Smithsonian Institution
Collections Search Center

In Memoriam matchbox cover

Online Media:
Catalog Data:
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
Object Name:
match box cover
Place made:
United Kingdom: England
Date made:
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
World War I
ID Number:
Catalog number:
Accession number:
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Industry & Manufacturing
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center