World War II propaganda bookmatches made in Canada

This cover has no Excise tax imprint. It has private advertising on the front and shows the standard message printed inside to the troops.

Exhibitor : Ed Wright

These sets of covers with 12 different war propaganda designs were issued for sale in Canada in the early 1940’s by ‘The Book Match Mfrs. Ltd. Toronto’. They were issued in various colours and may even have come in other colours as well.

Note the stock-design on the front cover which states that the Book Match sold for 1c for 30 matches. Note also the 3/10c Excise Tax Paid imprint which further verifies when made. This value was required by law to be printed on match books of this size (30 matches), made for the home market, to prove the necessary tax had been paid and was in use between June 25th 1940 & March 22, 1949.

Inside printing for private advertisers was an available option, at I am sure a nominal cost.

A cover with an Excise tax denoting made for Private advertiser for home use. The inside is blank.

These sets were also offered to private companies who could have their own specific message and/or address printed on the front cover instead of the stock design previously mentioned.

Sets are known to exist with or without the Excise tax imprint, sometimes with adverts inside. Many of these companies sent their matches to Canadian troops overseas on which no tax levy was imposed and therefore the imprint was not required. These covers were printed on the inside with a standard message for the troops and were distributed through ‘The Overseas League (Canada)Tobacco Fund’.

Propaganda sets md in Canada are highly sought-after by collectors around the globe. Due to National unrest and constraints, caused by the war, especially product shortages and rationing, hobbies and collecting items were not a priority so one must assume supply was limited. Many company flats have shown up, so collectors can still document these gems.


Twelve different propaganda covers


On the right are the twelve different propaganda designs that the match company used. Sadly, I am missing one from the set I have, so am obliged to use the missing design from another set.  All the covers are all blank inside, and have the Excise Tax Paid imprint so were made for the home market.





Cover with no excise stamp



The cover on the left has no excise stamp imprint, because it was made for export to send overseas to the troops.

There’ll always be an England

Inside is handwritten “Approved. May 11, 1942 for Export. Signed by Commissioner of Excises W.W. Stinson.” Note also the sticker on the car window which says “There’ll always be an England”


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