John B. Busch Brewing Co Celluloid Matchsafe, Washington, MO. Circa 1905

I have always loved this celluloid matchsafe from the John B. Busch Brewing Company out of Washington, MO, a smaller city of 10,000 plus residents on the Missouri River banks, about forty miles or so from St. Louis, MO. This brewery was founded by a cousin of the more famous August Busch Brewing family from Saint Louis. Nonetheless, this brewing family was also successful, and as a result, have left the area with many historical brewery artifacts such as this match safe featuring Busch beer in a bottle of that era. Matchsafe advertising was very common in the 1900 era, as men would protect their matches for their cigars and tobacco products with these pieces from breakage, water exposure, etc. Celluloid was often used, as was simple metal, sometimes with silver plate or sometimes brass was used for them. Many types of businesses advertised on matchsafe in that era, and collectors today can find thousands of them still with many long defunct companies and their products featured on them.

The John B. Busch Brewing Company legacy remains very strong in the city of Washington, MO. Today visitors of this historic town can view the old brewery still standing with the etched glass panels featuring the breweries name in it. The home of the Busch family still stands, a large home now home to a local veteran associated group. While the Busch families brewery is long gone with the start of prohibition, another brewery was restarted in Washington after prohibition called the Peerless Brewery which sold several beer brands, most notably the Cardinal brand of beer. Today collectors can find old calendars, paper signs, glass bottles, match safe items, bottle openers, and many other items related to these old breweries from Washington’s’ past.