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.)
Here are a series of photographs showing the various offices of ITC around 1938. All these photographs are contained in a coloured folder and show the extent of the hundreds of accounting and figuring machines supplied by 'Burroughs Adding Machine Limited.... How times have changed!...and not just the technology... no long haired men or designer stubble to be seen.
Folder Outer above.
Folder Inner above
In this age of instant digital colour photos we tend to forget that less than 70 years ago colour was missing from the vast majority of newspapers and photographs. Both were printed in black and white and there was little TV until the mid 50's and then no colour. The only means of producing colour images was by employing the skills of illustators/artists and reproducing their work by printing. To this end the vast majority of colour advertising was printed artwork. Such colourful work must have had a large impact on the population of those days.
Some of the finest examples of this artwork can be found in the iconic railway posters of the 30's, 40's and 50's. The cigarette and tobacco industry was on a par but because of the nature of the products used smaller illustration sizes. Along with the obvious tobacco advertising material, extolling the virtues of all forms of smoking, the artwork appeared on all types of associated products from cigarette cards to drinks trays.
Here are few examples of such work.
Let's start with the months of the calendar for 1957 ...illustrations by A.J.Wilson..famous for his LNER railway poster paintings.
What the first 3 months look like as a full page calendar. Just 10 x 8 inches (250 x 200 mm)
Not forgetting the vast number of miniature works of art produced by those responsible for all the cigarette cards that many of us collected...here are just a few....
Cars from series one and two of Player's cigarette cards. (1936 & 1937)
Famous film stars from Player's series 2 set of cigarette cards.
A free standing cardboard advert . two drinks trays and an Ogdens's tin plate showing more of the illustators art.
A large advert ...to hang on the wall in the parlour!! (measures some 3 x 2 feet)
and finally the March tip for you gardeners.
A small example of the skills of the unsung artists and illustrators of days past!
Wills's advertising people seemed to have liked producing ashtrays in threes!
Here are six sets, all from Wills's. Each set of three is the same size and pattern and made from the same material.
If you know of any additional items that match any of the sets please let me know.
1. Glass ashtrays with cigarette rests on the four corners. Measuring 106mm square and 37mm high. All printing is on the inside. ITC numbers 9963, 9964 and 9965. All from circa 1935. These are not particularly rare and do come up for sale quite often.
2. Frosted glass ashtrays with cigarette rests on the four corners. Measuring 129mm square by 40mm deep. Main printing on the outside. ITC numbers only on inside. ITC numbers 11423, 11424 and 11425. All circa 1938. Rarely, if ever seen for sale.
3. Ceramic ashtrays with three cigarette rests. All the same base colour, cream. Measuring 140mm diameter by 35mm high. ITC number and Made in England printed on base. ITC numbers 12369A, 12963B and 12963C from circa 1939. Can still be found for sale.
4. Plaster/chalk ashtrays with beige/brown mottled outer surface and two cigarette rest. Measuring 160 x 105 x 35mm. These have ITC number ink stamped on base. ITC numbers 13821, 13822 & 13823 (I think as not on Woodbine ashtray) Circa 1948. Can still be found for sale.
5. Clear glass ashtrays with two cigarette rests. All printing on the outside including ITC number. Measuring 127mm diameter by 27mm high these are commonly still found for sale. ITC numbers 14161, 14162 and 14163. Circa 1950.
6. Clear glass ashtray, with outer frosted band on which the text and ITC number is printed. Measuring 136mm diameter by 40mm high these have a central bar with four cigarette rests. They are more substantial than those at 4. above. ITC numbers 15999, 16000 and 16001. Circa 1954. These can still be be found for sale.
and for the gardeners amongst you......here are February's list of tasks to do in the garden.
Not forgetting the important last paragraph....
'Before starting work in the garden see that your pipe is well and truly filled as the state of the soil at this time of the year will soon make your hands unfit to go often to your pockets for pouch or matches - and your pipe is a good companion.'
Have now added some 1300 images of cigarette/tobacco advertising, on a variety of products, that were a common sight in everyday British life in the 20th century....please feel free to take a look.
We will not see the likes of such product on our shores again!
Many will say 'a good thing too'. However after collecting these items for the past 30 years I have been intrigued by the vast variation and inventiveness of form given to such simple product. Many items are a small work of art in there own right...well I think so.
I don't expect many, if any, to agree with my views on the craftsmanship of the simple products shown on this site. However if you would like to leave a comment please do so.
(I have never smoked...so have no views on the virtues or vices of smoking)
I will be adding more data to the images as time permits and posting some more blogs with information about items shown and the Imperial Tobacco Company and its products.
If you have an image of a related product to add, please get in touch. Thanks.
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01 November 2019- Players please ashtray added.