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What is Phillumenia


Filumenists appeared almost simultaneously with the first production runs, some albums contain labels from chemical matches, even special periodical literature was produced. After the Second World War, the number of fans of passion began to decline, but there are still communities of phillumenists.

What is phillumenia: definition

Filumenia is collecting boxes from matches and everything connected with them. The etymology of the word goes back to the Greek "love" (philos) and "fire" (lumen). The passion for phylum is such that collecting stamps is incredibly addictive.

Many samples of matchboxes are unique and very interesting. Today, the image on the package is more advertising. The photo above shows an example of a campaign to promote its services to one of the companies that produce matches and other souvenirs. With the help of real samples of their work, the Admatch company clearly showed where a person can see an advertisement placed on matches.

Although such boxes and phillumens have little in common, all this is for the time being. Someday there will be very few such packages, and they may become rare. For example, in the USSR, entire collections of matchboxes were devoted to corn, advertising for life insurance, savings banks and the Moscow zoo. Now these samples adorn the private collections of phillumenists.

Who is interested in collecting

During the Second World War, a huge number of sociophile societies collapsed. At present, The British Matchbox Label & Booklet Society is considered the largest and most developed structure. Society brings together not only collectors of Britain and the countries of the former colonies, but also others around the world.

Philumenia continues to enthrall people, although much less than before. An example of this is the Tian Xing family. His passion for matchboxing with phylum or Chinese huohua not only helped him open a successful business selling collectible paraphernalia, but was so strong that he “infected” his children and grandchildren.

Today, on the official website of the British Phillumenite Community, any person can fill out an application form and become a member of the organization. The number of participants is not less than 7 thousand people, the community produces periodical literature The Match Label News. Among the flags of the countries of the organization on the main page there is also a Russian one.

How do filumenists keep their collections

Probably, only collectors of stamps - philatelists - can fully understand what philli are. Both in the first and in the second case one has to deal with very short-lived and fragile materials: paper and printing ink.

Collectible albums as a type of storing stamps are familiar to philately. In filumenii matchboxes are stored in two ways:

  1. Albums. On the thick sheets of cardboard paste the top of the box with the image and sew them into a book.
  2. The boxes. Sometimes drawing is not so important. Some packaging is valuable in the form and method of opening, or even unusual matches. Then you need to store the entire box and the whole album for these purposes is not suitable.

Which boxes are considered valuable?

There are no distinctive criteria for the value of a matchbox. Many people do not always imagine what phumenia is and sell rare packaging at low prices. It should be noted that the cost of the boxes is comparable to the value of coins and banknotes of the same time. Really rare and unique samples, usually devoted to little-known historical events, are acquired by collectors for tens of thousands of rubles. In general, the supply market significantly exceeds the demand for matchboxes.

Matchbox labels of the USSR

Packaging collecting in Russia began even before the release of the first domestic products. The boxes were a kind of souvenir from long journeys. Now tourists bring magnets from the rest, and then matches were fashionable.

By World War I, phillumenia became very popular. Some collections totaled more than 1,000 copies. But after the revolution, collecting, as such, was classified as "bourgeois" shameful entertainment. The revival of the phillumeny began only in the 1960s, when the authorities introduced 6 types of “permitted collectibles”: matchboxes, postage stamps, postcards, book signs, coins and booms (ancient versions of bills and other financial documents).

The collection of match labels (phillumens) in the USSR was more likely propaganda. In clubs and sections of collectors, censor control over the semantic content of copies was carried out. It is no secret that in the United States of America it was very fashionable to print advertising matches for entertainment establishments, which, in the opinion of the Soviet authorities, spoiled the moral character of a person.

However, gradually the situation began to change. It was possible to find not only slogans on matchboxes, but also social advertising, and even traffic rules for pedestrians. A large collection of packages is devoted to space achievements of the USSR, ethnic groups and republics, anniversaries, Olympic games and products.

Currently, it is possible to note the growing interest in the philumeny in our country. The special periodicals for collectors began to be printed again and the number of communities and meetings of amateurs grew. Many sociologists attribute this to an improvement in people's living standards in the 2000s.

Filumenia: photos of the most characteristic images

What images can most often be found on matchboxes? Is there a pattern or rule in the selection of items and events displayed on the package?

Each country has its own reasons for pride and its achievements. It is the drawings of the most familiar and understandable for the people objects, events, phenomena or products that can be called the most characteristic images found on matchboxes of different times.

This trend applies not only to the former Soviet republics, but, probably, to the rest of the world. Matches - imperceptible, but at the same time a necessary subject. No matter how many technical innovations are put into operation, the "wooden sticks" for making fire are used to this day everywhere.

Term meaning

This term is used to call the process of collecting and storing everything that is associated with matches, and the people engaged in collecting, - philuenists. Like all passionate personalities, they can have a significant number of objects related to ignition. What do phillumenists collect?

In addition to the boxes themselves with and without content, the collection may include labels with booklets, magazine clippings and more. Enthusiasts gather in communities, get thematic sites and blogs for the exchange of information and samples.

The term is obliged by its origin to Marjorie Evans, who for the first time proposed to call this process precisely this way. And the beauty of pronunciation - two beautiful ancient languages, Greek and Latin. The word consists of two parts, where the first, translated from Greek means love, and the second, translated from Latin, means fire.

So, it can be assumed that people who love fire and everything connected with it are engaged in collecting.

Historical information

When did a person start to get involved in collecting matches? Yes, immediately after their appearance. After all, we should not forget that in those days it was an innovative innovation that could not fail to attract the attention of the public.

As soon as the first match factories were built, the phillumenists immediately appeared, thanks to which some modern representatives of this trend can boast of the presence in their collections of the first published chemical specimens from the twenties of the nineteenth century.

Then, when Paul Walker invented sulfur matches, the craze for collecting them began, and in connection with the mass production of a collectible, the first communities appeared. The Second World War temporarily halted the action of the communities, and most of them ceased to exist.

The revival began after its completion, thanks to the mass release of thematic literature. In our time, some of the organizations of the phillumenist have international status. The most famous and multinational The British Matchbox Label & Booklet Society.

Domestic history of the phenomenon

The beginning of the collection of match products in Russia is not related to its release in the country. It was originally imported from abroad, often in the form of souvenirs, like magnetics on a refrigerator today. But for some part of the country's population, this was already the beginning of a hobby, so anyone brought from another country of boxes was valued, complementing the collection, which in some cases could reach thousands of copies at that time.

It is clear that quite wealthy segments of the population were engaged in collecting matches. Revolutionary events under the slogan “rob the loot” did their job, destroying most of the collection material. And immediately after them, it was considered shameful to engage in "bourgeois" entertainment.

Philumenia was remembered in the thirties, but the collection of exhibits was difficult due to the state policy and import restrictions, the philuenists' limited opportunities and the attitude of society to the phenomenon.

Officially, the permission to collect matchboxes was given in the sixtieth year of the last century, along with postage stamps, postcards, book signs, coins and coupons - ancient bills and other money documents, but it didn’t make life easier for collectors. samples.

This situation was typical for all the years of the USSR. Now interest in philumenia is progressing, new communities are emerging, periodical special literature is printed, and meetings of phillumenists are held.

The history of the images on the labels

What usually can be seen on the packaging of matches, and what caused the choice of the image? With all the diversity, it is possible to identify a pattern - each people strive to display in the pictures what they can be proud of - their achievements. Therefore, regardless of whether the matches are American or Soviet, their packaging will be marked with objects, events or phenomena that are relevant and important to the country.

This trend unites absolutely all the exhibits. In the Soviet Union, initially, phillumeny had a raid of propaganda, with constant monitoring of the semantic content of labels. For example, advertising images of places of entertainment at matches were condemned by the United States, receiving the stigma of immoral. Over time, the situation has changed. In place of slogans came social advertising, a statement of the rules of the road and so on. Began thematic production, for example:

  • achievements of the USSR cosmonautics,
  • nationalities and republics,
  • anniversary dates
  • Olympic movement
  • new products.

Advertising - that's what today is mainly applied to matchboxes. And this leads to suspicions about the risk of extinction of this type of collectibles. Although advertisers and designers are unlikely to miss the opportunity to create colorful packaging, interesting to the masses and collectors, like those that are in private collections and belong to the period of the USSR: advertising for corn, life insurance, savings bank or Moscow zoo.

Determination of the value and details of storage

Strict criteria of value are not defined, but there is comparability in price with coins and bills of the production time of the box. Rare may be those on the labels of which are displayed little-known historical events. The rarity and uniqueness of such a sample is estimated at several tens of thousands of rubles.

However, it is worth noting that the proposals are many times higher than the demand. It is difficult to be a phillumenist, since the material of the exhibits is fragile and short-lived - paper and printing ink, as in philatelists. Collections are stored in albums or boxes, when the sample value is not in the label, but in the form of packaging and the method of discovery, the unusual content.

Matches remain necessary, despite the technical innovations of the twenty-first century. Their collecting is no less fascinating than other hobbies, because there are truly unique and very interesting matchboxes and labels.

Definition of the word "Filumenia" by TSB:

Philumenia (from the Greek. Philéo - I love and Latin. Lumen - light, lamp)
the collectibles industry, the subject of which are matchbox labels, as well as the so-called blank labels and their thematic sets, produced specifically for phillumenists. Appeared shortly after the appearance of matches in the middle of the 19th century. As a rule, it is of a thematic nature - in accordance with the images on the labels. It has no strictly systematic basis, since these images, as a rule, are created outside of special plans (initiative and decisions of local state and economic bodies in socialist countries. private form of production of these products in capitalist states).

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What does the term "phillumenia" mean?

The term phillumeny refers to one of the varieties of collectibles. People with passion collect matchbox labels, boxes, booklets (match books) and other items that are closely related to this topic.

The term’s philological roots are of Greek-Latin origin. Philumenia includes two words - Greek "Philos" (to love) and Latin "Lumen" (the fire). Englishwoman Marjorie Evans in the spring of 1943 for the first time officially proposed the term "phillumeny". In English, this concept looks like this - «phillumeny ». By the degree of enthusiasm it can be compared with philately - by collecting stamps.

Matching labels collection has been going on for more than 200 years. Matchboxes began to be collected almost immediately, as soon as packages with matches appeared on the shelves of outlets. Some collectors are proud of the treasure in their exposure - the labels of the boxes, which were still kept "chemical" matches. Such items are dated around 1810-1815! In 1826 or 1827 (the exact date is unknown), when the "strike-up" matches, the brainchild of the English inventor John Walker, began to be produced on an industrial scale, the gathering of off-match boxes received a wide scope.

How to choose a box for the collection

Collecting is a gathering system. Each collector has a specific goal, being interested in one, maybe several themes. For example, if a person is fascinated by collecting boxes with labels of the USSR era and he came across a match box with the image of Yu. A. Gagarin, who made his immortal flight on April 12, 1961, it is advisable to supplement the series. By the way, there are 6 more exhibits in this series - with Valentina Tereshkova, G.S. Titov and other cosmonauts. In the Soviet Union produced a lot of interesting options:

  • Young heroes of the Great Patriotic War.
  • Images of national costumes of the Union republics.
  • A series of vintage cars.
  • Zoo series.
  • Sport.
  • Pictures, campaigners to stop drinking and so on.

Choosing a topic, you should collect the whole series. This is collecting. It is desirable for the phillumenist himself that the box with the label be in good condition.

How to store a collection

Perhaps only philatelists will be able to understand the phillumenists. After all, brands, like matchbox labels, are fragile things. Made of paper and ink that will fade over time. Philatelists keep their expositions in special albums, and phillumenists use several ways to do this:

  1. With the help of hand-made album. On the thick sheet of paper stick the top of the matchbox. Then the sheets are stitched together with a strong kapron thread, thus creating an album.
  2. With the help of the box. In some cases, the drawing is not interesting to phillumenists. The exhibit is valuable in the shape of the box, as it opens, even with the matches inside it. Under such circumstances, the album is not suitable - because you have to store all the boxes.

Using a handmade album or a box "life" of the collection can be significantly increased.

Philoumenia in the world and in Russia

After 1945, the phillumenia began to gain strength, drawing new members around the world. Currently, the British “The British Matchbox Label & Booklet Society” is considered to be the largest community with a developed structure, which covers not only the UK and former colonies, but also other countries. In Russia, the passion appeared even before they began to make and sell their own matches. Путешественники и моряки привозили с собой из дальних стран коробки в качестве сувениров, как магнитики на холодильник сегодня. На период начала Первой мировой войны были заявлены коллекции, состоящие из 1000 экспонатов.

После исторического выстрела «Авроры» в 1917 году филумения пришла в упадок. Был повешен незаслуженный ярлык – «буржуазный предрассудок». However, since the middle of the last century, matchbox collector sections began to be organized in large cities of the Soviet Union. The heyday of the phillumeny in the Union fell on two decades - from 1960 to 1980. Even the famous Balabanovskaya factory produced special sets of labels for collectors. This movement was joined by Baltic factories operating in the domestic market. Due to the fact that the vast majority of factories refused to veneer boxes, going to the cardboard packaging, filumeny again declined.

How much can a box cost?

Speaking about the value of collectibles, it is worth noting that just a label pasted on the album and boxes with a characteristic image are different things for the understanding person. In the first case, the exhibit does not represent value, and its value tends to zero. Another thing is a matchbox with a label, and in good condition - such copies can cost tens of thousands of rubles. For example, German products, dated 1941, cost 300 rubles per copy, but from 1960 to 1990 it will cost the collector only up to 30 rubles per piece. The cost directly depends on the subject, circulation and safety of the copy.

Philumenia, with a certain cyclical nature, it declines, then it is reborn again. Matching attributes collection is a gambling hobby that attracts new members all over the world. Collecting a collection at home, a person plunges into the world of history, feeling the breath of epochs, gets acquainted with how people lived in this or that country.

The filumenia is also attractive because it does not require an investment to assemble the specimens of interest. It is enough to have in your pocket 100 rubles and a great desire to join the study of history through collecting. It offers beginners the Internet, where there are forums of phillumenists under discussion, exchanges or the sale / purchase of labels.