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
 CANADA IN A BOX 
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 Our American Cousins

Post-Confederation Canada had close ties to Britain, but the presence of American public figures on the labels of Canadian cigar boxes—and the outright use of American labels by Canadian cigar makers—reflects Canada's increasing involvement with the economy and popular culture of the United States.

JULIA MARLOWE
JULIA MARLOWE
Hinged tin box (25)
Factory 24 IRD 17 Circa 1900
Jose Granda Hermanos y Ca., Montreal, Que.
CMC 2003.46.108

Julia Marlow (18661950), English-born American actress, made her acting debut in 1878, in an American juvenile production of Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore. Over the next quarter century she became internationally known for her interpretations of William Shakespeare. She is pictured on this cigar tin, possibly with her distinguished actor husband, E. H. Sothern, in a scene from Romeo and Juliet.

VIRGINIA
VIRGINIA
Trimmed nailed wood box (50)
Factory 7 IRD 32 Series of 1883
H. McKay & Co., London, Ont.
CMC 2005.139.14

John McCullough (18371872) was one of the great actors of the 19th-century American stage, along with Booth and Forrest. He specialized in roles depicting madness—Lear, Hamlet, Virginius. The last, his most famous, was a character in Virginia, based on a classical story about a Roman centurion who killed his daughter rather than allowing her to be raped by one of the city's rulers (a version of the story is told in Chaucer's "Physician's Tale", and is invoked in Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus).

DAVID HARUM
DAVID HARUM
Trimmed nailed wood box (50)
Factory 34 Port 10D Series C
R. G. Dun Cigar Co., Ltd., London, Ont.
CMC 2003.46.33

David Harum is the title character of an American popular novel by Edward Noyes Westcott (18461898) of Syracuse, New York. Harum is a comical, glib-talking banker-cum-horse-trader living in Homer, a village just outside Courtland in upstate New York. Based on a man Westcott encountered while summering in the area, he is given to statements such as, "They say a reasonable amount 'o fleas is good fer a dog—keeps him from broodin' over bein' a dog, mebbe."

Westcott had his manuscript turned down by six publishers; he died shortly after being notified it had been accepted by the seventh. The successful book sold well for 35 years; it was eventually made into a stage play, a silent film, and a talkie version starring Will Rogers.

BUSTER BROWN
BUSTER BROWN
Trimmed nailed wood box (50)
Factory 1 IRD 6 Series of 1915
A. & I. Isaacs, St. John, N.B.
CMC 2004.122.6

Newspaper cartoon character Buster Brown (and his dog "Tige") debuted in 1902. He was a little rich boy, with a pageboy haircut and knee socks, who got into genteel trouble that was always summed up or "RESOLVED" in the final panel. The character was a marketer's dream, licensed by his creator, U.S. comic pioneer Richard Outcault, to more than 200 companies by 1904—most successfully to a shoe company, but also, it seems, to cigar manufacturers such as A. and I. Isaacs.

R. G. DUN
R. G. DUN
Trimmed boite nature box (50)
Factory 34 Port 10D ca. 1927
Likely Benson & Hedges, Montreal, Que.
CMC 2003.46.52

In 1859, the head of the highly successful Mercantile Agency, the first credit information provider to American business, turned the company over to his brother-in-law, R. G. Dun. Dun renamed the company after himself and continued to expand it across the United States, then internationally. In 1933, the company merged with its largest competitor to form Dun & Bradstreet.

STONEWALL JACKSON
STONEWALL JACKSON
Trimmed nailed wood box
Factory 20 IRD 17 Series of 1897
H. Jacobs & Co., Montreal, Que.
CMC D-13737 a-b

Cigars bearing the name and picture of renowned American general, Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson (18241863), who fought on the Confederate side during the Civil War, were one of Canada's biggest sellers for over 60 years.

ROOSEVELT
ROOSEVELT
Hinged tin box
Factory 38 Port 10-D
Simon & Sons, Montreal, Que.
CMC 2001.185.53 Tony Hyman Collection

Named for Theodore ("Teddy") Roosevelt
(18581919), 26th president of the United States.

GEORGE WASHINGTON  CHRISTOF COLUMBUS
GEORGE WASHINGTON CHRISTOF COLUMBUS
Trimmed nailed wood box (50)
Factory 3 IRD 8 Series of 1883
Dussault & Barry, Quebec, Que.
CMC 2003.46.49

A box dedicated to two men associated with American beginnings: George Washington, the country's first president; and Christopher Columbus, credited with discovering America. Each man was once honoured by a festive civic holiday: Washington's Birthday, February 22; and Columbus Day, the second Monday in October. Washington's Birthday was shifted in 1971 to the third Monday in February and redesignated "President's Day." Columbus Day is still Columbus Day, but is now as much the occasion of angry demonstrations by Native Americans as celebrations of the arrival of Europeans to the Western Hemisphere in 1492.

WEBSTER
WEBSTER
Paper-covered wood box (50)
Factory 2 Port 6-D Series of 1915
W.R. Webster, Sherbrooke, Que.
CMC 2004.38.49

Sherbrooke manufacturer W. R. Webster, who made the popular "Dutch Mike" cigar, licensed from the Webster Cigar Company in the United States the right to use American orator Daniel Webster's name and image on another of his brands.


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