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Advance "Atlas Diamond" Match

Advance Machine Company, Chicago, IL, c. 1916, 17 1/2". This was manufactured by Advance for the Atlas Mfg. Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio, which is what's embossed into the base. This is a solid, heavy cast iron dome machine and in my opinion is one of the most impressive match vendors available. Put a penny in and pull the lever, and the stacks rotate a quarter turn and drop a pack of matches into the front dish.

These came painted green. They're not on every street corner but they're available, and a fair fraction of them seem to have decent original paint. This example has "MATCHES" stenciled vertically on the side of each column. I've also seen this machine with paper labels saying the same thing in the same spot. I don't know which is earlier or more common---I've been told that the stenciled version is earlier and less common, but I'm not sure I agree. I don't disagree, but I've seen enough of both to think that one type isn't much different from the other.

An interesting feature of this model is the detail that was cast into the iron. It has some ribbed lines around the perimeter and some ornate casting around the coin box and in the feet. It's a far more detailed machine than it had to be to sell matches, which is probably the neatest feature of the machine.

The example above is 100% original. Silent Salesmen Too doesn't list the "Atlas Diamond" version of this model as rare, but this is the only example I can remember ever seeing.

I no longer own this machine.

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