Ward & Dickinson Matchbooks

Sometimes, matchbooks are  great way to find where Ward & Dickinson diners were located.   When I first started spotting drawings of Ward & Dickinson diners on matchbooks on EBAY, I thought I hit gold.

Above are four examples of the basic Ward & Dickinson diner design.  The first diner I went in search of was Nick's Best Diner in Greenville, South Carolina.  The historical society had a photo of the diner, but unfortunately, it was a barrel roof, home made diner.  It seems that this design was generic stock for the matchbook makers.  There are some slight variations, especially the Alabama matchbook, but I am rather doubtful.

  There was something that did help, and did assure that the diner was a Ward & Dickinson.  That was when Ward & Dickinson issued the matchooks.  These mathcbooks would do double duty.  They advertised the local concern and were also nicely equipped for the advertising of their own manufacturing of diners at the same time.

  Also notice that these diners show a Ward & Dickinson DeLuxe model.  That would prove to be the next big break.  I would find a bunch of other matchbooks that showed a DeLuxe model, and these would, so far, turn out good.  I believe we have only found three diners that used this matchbook.  Hopefully there are more out there, and it is just a case of attempting to find them.

  There are two slight variations of the DeLuxe model.  Actually more to do with the foreground.  Some matchbooks used the triangle little piece of land in front of the diner, similar to the Ward & Dickinson funded matchbooks and the others were just a straight out DeLuxe model.
  The Irving Diner is just outside of Silver Creek.  The Mereden, Connecticut and Middlebury, Vermont diners proved to be Ward & Dickinson diners through some research, so I would hope that the West Market diner in New York City was indeed a Ward & Dickinson diner.  Other DeLuxe matchbooks show Ward & Dickinsons that have been verified.  This was be a nice find as I have just found a matchbook for a DeLuxe model in Janesville, Wisconsin.

OTHER advertising

  Business cards seem to be tougher to find, but we have found three diners with Ward & Dickinson drawings on their business cards.  The Carlisle Diner in Pennsylvania and Bradley's DeLuxe in Syracuse, New York are Ward & Dickinson diners, so I can only hopefor the same for The Diner in Richmond, Virginia, although the drawing does look a little bland, like the stock art Ward & Dickinson.  Another stock W&D image was found for a diner in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania which turned out ot be a 1939 O'Mahony.

Menus seems a little more assuring.  Why would you bother with a Ward & Dickinson on your menu unless you have a Ward & Dickinson diner, and you are relatively proud of it!  We have found three menus and all are confirmed to be Ward & Dickinson diners.

List of Ward & Dickinson DeLuxe Diner matchbooks that have not been confirmed.