Friday, April 24, 2015

330. Smokin'-Hot Collectibles: TOBACCO TINS

Packaging tins were first used to keep food in response to the public's acceptance of the germ theory of disease. Today, it is easy to dismiss canned or “processed” food as something people without access to fresh food eat. But in the late 1800s, food in tins was highly desirable. It was considered much more sanitary, and therefore healthier, than food offered in bins or barrels. Eventually, tin packaging was used in other consumer goods  like pipe tobacco. These two vintage examples in my collection are "home antiques", found  inside an 'aparador' (cabinet) of my grandfather. Dill's Best is the older one, from a company in Richmond, Virginia founded in 1849, The brand icon features a lady holding her hair up with a "come-hither" expression. The second example is the more popular Bond Street Pipe Tobacco, made by Philip Morris, which dates from the 1930s. Tobacco tins are always sought after by tobacciana collectors, and in this part of the world, are rarely seen. I have my grandpa to thank for, for these surviving examples--he is no longer with us, but I bet he is somewhere in a quiet corner in heaven, happily and peacefully smoking on his favorite pipe, plugged in with his favorite Bond Street and Dill's Best tobacco!

Friday, April 10, 2015


Davy Crockett was Disney's hit TV series which aired on ABC in one-hour episodes, starring Fess Parker as real-life frontiersman Davy Crockett and Buddy Ebsen as his friend, George Russel.The first 3 episodes were edited together as the 1955 theatrical film Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier, and rebroadcast in color in the 1960s when the Disney program went to NBC.This series and film are known for the catchy theme song, "The Ballad of Davy Crockett".
Disney capitalized on its success by licensing the sale of various types of Crockett paraphernalia, including coonskin caps, coloring books, bubble gum cards--and even 50s glassware such as this, which was part of a set that one had to collect.
Other Davy Crockett drinking glasses came free--in the form of packaging for Welch fruit jelly products. There were glasses of milk white color too, plus related items such as cups, saucers, plates and cereal bowls. This particular example is harder to find as the glass is fluted at the bottom and taller than most plain Crockett glasses.
Fess Parker claimed that his contract called for a percentage of the sales from Crockett collectibles but that this was voided by his contract being with Walt Disney personally,  rather than with the company, costing him millions of dollars of lost royalty from the huge success of Crockett merchandising. As King of the Wild Frontier, he could have gone on a wild rampage!