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Country Not Known

Welcome to the problem area of the web site

In an alphabetically based system, the problem related to country of origin does not occur as the country of origin is irrelevant when locating labels.  In a country based system, labels are located initially according to their country of origin.  However, if the label does not state where it was manufactured or made, then this becomes a bit of a nightmare for those who have to give the label a location.  Naturally, the more experienced collector can usually through a number of clues identify the country of origin but, it cannot be guaranteed as unlike postage stamps which have fiscal value and have to be traced back to their place of printing, matchbox labels do not and therefore, those ordering matches for their companies can chose for themselves what country produces their matchboxes for them. 

Quite often, companies will engage manufacturers from different countries at different times during a matchboxes life cycle and it is not unusual to have the same brand of matches being supplied by 4 or more countries over a number of years.  Additiionally, generically manufactured matchboxes - that is matchboxes that are not specifically produced for a named manufacturer other than a name to be added to a generic matchbox as a form of promotion - are often produced by the same manufacturer but from factories that they own in countries around the globe.  This is particularly prevalent with those matchboxes made by the Swedish Match Organisation who owns or owned many match factories around the world.  It also occureed at times of civil unrest and times of war when material was unavailable to manufacture the matches and or the boxes.  Additionally, in times of war, blockades were commonplace against those countries that were engaged in war and many of those countries were match producing nations.  This of course created shortages for those countries that did not have the match producing facilities or the material to make them.  This is often identified in labels from the periods of the 1st and 2nd World Wars when labels were printed with such words as "Use Matches Sparingly".

One would be foolhardy to try and identify accurately the country of origin of every matchbox label that does not display the countries name.  To overcome this situation, this area of the web site and my encyclopaedia has been set up to meet the problem directly.  In my encyclopaedia, all versions of a label - that is to say, box, packet, artb,gross and of course those produced in sets or series are all located together under each country.  However, on this web site each country has a separate listing for single, packet, sets or series, artb's and gross labels.  

When it comes to labels with No Country of Origin, there is a slight variance as Series and Sets of labels have there own sub-categories as does NCO Single labels.  However, in this particular case the Sub Category title has been changed to NCO Labels instead of NCO Single Labels and the sub, sub-categories of single, packet, artb and gross will remain but the sets/series and odds from sets/series will be located at 591 NCO Series and 600 NCO Sets accordingly.

Should you experience any difficulties in this respect, then the easiest way to overcome the problem is to use the stores search facility.  If the label you are looking for is in the store, the search facility will locate it for you.  If all else fails, please contact me via the Contact Us page and I will confirm whether a particular label is listed or not.  However, I would ask that you use the latter facility as a last resort and not a starting point - Thank you


New Products For June - Country Not Known