Matchbox Cover

Matchbox Cover

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Description (Brief)
This celluloid matchbox cover is likely a piece of British propaganda from WWI. It depicts Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener, Secretary of State for War in England during the First World War. The piece is "In Memorium" and gives his birth and death dates ("Born June 24th, 1850, Drowned June 5th, 1916") and states "He Did His Duty."
Kitchener was the face on the original "Your Country Needs You" recruiting poster, featuring his mustachioed face staring directly at the reader and his finger pointing straight out of the page. It has been endlessly imitated and parodied, the most famous result perhaps being the recruiting poster for the U.S. Army featuring Uncle Sam above the statement "I want YOU for U.S. Army!"
Currently not on view
Object Name
match box cover
date made
place made
United Kingdom: England
Associated Place
United States: New Jersey
Physical Description
cellulose nitrate (overall material)
tin (overall material)
overall: 4 cm x 6 cm x 2.5 cm; 1 9/16 in x 2 3/8 in x in
overall: 1 5/8 in x 2 3/8 in x 1 in; 4.1275 cm x 6.0325 cm x 2.54 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Dadie and Norman B. Perlov
World War I
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Industry & Manufacturing
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object