Monday, August 19, 2013

Reproduction match box label for the Eastern Front

     Here is an original wartime box of matches made by "Monopolverwaltung Reichskommisar Ukraine."
    These matches could have been used on the Eastern Front by soldiers or civilians. They are packaged in a small wooden box covered with purple paper. Two sides of the box have had a coating applied that allows them to be used as a striking surface for the matches.
     The label for the matchbox is crudely printed on thin, inferior quality wartime paper. The print quality is terrible.
    The simple graphics and shoddy print quality make this label easy to reproduce from a cleaned-up scan.

     I printed out a bunch of these reproduction labels and slapped them on some boxes for issue at an event where they were to be used quickly and discarded. I simply bought some small cardboard boxes of matches and covered them with construction paper (I had blue paper on hand), leaving one of the striking surfaces exposed, then added the label. Although the modern boxes are cardboard and not wood, and are not exactly the same size as the original, the result was decent and certainly passable for something to be consumed and thrown away.
     I have since sourced some purple construction paper that is a better match in color with the thin paper used on the original box. Here is that original box again, together with one of my second-generation boxes (better paper) and one from the original run that was used at the event, got wet and dirty and banged around with the rest of a soldier's personal kit.
     With some effort it would be possible to craft a small wooden match box that would be an almost exact copy of the original. Here's a link to a PDF version of the sheet of labels:

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