Here’s another fine addition to the box collection, this time a small one (3″ x 1 7/8″). The brand was called “Salome”, after the biblical temptress of the same name. The original Salome was the daughter of Herodias (AD 14-72). The story of her seductive “dance of the seven veils” before King Herod was covered by Gospel writers Mark and Matthew. Apparently Herod was so taken with her belly dancing that he offered her anything that she wanted in the world. Salome, not shy in her demands, required the head of St. John the Baptist. She kissed it when it was presented to her. As far as I know, this box represents Salome’s first advertising gig.
The package design is really quite bold. The deep red paper has a leather-like finish and is deeply embossed with the graphics. The cigarettes themselves (not present), were small, scented and said to have a “Gold Tip”. The Rosedor Cigarette Company, of Brooklyn, obviously spared no expense in positioning this as a premium brand. This particular box is from 1924 and I can imagine “flappers” carrying these in their purses for a night out.
A 1914 advertising poster (shown below, designed by Emil Cardinaux) boldly depicts “Jean Sessler & Company” as the maker of the product, so it is possible that they developed the brand. The Sessler company was aligned with American Tobacco. But take another look at that poster, a masterpiece in itself: it describes the product as “cigarettes orientales” while the graphics include two Egyptian style pillars. The tie to Egypt and the “orient” was common, as we’ve seen with other brands of the period. However, the poster does not quite fit comfortably into the Art Nouveau style so prevalent at the time (from around 1890 to 1920). Instead it appears to anticipate elements of the coming Art Deco movement. The poster designer, Emil Cardinaux, was one of the most sought after designers of the time. It was his 1908 masterpiece, Matterhorn, that launched the modern era of travel posters. Anyway, I’m glad that I picked the box up!
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I couldn’t find information about London’s Day’s Tobacco Company, but I did like the advertising sheet shown below. In particular I like the logo, it has that great “hand drawn” feel to it. Its interesting that so many of the English companies used American Western themes.
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Of all Detroit tobacco entrepreneurs, one stands out — Daniel Scotten. Scotten started in the tobacco business in 1852 as a 33-year-old apprentice to Detroit tobacconist Isaac Miller. Sleeping at the shop and saving his money, Scotten eventually was able to finance his own enterprise which he opened to his eventual good fortune just before the Civil War.
Scotten moved his enterprise to a large factory on West Fort Street in the latter half of the 19th century, when its name was changed to the Scotten-Dillon Company to reflect the addition of a corporate partner. By the 1890s the company had 1.200 employees, a weekly payroll of $8,000, and $4 million in annual sales. Daniel Scotten was involved in a variety of outside interests even into his late 70s. Possessing a peculiar horror of railways and railroad travel, he insisted on carrying on his farflung business affairs by means of his horse-drawn private coach. Scotten invested in Detroit commercial real estate to such an extent that at the time of his death in 1899 he owned nearly 2,500 city plots, the Hotel Cadillac, and business blocks along Gratiot and Randolph Streets. He left to his heirs a $7 million estate and to the Detroit Public Library his 20,000-volume private library of rare volumes.
Pictured are three products of the Scotten-Dillon Company: two versions of Pep Cigarette Tobacco and one of Ramrod. There is a stamp mentioning a date in 1926, so these would have been produced sometime after. I think the Pep design is really quite successful.