Tobacco became popular in Europe in the 1600's, after traders brought back tobacco plants from the Americas. Pipes, borrowed from the Native Americans, were the first popular method of smoking, and were made of wood, bone, clay, and even metal. Some of the most valuable antique pipes are those made of meerschaum, a rare white stone.

Cigars, which have long been popular in Central and South America, have a whole set of collectibles associated with them, including cigar boxes, humidors, cigar cutters, and special cigar lighters.

Next came the cigarette, popularized during the Crimean war when soldiers would roll their pipe tobacco in newsprint. Related collectibles include tobacco tins, tobacco cards, ashtrays, matchbooks, and vintage advertising and signs. Over the years, tobacco companies created iconic logos like Zig-Zag's Zouave and The Camel (later Joe Camel), and put their slogans on everything from clothing to posters to statuettes.

Cigarette lighters are a category all their own, with major brands including Zippo, Ronson, and Dunhill. There's a wide variety of lighters to collect in every material imaginable. Although lighters haven't changed much from their original designs in the early 1900s, the older the lighter, the more decorated they tend to be. And don't forget the lighter's precursor, the lowly but often highly ornamented match holder (aka match safe).

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Kensitas Silk Flowers

Kensitas Silk Flowers

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Matchbox Labels

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Jane McDevitt's huge Flickr photoset of matchbox labels, primarily Eastern European, from the 1950s and 60s. These … [read review or visit site]

Truth in Advertising

Truth in Advertising

This gallery of cigarette magazine advertising from the 1940s and 50s contains no surgeon general's warning, just p… [read review or visit site]

Matchbook Museum

Matchbook Museum

James Lileks' gallery of 400 matchbooks from coffee shops, hotels, motels, bars, banks, restaurants and more. Lilek… [read review or visit site]

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Recent News: Tobacciana

Source: Google News

How to Be a Devils Fan In Ottawa -- 2014-15 Edition
Bleeding Yankee Blue (blog), October 21st

But, either way over the border, you can bring up to 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, and 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco. What you cannot bring from Canada back into the U.S. is Cuban-made cigars. They are still illegal to even possess in the U...Read more

Nonvintage wines still can be magnum opus
Houston Chronicle, October 21st

The stigma attached to nonvintage wines, if not non-vintage sparkling wines, has made winemakers in difficult regions - Texas comes to mind - disinclined to release them. But Texas' wineries, beset by huge variations in grape quantities and quality...Read more

Ellen DeGeneres Takes Paris: Inside the Comedian and Designer's Whirlwind ..., October 21st

Ellen is wearing a harebell-blue shirt designed in collaboration with her full-time stylist Kellen Richards, sage-green chinos, a straw porkpie hat, and a vintage Hermès postman's bag slung over her shoulder. .... The interiors, from dungeon basement...Read more

Five Affordable Vintage Autographs Of All-Time Baseball Greats
Forbes, October 20th

Phil Marks, a prominent dealer who has 25 of experience in sports autographs, put together for me a list of five members of the baseball Hall Fame spanning the 1890s, through the early 1900s tobacco card and “dead-ball” era, up till the 1930s. Besides...Read more

Families flock to Farmers Fest
The Robesonian, October 20th

Rodd Baxley | The Robesonian Antique tractors chug through downtown Fairmont as part of the town's Farmers Festival on Saturday. The parade kicked off the 28th annual event and featured vintage cars, beauty queens, marching bands and local officials...Read more

Restaurant owner: Let's preserve early 1900s tobacco ad revealed by wrecking ...
Mlive Kalamazoo, September 26th

“We'd like to see it preserved, for sure,” Reinert said about the vintage Battle Ax Plug Tobacco ad revealed on the north wall of Republic by demolition of the next-door 41 S. Division Ave. MuCurrin Building on Tuesday, Sept. 23. Unfortunately, it's...Read more

Demolition reveals vintage Battle Ax tobacco ad on Grand Rapids building, September 24th

One appears to be for heating equipment and the other for Battle Ax Plug Tobacco, a vintage brand of chewing tobacco sold by the North Carolina-based American Tobacco Company, a dominant player in the tobacco market broken up into several major ...Read more

Tobacco buyout comes to end
The Robesonian, September 19th

Contributed photo |Tobacco croppers work at a farm in Fairmont in this vintage photo. Tobacco farms once thrived in Fairmont, but the industry has steadily shrunk in and out of Robeson County because of negative attitudes towards smoking, the advent of ...Read more