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The Smithsonian have a terrific collection of Match Safes dating from the mid nineteenth century to the 1920’s. Also known as Vesta cases, vesta boxes, or pocket match safes, these containers basically kept your matches safe and dry and came in an amazing variety of designs. Check out the tiny turtle peering over the lid of the monogrammed example above. The lid is hinged on side and opens on the diagonal. Nearly all the pieces I’ve seen so far have the striker on bottom of the box.
What struck me instantly (knock it off…) was how lighter-like they looked, Zippos are about the same shape and size. Zippo however, wasn’t invented until 1932–about 100 years later.