QUESTION: What is someone who collects teddy bears called?
If you had the opportunity to read our blog yesterday, you would have learned the story of how the paper matchstick came to be. Today, we are going to discuss phillumeny, the hobby of collecting matchbooks, matchboxes, and anything dealing with these important but novel innovations. Why phillumeny? It's Greek, derived from the prefix phil- meaning "love" and lumen meaning light. A British collector, Marjorie Evans, identified this passion in 1943, and the name stuck.
One could easily argue that phillumeny is not the best known hobby ever developed, but it is definitely a passion for many people. Businesses around the world would print advertisements on matchbooks to increase awareness of their companies. The post-World War II world was a perfect environment for this method of reaching an audience. Smoking was prevalent in western culture, and matchbooks were in high circulation, subconsciously spreading the word. Of course, cigarette lighters became quite popular starting in the 1950's, which impacted the popularity of matchbooks. Eventually, smoking itself fell out of vogue, too. Nowadays, matchbooks are still out there, but nowhere near to the extent that they once were. That is not to say phillumeny has become less popular. Clubs exist internationally celebrating this unusual hobby to this day. And now, the American Treasure Tour is proud to present an admittedly modest but interesting collection of matchbooks in our own Toy Box. The next time you visit us, take a look just inside the entrance to the Toy Box and see what we have on display!
ANSWER: A) Arctophile.