Nothing like starting the New Year with a cheery message!
A bit more joy in February!
Before the beginning of time ( pre-television) one of the main ways of getting product in front of buyers was to place eye-catching adverts in papers and magazines.
Here follows a few of the many of those, advertising cigarette and tobacco products, that focused on the Christmas period and the joys of smoking and giving such products to your loved ones.
Have a Very Happy and Smoke Free Christmas!
From black & white adverts from the 1920's, 30's and 40's
To the very colourful 50's and 60's
Bakelite sometimes spelled Baekelite is an early plastic.
It was developed by the Belgian-American chemist Leo Baekeland in New York in 1907.
One of the first plastics made from synthetic components, Bakelite was used for its electrical non-conductivity and heat-resistant properties in electrical insulators, radio and telephone casings and such diverse products as kitchenware, jewellery, pipe stems, children's toys, firearms and ashtrays. The "retro" appeal of old Bakelite products has made them collectible.
Baekeland produced a hard mouldable material which he named "Bakelite" It was the first synthetic thermosetting plastic ever produced, and Baekeland speculated on "the thousand and one... articles" that it could be used to make. Baekeland considered the possibilities of using a wide variety of filling materials, including cotton, powdered bronze, and slate dust, but was most successful with wood and asbestos fibers.
Baekeland filed a substantial number of patents in the area. His "Method of making insoluble products of phenol and formaldehyde" was filed on July 13, 1907 and granted on December 7, 1909.
Baekeland started semi-commercial production of his new material in his home laboratory, marketing it as a material for electrical insulators. By 1910, he was producing enough material to justify expansion. He formed the General Bakelite Company as a U.S. company to manufacture and market his new industrial material. He also made overseas connections to produce materials in other countries.
The Bakelite Corporation was formed in 1922. Bakelite was aggressively marketed as "The Material of A Thousand Uses."
The first issue of Plastics magazine, October 1925, featured Bakelite on its cover, and included the article "Bakelite – What It Is" by Allan Brown. The range of colours available included "black, brown, red, yellow, green, grey, blue, and blends of two or more of these". The article emphasized that Bakelite came in various forms.
In England Bakelite Limited, a merger of three British phenol formaldehyde resin suppliers (Damard Lacquer Company Limited of Birmingham, Mouldensite Limited of Darley Dale and Redmanol Chemical Products Company of London) was formed in 1926. A new Bakelite factory opened in Tyseley, Birmingham, England around 1928. It was demolished in 1998.
Once Baekeland's heat and pressure patents expired in 1927, Bakelite Corporation faced serious competition from other companies. Because moulded Bakelite incorporated fillers to give it strength, it tended to be made in concealing dark colours. In 1927, beads, bangles and earrings were produced by the Catalin Company, through a different process which enabled them to introduce 15 new colours. Translucent jewellery, poker chips and other items made of phenolic resins were introduced in the 1930s or 1940s by the Catalin Company under the Prystal name.
The creation of marbled phenolic resins may also be attributable to the Catalin Company.
The British children's construction toy Bayko, launched in 1933, originally used Bakelite for many of its parts, and took its name from the material.
By the late 1940s, newer materials were superseding Bakelite in many areas. components, and industrial electrical-related applications. Bakelite stock is still manufactured and produced in sheet, rod and tube form for industrial applications in the electronics, power generation and aerospace industries, and under a variety of commercial brand names.
Today, only one or two firms now make phenolic resins, but Baekeland's creation set the mould for the modern plastics industry.
In terms of ashtrays made using Bakelite there follows examples, from my collection, of such items. Where I can I have dated them and similar items by comparison.
If you have other examples please let me have a photo and any relevant info.
I have attempted to put the ashtrays in date order, oldest first. While this is easy when they are marked with the ITC number the rest are just my estimate based on the appearance and brands shown.
Wills's were quick off the mark to use Bakelite with these two ashtrays for their popular brands.
Above Wills's CAPSTAN, ITC 6068, from 1929. Below Wills's GOLDFLAKE, ITC 6067 from 1929 also.
Soon to follow were Ogden's with these two ashtrays from 1930.Ogden's St JULIEN, ITC 6860 and Ogden's ROBIN, ITC 6859.
Wills's CAPSTAN, ITC 7373, from 1931 & Ogdens St BRUNO, ITC 7919, from 1932 were both smaller ashtrays than those previously.
I suspect this GREYS ashtray was made around the start of the 1930's as were the following four, which are all identical in size and form to each other despite being different brands.The NUT BROWN and ROBIN ashtrays have ITC numbers 8838 & 8612 ,both for 1933.
The GREYS ashtray also has the trade mark of an 'S' inside a circle. Is this an early trademark for 'Stadium'?
The following CRAVEN A ashtrays are both unmarked but have raised text and are typical look and feel of the previous ashtrays shown, despite being of slightly bolder colours.
The SENIOR SERVICE ashtray below and the GALLAHER one above are both identical in shape and size. Both being made by the Merriot Moulding Company of Merriot, Somerset for Gallaher Ltd. Reg. Design No 843370 (1945)
The two piece STATE EXPRESS ashtrays below are both fine examples of the art of Bakelite moulding. Neither of these have trade marks to help identify the maker..
The remaining five Bakelite ashtrays were all produced by the same company and bear the 'S in a circle ' trade mark. The last three being identical in size and form except for branding.
I expect none are later than 1950 as the outbreak of WWII, in 1939, would have seen the output of Bakelite factories concentrate on more military products. Post WWII other types of plastics started to emerge and allowed brighter colours to be made replacing the dull colours of the Bakelite products..
Many of the earlier glass ashtrays in my collection have a gold background. For ashtrays that were given away free this would have been most impressive and eye catching. I suspect these wares probably came from the same manufacturer who had mastered the art of this process for mass production. If anyone knows who this was I would be very interested to learn more about who and how.
Here I have collected many of them together to demonstrate this 'Golden Era'. This 'Era' seems to last no more than 15 years, from about 1925 to 1940. If you no differently, please let me know, I am no expert.
The two Wills's ashtrays, below, date from the late 1920's
The two Wills's ashtray, below, are also thought to be from the same period.
These three Ogden's ashtrays, below, date from the early 1930's.
The smaller ashtrays below all appeared around early to mid 1930's
Top left- an early Wills's Three Castles ashtray from the late 1920's
Top right- a round Player's Navy Cut ashtray marked for 1936.
Bottom left- A large Player's change tray, probably from the mid 1930's
Bought a few more items to add to the collection...see below..and sold a few duplicates.
If you have any items I don't and you want to part with them please get in touch.
After collecting for a good few years now I had not come across a 'Churchman's' ashtray but then all of a sudden two come along together!
Here they are below:- a ceramic ashtray from the 1960-70's and an older bakelite one from the 1930-40's
Here is information about Churchman's (taken from Grace's Guide to British Industrial History)
W. A. and A. C. Churchman
of Ipswich, London and Norwich.The firm of W.A. and A.C. Churchman was founded in Ipswich by William Churchman in 1790, beginning as a small pipe tobacco manufacturer with a shop at Hyde Park Corner.
In 1888 William Alfred (later Sir William) and Arthur Charles Churchman (later Lord Woodbridge and a director of the British American Tobacco from 1904 to 1923), grandsons of the founder, succeeded their father, Henry, in the business. It was from them that the Company derived its title. At that time output was mainly shag, snuff and tobacco.
By 1890 the Company was also making 'white cigarettes', and six years later installed one of the first cigarette-making machines, producing 20,000 cigarettes an hour; the famous 'Churchman's No. 1' brand dates from this period.
In 1891 Churchmans opened a new factory in Portman Road, Ipswich.
In 1890 James Buchanan Duke of North Carolina merged his family tobacco business, W. Duke Sons & Co., with four of the largest American manufacturers to form the American Tobacco Company, which by 1901 had amassed capital to the equivalent of £150 million sterling. An aggressive assault was launched on the British cigarette market, Duke making no secret of his authority to spend up to £6 million of American Tobacco Company money on the acquisition of British and European tobacco companies.
To counter this threat, W. D. and H. O. Wills, John Player and Sons (Player's), Lambert and Butler, Hignett Brothers (with their associated firms) and Stephen Mitchell and Son, with six other firms, joined forces to found the Imperial Tobacco Co in 1901.
The following year Churchmans joined the new company. Churchmans' Portman Road factory was extended several times during the inter-war years. From at least as early as 1918 to at least as late as 1944 they also had a small branch in Norwich, of which very little documentation appears to have survived
In 1961 W.A. & A.C. Churchman amalgamated with Lambert & Butler and Edwards, Ringer and Bigg, to become first Churchman, Lambert & Ringer, then renamed Churchmans in 1965. By now production was concentrated on the manufacturing of cigars, and in August 1966 Churchmans acquired the firm of Herbert Merchant, the main UK agents for the Dutch cigar producers Henri Wintermans.
With a work force of over 1,000, the Ipswich factory produced more than 1,000,000 cigars a day. But in 1972 the company ceased to be a separate brand of Imperial Tobacco; the cigar business was integrated with John Player and Sons, and the tobacco interests with Ogdensof Liverpool.
Finally, in May 1992, in order to streamline operations, the parent company moved all production to Bristol, and Churchman's closed with the loss of over four hundred jobs.
A few images of Player's cigarette and tobacco tins to mark the closing of the Player's factory....(see second post below.)
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13 May 2020 - Juggler tin, gold Wills's gold flake menu holder and State Express tape measure added.
18 April 2020- Capstan ashtray and Players please whist card added.
12 April 2020- Fixture card & Whist card added.
27 March 2020 - Salmon & Gluckstein ashtray added.
24 March 2020 - Murray's whist card, Senior Service ashtray & Oldham Athletic Park Drive case added.