phosphorus head. Berger, a German chemist, found it in 1848. The first safety matches were produced in Sweden, hence the name Swedish matches.
At first, matches were sold in tin boxes. Wooden boxes were used later, and with them labels appeared. They were strips of paper which held the box together and bore the name of the factory that produced them. With the use of machines for making match-boxes the labels were glued to the boxes.