Ephemera is a broad term used to describe items of paper that were created for use in a short time span and meant to be thrown away after one or two uses. Items generally put into the ephemera category of collecting would be sheet music, posters, stock certificates, post cards, cigarette cards, magazines, catalogs, and the like.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Kenmore Hotel Drink List and Matchbook Collection

I am starting to get an organization system going for all of Madeline's little paper collectibles.  I set up a hanging file system to get me started on sorting it all.  I pulled a few items out of the "Memories" folder for today's posting.

I thought this little book was fun to look at with the types of drinks people ordered back in the late 30's and especially the prices!  Here is a pic of the Hotel Kenmore in it's heyday:

Hotel Kenmore has been described as: "One of Boston's newest and finest hotels; 400 large luxurious rooms all with bath, circulating ice water, radio & emergency sound system for guests' safety; 10 air-conditioned public rooms". Located on Commonwealth Avenue at Kenmore Square, the hotel is home to the famous "Mural Lounge" and "Sportsman's Bar & Grill"; rendezvous of celebrities from the radio and sports world. (William T. Bigler, General Manager - Boston, Massachusetts, 1940's.)

These are some of the many matchbooks Madeline collected.  Did you know that phillumeny is the hobby of collecting matchbook covers?  Collectors are called phillumenists.  Have to say I did not know that fact!  One thing I learned in my research about collecting matchbooks in the 30's and 40's is that many of the most collectible ones are sports related.  The Diamond Match Company of New York put out several series of sports related matchbooks over the years. A black and white photo of the player was on front with a short write-up and stats on back. The player's name and team was also printed on the 'saddle'.  You will notice that one of the matchbooks above lists the Boston Bruins schedule on the inside, with an ad for the Union Oyster House restaurant on the cover.  It states "compliments of" the Union Oyster House so we can assume Madeline picked it up at the restaurant. 


  1. We think this is an exceptional collection. Many of these images are from the Hotel Kenmore, which was built by Bertram Druker. He is the father of The Colonnade Hotel's current owner - Ronald Druker. They also have historical significance as Kenmore Square was named after the Hotel Kenmore, which is now an apartment building in Boston. Thanks for sharing such great photos. http://www.colonnadehotel.com

  2. The Hotel Kenmore was NOT built by Bertram (Bert) Druker at all; rather it was built by his uncles Abe Snider, Benjamin Snider, and his father John Druker. Bert Druker became a highly successful real estage magnate in Boston and his son, Ronald, now runs the Druker Company, Ltd. Ronald is my cousin and Abe Snder was my grandfather. My parents were married at the Kenmore Hotel and I worked there as a teenager. It was a very special, elegant, and exciting hotel.