Canada in a Box, Cigar Containers that Store Our Past 1883-1935 Canada in a Box, Cigar Containers that Store Our Past 1883-1935 Back Next
Canada in a Box, Cigar Containers that Store Our Past 1883-1935
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La Bote Bilingue

Cigar markets at the end of the 19th century were local, and the demand for cigars among Canadian French-speakers—traditionally pipe smokers and tobacco chewers—was relatively small. So while Canadian tins of pipe and chewing tobacco were often bilingual, cigar boxes were usually in English—even brands produced by French-owned firms in Montreal, Quebec City, and the Eastern Townships. However, there were exceptions enough, both in language and imagery, and increasingly so by the 1930s, to show that Canada was home to both French- and English-speakers.

LE CARDINAL LE CARDINAL
Trimmed nailed wood box (100)
Factory 6 IRD 17 Series of 1883
S. Davis & Sons, Montreal, Que.
CMC 2003.46.100

IDEAL IDEAL
Trimmed nailed wood box (50)
Factory 2 IRD 9 Series of 1897
Nap. E. Godin, Trois-Rivières, Que,
CMC 2004.38.15

LA CHAMPAGNE CIGAR LA CHAMPAGNE CIGAR
Trimmed nailed wood box (10)
Factory 18 IRD 17 Series of 1897
La Champagne Cigar Limitée, Montreal, Que.
CMC 2001.185.29 Tony Hyman Collection

GRANDMOTHER GRANDMOTHER
Trimmed nailed wood box (50)
Factory 29 Port 10D Series of 1922
La Champagne Cigar Limitée, Montreal, Que.
CMC 2004.122.13

DALIA  PARFUM DU SOIR DALIA PARFUM DU SOIR
Trimmed nailed wood box (50)
Factory 14 Port 10D Series of 1922
La Champagne Cigar Limitée, Montreal, Que.
CMC 2003.46.67

7-2-4 7-2-4
Trimmed nailed wood box (50)
Factory 32 Port 10D Series C
De Luxe Cigar Factory, Montreal, Que.
CMC 2003.46.19

SPECIAL HAVANE DE DUPUIS
SPECIAL HAVANE DE DUPUIS
Trimmed nailed wood box (50)
Factory 38 Port 10D Series C
Dupuis Frères Limitée, Montreal, Que.
CMC 2003.46.16

Dupuis Frères was not a cigar manufacturer, but Montreal's French-Canadian answer to the major English-speaking department stores, Eaton's and Simpson's. Proudly chauvinistic, Dupuis conducted its business in French in extensive in-store and catalogue operations and was esteemed in turn by the Francophone populace.

When it sold the cigars in this box in the 1930s, Dupuis was actively participating in a "buy domestic" ("l'Achat chez nous") campaign—i.e., from French Canadian businesses. However, these cigars were made by the decidedly Anglo cigar manufacturer, H. Simon and Sons. Dupuis's carrying them under its own label indicates increasing participation by French Canadians in this form of tobacco consumption.



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