What is phylum? Definition, storage methods and photographs of collections

Phylogenists appeared almost simultaneously with the first print runs of products, some albums contain labels from chemical matches, and even special periodicals were published. After World War II, the number of fans of hobbies declined, but there are still communities of philumenists.

What is phyluménia: definition

Phylogeny is the collection of matchboxes and everything related to them. The etymology of the word goes back to the Greek “love” (philos) and “fire” (lumen). Passion for philumenia is such that collecting stamps is incredibly addictive.

phylumany matchboxes

Many matchbox patterns are unique and very interesting. Today, the images on the packaging are more of an advertising nature. The photo above shows an example of a campaign to promote its services to one of the companies producing matches and other souvenir products. With the help of real-life examples of her work, Admatch has clearly shown where a person can see ads placed on matches.

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

what is phylum

Who is interested in collecting

During World War II, a huge number of philumenist societies broke up. Currently the largest and most developed structure is considered The British Matchbox Label & Booklet Society. The society unites not only collectors of Britain and the countries of the former colonies, but also others around the world.

phylumany matchboxes
Phylumania continues to captivate people, although much less than before. An example of this is the Tian Xing family. Xing's fascination with matchboxes - phylum or Chinese huohua, not only helped him open a successful business selling collectibles, but was so strong that he "infected" his children and grandchildren.

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

How philumenists keep their collections

Probably only stamp collectors - philatelists - can fully understand what philumany is. In both the first and second cases, one has to deal with very short-lived and fragile materials: paper and printing ink.


For philately collection albums are familiar as a form of storing stamps. In phylum, 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. Boxes. Sometimes the drawing is not so important. Some packages are valuable in the form and manner of opening, or even unusual matches. Then you need to store the whole box and the album is not suitable for these purposes.

what is phylum

Which boxes are considered valuable?

There are no distinctive criteria for the value of a matchbox. Many people do not always imagine what phylum is, and sell rare packaging at low prices. It should be noted that the cost of boxes is comparable to the value of coins and banknotes of the same time. Really rare and unique samples, usually dedicated 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.

Match labels of the USSR

Collecting packaging in Russia began even before the release of the first domestic products. Boxes were a kind of souvenir from long trips. Now tourists bring magnets from the rest, and then matches were fashionable.

phylumania match labels of the USSR

By World War I, phylum was very popular. Some collections totaled more than 1000 copies. But after the revolution, collecting, as such, was classified as a "bourgeois" shameful entertainment. The revival of phylumany began only in the 1960s, then the authorities introduced 6 types of “permitted collecting”: matchboxes, postage stamps, postcards, book signs, coins and bonds (ancient versions of bills and other monetary documents).

phylumania match labels of the USSR

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

phylumania match labels of the USSR

However, gradually the situation began to change. On matchboxes one could find not only slogans, but also social advertising, and even traffic rules for pedestrians. A large collection of packages is dedicated to the space achievements of the USSR, nationalities and republics, anniversary dates, Olympic games and manufactured products.


At present, one can note the growing interest in phylogeny in our country. Once again, special periodicals for collectors began to print and the number of communities and meetings of amateurs increased. Many sociologists attribute this to improving people's living standards in the 2000s.

Phylumania: photos of the most characteristic images

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


Each country has its own reasons for pride and its own achievements. It is the drawings of the most familiar and understandable for the people of 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 republics of the USSR, but, probably, to the rest of the world. Matches are an imperceptible, but at the same time necessary item. No matter how many technical innovations have been put into operation, "wooden sticks" for lighting a fire are used to this day everywhere.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/A10125/

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