Bryant & May's Swan Vestas - "the smoker's match" has been known in
the UK for many, many years. They first started manufacturing matches
in July 1861 and by the 1880's they were exploring the export market from
the USA to China. In 1884 Bryant & may became a limited company.
They prospered through mergers with the Diamond Match Company and later
the Canadian Splint and Lumber Corporation. Bryant & May's cutting
rights in Canada continue to this day while elsewhere in the world the
group have extensive forestry plantations.
In 1927 the British Match Corporation Limited was formed to become
the holding company of of both Bryant & May and J. John Maters Limited.
The father company was was responsible for Swedish Match imports into Britain.
In 1973, British Match Corporation Limited merged with Wilkinson Sword
Limited to become Wilkinson Match Limited. In 1987 Wilkinson sword
Group became a wholly owned subsidiary of Swedish Match, an international
industrial corporation based in Stockholm, Sweden. Since 1st January
1997, Bryant & May trade as SWEDISH MATCH COMPANY
They first produced Swan rolling papers about 1986 (see first series)
and have made a substantial impact on the British market hitherto held
The First Series
This first design came out about 1986. Completely
different from the designs which were to follow: