Matchcover convention comes to Scranton

Local News

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Ten strikes, forty strikes, no, it is not a new rule in baseball, it’s the language of the Rathkamp Matchcover Society National Convention which is celebrating eighty years.

Collectors traveled to Scranton from all over the United States and as far away as California with their matchcovers, matchbooks, and matchboxes. Variety of styles, artwork, celebrities, planes, restaurants, and even cement mixers, the types that the 300 member Rathkamp Society collects are all personal preference.

“I’ve always accumulated them. I went from a brandy snifter to an old fish tank,” said Bill Gigantino of Connecticut.

“We’re having five auctions of thirty lots each. The lots can be one album, one piece of a cover, or a whole shoebox full,” said Rathkamp Matchcover Society President Nancy Smith.

Varieties of styles, artwork, celebrities, planes, restaurants and even cement mixers, the types that the 300 member Rathkamp society collects are all personal preferences.

“American aces, which is over 12,000 items. I’ve got all of them, only because I bought the master collection, and I have to keep up the list,” said Grant Gehringer of Virginia.

This unique group of collectors has a busy week planned at the Four-Season Hilton on Meadow Avenue in the city.

“In the fifties, the Chiclets Gum Company, in conjunction with all the airlines put out matchcovers,” said Gigantino.

“I collect country clubs. I collect casinos, and I collect Holiday Inn,” said Smith.

“This is what we call a full length. It’s a full picture of the business,” said Gigantino.

“Their rarity is the age, basically, and the number that were printed at that time,” said Smith.

The convention runs through the week. Check out the Rathkamp Matchcover Society National Convention website for more information.

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