New Farm Park, Brisbane

Sunday, May 5, 2013

CIGARETTES IN THE PAST

My mum and dad started smoking in the 30's. It was supposedly very fashionable to smoke and my mum was very fashionable. During the war smoking was claimed to calm the nerves. My parents lived in London and often had to rush to bomb shelters at all times of the day and night carrying two little children. I can see how they both got hooked on smoking. A habit they wanted to ditch in later years but found it very difficult. It wasn't until they were in their 60's and 70's that they managed to quit. 

Mum and Dad in the 30's
When I was going through my mum's belongings after she died I found this old cigarette tin with buttons kept inside. I nearly threw it away until I thought this looks like a really old tin so I removed the label she had stuck on it and kept it not really knowing what to do with it. Now I can use it for Sepia Saturday's meme about cigarettes etc. My guess is the tin of cigarettes was purchased in  early 50's.

An old Benson and Hedges cigarette tin.

The Royal Crest
 Benson and Hedges was founded in 1873 by Richard Benson and William Hedges in London. The business was formed to supply cigarettes to Albert Edward who at the time was Prince of Wales.
The partners were successful, and in the early 1900s started to market their product in the U.S. and Canada.Of particular honour was that the company was issued a Royal Warrant in 1878 to supply their product to the Royal Family.
Due to limited demand in the royal family, Benson and Hedges's Royal Warrant was revoked in 1999. The removal of the crest was greeted positively by anti-smoking groups as a step of reducing cigarettes claim as a legitimate product.

This is a cigarette vending machine dispensing lit cigarettes. See more by clicking on the image.

37 comments:

  1. Very interesting post about cigarettes Diane. My mum started smoking in the air raid shelters during WWII, someone offered her a cigarette telling her it would calm her nerves.

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  2. You might enjoy the Craven A ad at http://thenewemotionalblackmailershandbook.blogspot.com.au/2013_04_01_archive.html#3401272953236945852

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  3. Amazing old tin; I see the name was still Benson and Hedges, not using the ampersand (&) yet. that must have come later. I know that Prince Phillip gave up smoking before he married (or the day he married) the queen. I wondered if you folks ever give up smoking? I hope you're having a great Sunday. Jo

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  4. That's very interesting post. How people have changed the times.

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  5. Diane, your Mum looks so elegant and beautiful, smoking was the in thing!
    My father and my mother did not smoke. I tried it but never liked it, while many of my friends did and some still smoke today. The old tin is interesting.

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  6. Sadly I have to say that I remember tins like that. We must have had a few around the house when I was growing up.

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  7. I believe that King George VI and Princess Margaret both died as a result of smoking so I'm not surprised that eventually Royal Warrants were withdrawn.
    Great tin though.

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  8. My Nana took up smoking in her 60s to 'calm her nerves'. My Mum banished her from the house whenever she smoked.

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  9. It is amazing how times change and now of course smoking is a cancer problem. It amazes me tho' none the less how many young people I see smoking - they should know better I would have thought. Love the tin. Take care Diane

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  10. Nice tin - I have a few similar ones from my father.

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  11. It's a lovely photo of your parents and reminds us all that our parents were not always old. Maybe it will remind our grandchildren, nieces and nephews that we weren't always old. It would be nice to leave some evidence behind, nothing nasty, for the younguns to find and surprise them.

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  12. i love that first photo of you mum and dad, she was beautiful and that is a great photo of them. mother never smoked even though she was of the same generation and her mother and dad smoked. my grandmother was a flapper...and i don't remember ever seeing her without a cigarette in her hand. my dad smoked but quit in 1952.

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  13. Diane, I love the photo of your Mum and Dad. My mother did not smoke but my father smoked a tobacco pipe. Was that ever stinky. I use to smoke myself and quit back in 2001. Neat tin, definitely a memory keeper. Have a happy day!

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  14. Very interesting. No one will be collecting the cigarette packets of today. Gives me an idea. Maybe I should put away a full packet for future collectors in the family. Give it time and cigarettes will become a thing of the past....well hopefully!

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  15. Your mother does indeed look quite fashionable. The tin has an interesting history, so I'm glad you kept it.

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  16. Interesting post! I love the tin, and what an adorable photo of your parents

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  17. i'm glad you saved it - an interesting piece of history, for sure.

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  18. I don't smoke but like the picture of your parent. Special, a picture of that age.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  19. It's good to save those pieces of family history, even smoking-related. Sadly, people really were sold a bill-of-goods on cigarettes back then. My dad received cigarettes in his GI packets when he fought in WWII. He and my mom gave up smoking in their 60s. Bill's mother didn't quit in time to save herself. She said she started smoking when she was 14 and she guessed she'd die smoking. She did.

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  20. I think we all have smoked some time, it was very common in our young years, everybody did. My children never did smoke and I stopped long ago. How times can change, it is even not allowed to smoke in restaurants and cafes anymore here.

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  21. What a lovely photo of your parents. They look so elegant. Both my parents smoked and I used to feel physically sick with the smell. I have never been able to even try a cigarette as the smell still makes me feel sick. My father used to say he had been smoking since the age of 14 and it never did him any harm. He died aged 62 from a coronary followed by a stroke.

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  22. Hi Diane, great trip down memory lane.

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  23. Thanks for the trip down memory lane Diane. I was fascinated by the machine that dispenses lit cigarettes!! (thanks for stopping by my blog again) Wishing you a fun-and-action-filled week.

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  24. That's interesting about the Warrant being revoked. I've always wondered about those. My cynical brain always tells me that someone got paid under the table to get one of those seals on their products.

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  25. I LOVE your Mum's hat!
    The machine dispensing lit cigarettes is a hoot.

    It might have been Bette Davis, but some Hollywood actress said she had to go to "smoking" classes before she could act in a real movie - it was the ultimate device for showing whether a character was creative, angry, nervous or evil.
    When was the last time a cigarette appeared in a Hollywood movie?

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  26. Very fun post and funny we are all so quick to condemn smoking but realize that many of our parents didn't know any better and actually thought it was helpful (oh and stylish). Love the old tin for sure!

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  27. My mother smoked Benson & Hedges! It was what fashionable women did, that's for sure. And isn't it lovely that those days are in the past....

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  28. you found an antique...neat to see it

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  29. What a lovely picture of your parents! Young, happy, in love, and stylish too.

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  30. Yes, that is a very fine photograph of your parents.

    And that is an excellent antique box.

    Here's one on Flickr
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ciaramcdonnell/7929156592/

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  31. As far as Margareth Rose Windsor:
    here's the background story:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1810970.stm

    Interesting post!!
    I suspect there was nothing else to do but wait and smoke in those bomb shelters.

    Your mom makes me think of actress Sigourney Weaver, in a good suit and hat!! Very smart looking!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  32. diane, Your mum was indeed very chic. As for the cigs, my dad smoked all his life, and said it was very hard to quit.

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  33. I agree with all the above...what a really interesting post and walk down memory lane. I feel very fortunate that I never had the desire to smoke, even as a teenager. Did smoking ever cause health problems for your parents?

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  34. Of course it was very fashionable to smoke at that time ! My parents did exactly the same as yours ! And when I watch Agatha Christie's Miss Marple series, women smoke like chimneys with long cigarette holders ! (and some of them are still alive, lol)

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  35. It's hard to believe it was so cool to smoke back then Diana, my parents were the same..Dad never managed to give up but Mum did at least fifteen years before she passed, unfortunately too late to stop the damage.

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  36. Would you believe there is no smoking on the beaches of Massachusetts and Rhode Island (not that I would really call them beaches!)

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