March 10th, 2016
We surpassed a milestone today: 200 unique products listed here at Cariboo! Below is our celebratory #200th item:
After a vicious no holds barred auction battle, CaribooCollectibles came out on top to 'win' these 500 vintage matchbook covers. Instead of breaking these down and selling them separately like what the eBay kiddies are doing, or repurposing them with creative skill - we've instead decided to offer these in one giant pack. So for that lucky ambitious beancounter who doesn't mind spending untold amounts of time indexing these one by one, or for that patient artisan who plans to upcycle them into matchbook fridge magnets - then these are for you. Priced to sell at just over 30¢ a piece (Canadian funds!) which is a small pittance considering these sell individually for $3-$10 on eBay. Prominent resellers stand to make a fortune from this pack.
We were able to obtain a little bit of provenance about these matchbooks. There once was a gentleman who, for decades, traveled about Nevada in search of unique matchbook covers. Legend goes that he quickly amassed all that he could in Las Vegas and then turned his attention to collecting in other parts of Nevada, too. Beginning in the fifties/sixties and spanning into the nineties, it seems obvious that this became somewhat of an obsession.
These are matchbook covers only, without the matches. Some have been striked but the majority are unstriked. Most are sourced from the 1960s & 70s although some are earlier from the 40s-50s (some with 2-letter/5-digit phone #s) and even a few from the 80s-90s. Painstakingly, we counted them and there's 493 - a handful shy of 500. A quick visual scan suggests that 65% are from Las Vegas; 25% are from Reno, 5% from Lake Tahoe and the last 5% from other tourist towns in Nevada. A sizable portion of these matchbook covers, obviously, are from casinos, resorts & restaurants/lounges - but there are also many more that represent the seedier side of the gambling social milieu; such as cheque cashing stores, pawn shops, motels/inns, & adult "clubs" (such as Mabel's Whore House and the Kit Kat Ranch matchbook cover, both included in this pack).
Without analyzing each & every individual matchbook cover, here listed are a few notable (and some lesser known) examples:
Hotel Thunderbird, New Frontier Hotel, Stardust, Aladdin, Four Queens, El Morocco, El Cortez, Dunes, Harold's Club, The Sands, Mirage, Circus Circus, Riviera, Silver Slipper, Showboat, Sahara, Holiday Casino, Siegfried & Roy, Bonanza, Bourbon Street, Harrah's, Union Plaza, Club Bingo, Boardwalk, Horseshoe, Gold Coast, The Mint, Maxim, Marina, Shenandoah, Silverbird, Riverside, Gold Spike, Golden Gate, Golden Nugget, Crazy Horse Too, Las Vegas Club, Carousel, and many, many more.