Over the years I’ve owned an original Murad cigarette box or two but this one was in such great shape that I couldn’t pass it up. It is basically perfect, and still has the cigarettes inside! Take a look:
And, of course, it is a brand from S. Anargyros, my favorite. Anargyros not only had the foresight to use the Egyptian/Turkish theme but, in my opinion, had wonderful graphics that were a cut above the competition. Murad was an expensive product due not only to the packaging but the fact that it was among the last of the good-sized brands to be hand-rolled. That was true of the Helmar brand as well. This changed somewhat when the giant American Tobacco picked up the brands.
The package indicates that the brand is owned by the Lorillard Co. as successor to S. Anargyros. This would date it to sometime after May 29, 1911. With the break up of the American Tobacco Company, Lorillard was given 15% of the market including most of the “Oriental” brand names including Murad, Helmar, Turkish Trophies, Egyptian Dieties, Mogul and the full Turkish blends.
Other interesting things I learned recently:
1. As late as 1889 lung cancer was a very rare disease. Only 189 cases had been recorded worldwide.
2. In the 1830’s the first organized anti-tobacco movement in US begins as an adjunct to the temperance movement. Tobacco use is considered to dry out the mouth, “creating a morbid or diseased thirst” which only liquor could quench. I’m sure many would agree with that!