American Philatelic Society

Federal Match Company 1923-1941

Employees of the Federal Match Co. in 1928

The Pennsylvania Match Company was sold to the Federal Match Corporation. (Deed Book 130/348)

Under new ownership and during the 1930s several events occurred which affected the Bellefonte facility. In 1930, a chemical laboratory was established and H.T. Darby moved to Bellefonte to conduct chemical research. He had extensive experience in the development of Strike Anywhere, Book Match and Safety Match compositions and the materials of which they were made. In addition to the chemical research segment of the company, E. Ivan Bjalme, was invited to join the Bellefonte facility to lend his expert mechanical ability. E. I. Bjalme was born in Jónkóping, Sweden. Bellefonte’s match production was now at the forefront of the industry.

The installment of Swedish machinery permitted the manufacture of small safety matches. These were produced in addition to the strike-anywhere matches. Both types of matches were produced throughout the Depression years, although the hours of factory operation were severely reduced.

December 1941 the operation was purchased by the Universal Match Corporation.

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