Date: May 16, 2012
Wind Speed: 9knots
Temp with wind chill: -36°C
Some of the best moments in the lab are when we discover a hidden message or drawing on an object. This week, on what I thought may have been just another tobacco tin, was an advertisement for Albany Cigarettes printed on the back of a cigarette case.
Albany cigarette advertisement on the back of a tin. Credit: AHT/Susanne
I was curious to know the history of the cigarette company and the details behind the design of the advertisement. The “Albany Cigarette” was made by F.L. Smith Ltd. in London at No. 5 Burlington Gardens. According to this New Zealand cigarette pack below, the Albany Cigarette was first made by hand in the building that is shown above, perhaps by the very dapper gentlemen pictured in front.
Packaging from the predecessor company to F.L. Smith in New Zealand with the Albany storefront shown. Credit: http://www.zigsam.at/C_NewZealand.htm
A brief search also revealed this letter written by British Captain Edward Hulse in World War I to his mother asking her to obtain the handmade cigarettes: “Please ask F. L. Smith, 12 Burlington Gardens (Albany Cigarette people) to send me twice a week a box of 25 of the cigarettes which they supply me with generally.” Source: http://www.archive.org/stream/letterswrittenfr00hulsrich/letterswrittenfr00hulsrich_djvu.txt
It is often these small connections that are provided by material culture that reflect the greater stories of heroism from the exploration of Antarctica to the battlefields of World War I.