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[Photos] Vintage Vietnamese Matchboxes

The images on Vietnamese matchbox covers before 1975 varied from the traditional - drawings of zodiac animals - to the modern – brand advertising and popular singers of the day.

Many of the brands that appeared on these matchbox covers were the local ones. Thủ Đức District’s Foremost Company (now called the Trường Thọ Company) produced condensed milk and used a healthy elderly man, referred to as “ông Thọ,” as a mascot. His name has become ubiquitous with the product to the point where people still use it when buying condensed milk even though his likeness was retired long ago.

Another local product often seen on the matchboxes was L’Etoile perfume (commonly found in barbershops around the city) made by Khiêm Tín Company located at the intersection of Điện Biên Phủ and Nguyễn Thiện Thuật Streets.

It wasn’t only businesses that used matchboxes for advertising, but also pop singers looking to boost their profile and recognition.

Some of the illustrations found on these boxes before 1975 are still used today, most notably the black dragon on a yellow background.

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