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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