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.
What better way to start than to see what January holds for the gardener's
More tips from the Gardener's book next month!
I also have a large collection of dust!!!
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13 June 2020 - added Marcovitch paper weight
4 June 2020- Robin ashtray added.
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.