Learn about the stories behind 10 extraordinary inventions. In this video, you'll learn about matchboxes.
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Male Speaker: Joshua Pusey, a Philadelphia lawyer who was tired of the bulge matchboxes made in his vest invented the matchbook in 1889. Preparing for a party, Pusey constructed a matchbook from cardboard and -- late in 1892, after privately enjoying them Pusey announced his invention to the world calling them flexibles. One of the first examples of commercial matchbooks occurred in 1895 when the -- company distributed nearly 100 matchbooks purchased from Pusey and decorated by hand by the cast of the oprah company.
The matchbooks were used as advertisements and quickly caught on around the country. Perhaps as a result of his success, Pusey immediately winds up in court with the Diamond Match Company who accused Pusey of stealing the matchbook design. Pusey won the lawsuit but then sold his matchbook design to the Diamond Match Company for $4,000 and a job. Pusey remained with the Diamond Match Company for 20 years. Matchbooks would sell well for Diamond with early one sale to chewing gum for over a billion matchbooks.
The depression adversely affected smoking threatening to put the Diamond Match Company out of business through a bit of marketing brilliant Diamond introduced collectable series of matchbooks featuring Hollywood starts and athletes increasing sales and keeping the Diamond Company in the black. Of the 200 billion matchbooks produced each year, roughly 196 of them are given away for free.