Who would have guessed that the top dog of matchbooks has called Jaffrey home for the past 81 years?
At one point in time, paper matchbooks were known as “the best-read books in America.” Their popularity has dwindled since the 1970s when disposable lighters hit the scene, but those classic matchbooks are slated to make a comeback and Jaffrey-based company D.D. Bean and Sons is ready for it. In recent years, people have been looking for more sustainable and thoughtful ways to live – oftentimes the solutions come from the past. In this case, it’s reverting back to the use of matches made out of 100 percent recycled materials. Unlike non-recyclable disposable lighters, D.D. Bean and Sons’ matches are entirely biodegradable as they have been since the current owners’ grandfather opened up shop in 1938. The three million matchbooks D.D Bean produces daily (yes, daily!) are still made in the same old textile factory in Jaffrey by three brothers – Christopher, Mark, and Delcie Bean – and about 50 locals, many of whom come from families who have worked for D.D. Bean for generations. Despite the family atmosphere on the production floor, the 80+-year-old company is the largest match manufacturer in the world!