For beauty and effectiveness, none of Detroit match stamps can equal stamp of the Union Match Co. The Detroit directories the following references: 1879 – Union Match Splint Co. of 13th St. Geo. Hargreaves – Pres., Geo. Upton – Sec. 1880: Union Match Co., 32 Bldg. TC Owen – Pres. Factory: 21st & Hammond Sts. 1881: Tubal C. Owen – lawyer, H. Meacham – publisher. These references indicate a short existence and this is corroborated by data given in the Boston Book. Die approved September 1880, First issued September 1880, Last issued November 23 1881. 210 stamps per sheet, 14×15, 4,929,000 issued all in black on watermarked paper. There are several interesting facts be noted in regard to the Union stamp. It is one of the few and probably last of the match stamps engraved by American Bank Note Co. It was printed both by that company and by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing at Washington and its design is copied from the Wm. Bond Match stamp, a National Bank Co. product. The general design and the ornamentation being with the latter Bond’s anchor was replaced by the head of a young deer and the inscriptions were suitably altered. Probably all the Union stamps were printed from the one plate which originally bore the American BN Co imprint No 127. Whether or not there was any connection between the Union Match Splint Co. and the Union Match Co. the writer cannot say. Match splints are the matches before they are dipped in the combustible material that forms the striking head. The Diamond Match Co. appears in the Detroit directory for 1881 as owning the Richardson factory and the directory for 1877 gives the Richardson Match Co. and the Union Mills Co. at the same address with the same officers.
Christopher West, Mekeel’s Weekly Stamp News