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Compagnie Des Messageries Maritimes match box

Date: 1940-1970
Overall: 55 x 40 x 7 mm, 7 g
Medium: Paper, ink, timber
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Christopher Beazley
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Matchbox
Object No: 00049841
Place Manufactured:Nihon
Related Place:France,

User Terms

    215 shipping and cruise line related match boxes, some wooden, mostly cardboard.
    SignificanceSouvenirs from cruises were kept as momentos of what for many people were 'once in a lifetime' voyages.
    HistoryBy the 1960s the stately passenger cruises of the 1920s to 1950s were in decline due to increased airtravel. However in the early 1970s, the passenger cruise lines transformed the cruidsing experience to attract a new market. In 1974, the Cunard Line Queen Elizabeth II hired international celebrities to perform cabaret acts aboard ship.

    The QE2 ushered in the concept of 'one-class' cruising, as the ship's facilities and amenities were made available to all passengers. Regardless of the staterooms or berths passengers had booked, they enjoyed the same service, menus, entertainment, and activities. People began taking cruises for short vacations, rather than solely as a means of transportation. Some argue the 1970s television series the Love Boat also had an impact.

    In the 1980s cruise lines began launching giant passenger liners, some capable of carrying over 2,000 people. These vessels were designed as all-inclusive magnificent floating hotels with casinos, running tracks, spas, champagne and caviar bars, basketball courts, private stateroom verandahs, and three-story nightclubs. Ports of call were not the main reason for cruising anymore as people became interested in the whole experience of just being on board. Cruise Lines made actively marketed their shipboard experiences rather than destinations. The message was 'luxury for the masses'.

    Souvenirs had always been an important part of the cruise experience, and many items issued to passengers such as menus, destination cards, cocktail stirrers and match boxes were kept as momentos of what for many people were 'once in a lifetime' voyages, often honeymoons or romantic cruises.

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