This was perhaps the first hotel where my husband’s newlywed grandparents stayed after their wedding in Athens, Georgia. It’s one of the original matchcovers in our collection. I found Grandma Alice’s matchbook collection from her honeymoon in the attic of our family farm in Athens, Georgia and used those covers to make our first magnets. What’s cool about the Biltmore is that they had a gigantic am radio tower atop the hotel; WSB radio program broadcast from the site and reached as far as overseas. The WSB program started with a cheerful, “Bee, boop, booop… This is your Atlanta Journal station, WSB in Atlanta Georgia.”
When we began to source these in China we were living in China, so it was quite easy to look at samples ad nauseum. What we found is that the majority of commercially made magnets are of very weak quality: the images were not sharp, the magnets were weak, and the surfaces were easily scratched or bent. So we took several years to develop a PVC magnet that is textured, mimicking the raised enamel of old advertising, full of color, matched with a very powerful magnet and unlikely to fade or scratch.
For all of our magnets we share with you the image of the original matchbook before we edited it for commercial production. I keep a scan of each matchbook in our collection. We have about 4000 matchcovers hand scanned as we collected them. I think it’s interesting to see what the little matchbook looked like when I pulled it out from the pile.
Size: 1 3/4 inches by 2 1/2 inches or 5.8cm by 4.8 cm. All of our matchbook magnets are consistent with size of the original matchbooks but have been modified slightly for ease of production.