Though matchbooks are uncommon today, as smoking is either prohibited or discouraged in most public locations, such was not the case in earlier generations when smoking was fashionable. I can remember growing up in the 1950's and seeing newspaper, magazine, and television ads for a wide variety of cigarettes. Two prime examples were the Marlboro man and Edward R. Murrow, the first a rugged cowboy and the latter a noted and respected newsman. Many of the cigarette commercials often featured prominent Hollywood actors and actresses. The message in all these cases was the unmistakable link between smoking and success and popularity.
Many businesses took advantage of smoking's popularity to advertise their products and services on matchbook covers which were freely and liberally dispensed in an effort to increase the bottom line. Today most old matchbook covers have found their way into collectors scrapbooks or are scattered and forgotten in attics or dresser drawers. The latter is the case with today's example of a New Gretna related matchbook cover of New Gretna fur dealer, Henry Updike.
Young Howard Ware, Hen Updike's nephew, trapped on Hen's meadows along the Bass and Wading rivers. He also skinned many a rat in Uncle Henry's basement. (Photo courtesy of Howard Ware.)
Hen Updike. (Photo courtesy of Howard Ware.)
Now, don't get me wrong. Hen was as honest as the day is long and a good man to have as a friend. He would give someone in need the shirt off his back, and you could take his word to the bank! He would never cheat anyone, but he always demanded what was rightly his. Ask anyone who ever picked blueberries for him. You had better top off all of your pint containers if you expected to get paid.
(l-r) Anna, Howard, and Nelson Ware lost their mother, Sadie Ware, when they were young. (Photo courtesy of Howard Ware.)
Howard (left) and Nelson Ware in 1996. (Photo courtesy of Howard Ware.)