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KEY FACTS 

 

  • In the mid 1970’s – the match industry’s peak years – there were about a dozen independent match companies in the U.S. and Canada operating about two dozen different factories. The industry was estimated to be more than 35 billion matchbooks per year at that time. 

 

  • In 1976, D.D. Bean & Sons sold nearly three million cases of matches, approximately 7 billion matchbooks, in the U.S. and Canada. 

 

  • D.D. Bean used to operate three factories in the United States – Winston-SalemNCOxnardCA and the home plant in JaffreyNH. In addition, Bean had two factories in Canada – St. CesaireQuebec and the Strike-Rite factory in LondonOntario. Bean also operated a wooden match factory in Kingston, Jamaica for more than forty years. 

 

  • Before 1970 disposable butane lighters did not exist. By 1985, lighters had taken 50% of the “lights” market from matches causing closures of about half the match factories. 

 

  •  By the 2000’s, disposable lighters had captured about 95% of the market and as of 2015 the only book match producers left in North America are D.D. Bean in Jaffrey and Atlas Match in Euless, TX.. Diamond Match continues to produce wooden matches in CloquetMN. 

 

  • Today, D.D. Bean still makes millions of matchbooks per day at the Jaffrey plant which currently runs a single ten hour shift, four days per week. 

 

  • The old textile mill purchased by D.D. Bean Sr. in 1938 was originally built in the early 1800’s on the Contoocook River to utilize water power to run the machinery. Eventually the water power was used to generate electricity and over the years D.D. Bean has upgraded this hydro-generating capability. Today, the company generates about 15-20% of its own electricity from the river.