Pillbox tops found on the Australian market

Australian pill boxes, early 20th century (32 x 25 mm)

Exhibitor : David Figg

Little circular labels affixed to the top of round plaid cylinders that housed wax vesta matches (and usually had a sandpaper coated bottom striking surface), became known as Pillboxes.

Wax vesta matches also came in tins plus some matchboxes but this exhibit deals exclusively with the pillbox labels.

Manufacture of wax vestas in pillbox containers were produced by a number of companies in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Italy as well as a number of factories in Victoria, Australia plus two others in New Zealand.

Interestingly, they were predominantly destined for the Australian market and to a much lesser extent the New Zealand market. Wax vesta matches were at the time in high demand compared to wooden safety matches.

Empty pillbox containers have been found containing small seashells and coins. It is reputed that the wealthy kept gold sovereigns in them and miners, their small gold nuggets.

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