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Airplane Ashtray Stand With Pipe Holder, by Metalcraft Mfg. Co. Ltd Circa 1953

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Posted 4 months ago


(96 items)

Airplane Ashtray Stand With Pipe Holder, by Metalcraft Mfg. Co. Ltd Circa 1953 _ The last photo shows the first ad in an Eaton's Spring and Summer Catalog of 1947, which I own, showing their first airplane advertisement !! Pictured with it is what they called a twin light smoker !

The 2nd Photo were some parts that I mentioned I bought at the auction with the 14K gold pin.

The First photo shows the Very Rare Airplane Ashtray with the pipe holder still in perfect shape - usually they are broken or chipped and luckily this was my first time I bought this and it was not broken. If it was broken you would have to get another different tray as there are so few of this particular tray ! This one has extra height and is about 40 inches high. The white onyx glass cone shape is rare also as they usually only come in green, and though I have seen hundreds of these parts, this is the first brown striated one I ever have seen. The onyx/glass slag glass is of the best quality and all parts light up. The airplane has a red bulb in it also. This very ashtray was photo'd for the first book on smoking/ashtray collectibles in 1989 if I remember right !!

I know a lot about the history of the company - founded by the Shapiro family in about 1946 or 47, right after WW2 ! Some are marked Electrolite, but that must have been a subsidiary of Metalcraft, and I have talked to owners, son/grandson and the name Shapiro is the same so it had to be the same company. The person (son) I talked to last was born after the company closed so he still thinks that Electrolite was a separate company, but there are too many similarities and also a rare first name worked at both companies. At first they were made in all chrome as the last photo shows, but in about 1950 they started adding some beautiful slag glass parts (glass/onyx) which they did a simple lighting effect. I have learned how to even sodder lights together with no bulb holder, just so they will look incredible !!~

At Christmas time the owner let the employees have a free one if they wanted, and they could design their own with the best parts the company made if they wanted. I have been lucky to find more than several of these over the many years I have collected, with added height and gorgeous ashtray parts, the best of the best !~

This airplane was in storage for many a year, since I moved to my new home and only now am I going to undertake the task of rebuilding them, as they have been stored as parts for just over a decade and it is time for their moment in the sun !~


  1. Newfld Newfld, 4 months ago
    Really gorgeous ashtray stand, and what a history!
  2. nutsabotas6 nutsabotas6, 4 months ago
    They're fantastic and you have so much knowledge about them !! Love the advertisement too :) !
  3. Caperkid Caperkid, 4 months ago
    Thanks for sharing the pictures and information Phil. A wealth of knowledge you are.
  4. TassieDevil TassieDevil, 4 months ago
    The ashtray stand is great PhilD, but I really really love the greyhound lamp, it is wonderful!!
  5. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 4 months ago
    Thank you Nfld, most appreciated !~
  6. Manikin Manikin, 4 months ago
    I love your airplane ashtray and stand ! It surely is one of the finest I ever saw . Your collections continue to amaze me . xo PS don't forget the eggs <smile>
  7. roddyq roddyq, 4 months ago
    Excellent styled ashtray and write up
  8. inky inky, 4 months ago
    Very interesting write up Phil...always .ove your ‘stuff’.. I hope we get to share the moment in the sun..xoxo
  9. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 3 months ago
    Thank you nutsabot for the encouragement !~
  10. antiquerose antiquerose, 3 months ago
    I love these....such a Flow to them
  11. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 3 months ago
    Thank you Caperkid, Roy, I always remember my delight to see one of these at my first auction in 1978 and the 5.00 price tag. Such good memories !~
  12. buick4554, 3 months ago
    Hi PhilDMorris, would you happen to know where I could find the swivel mechanism, the tops of the cig. containers (mine are dented) and also the round flaps which cover the opening of the ashtrays. I recently bought one of these ashtrays. It had been sitting in a garage for the last 50 years, had some rust on the tubes and props (which I believe are original). The rust was 99% removed with SOS pads - actually it looks much nicer! Mine is the version with the two piece alabaster off the base (no light in the base). The wiring was cut off years ago, but I rewired and kept the original bulb / socket inside the plane. Also, there seem to be several versions where the light switch is located in different places. Either at the base, at the bottom of the plane or on the right side of the plane, the switch coming out one of the windows. Mine has the switch in the window above the wing ( a friend told me that someone had drilled out the window and that it was not the way it originally came) - who knows! I can't seem to find a single good source on these ashtrays. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Gary
  13. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 3 months ago
    I remember years ago I was finding the swivel attachment in a lighting service store which sold them. They also sold switches if the original is shorted, that was when they had only the lamp and one small piece of slag glass. Some of the pieces I did complicated lighting. The dented containers you should eventually possibly find in ashtray parts on ebay, IF you are lucky. There are 2 different parts fitting 2 different trays, not a one size fits all. The round ashtray container pieces you might have to get a metal worker to make for you, or get a bunch made in China if you want to sell some. Years ago I bought extra ashtrays to get the pieces. I usually rewire my ashtrays so there are up to 3 or 4 addition of lights at the bottom. For instance in the 3rd photo I will have to drill 2 more holes in the threaded rod to illuminate all the slag glass parts ! I had made some props years ago with a mould and sodder. I think the original airplane props are quite thin, otherwise I see several on line. Another thing to note is rechroming. I am not sure which province has good rechroming places - I got one in Ontario who knows also what I know about the air ash but they charge from what I estimated was about 500 for the rechroming !! I only had some rechroming done about 25 or 30 years ago, and I believe that was from Edmonton and forget which chromer that was. At that time they did a great job on my lamps and ashtrays, company started with an F. I used to paint the bottom(silver rub or paint) of the ashtray and cig containers since they never originally chromed those parts. A lot of the airplanes WERE drilled in the fuselage windows and that can be O.K. and some of those holes can ruin the airplane's looks as far as I am concerned, big time ! If it does not have any holes I would strongly advise not to drill. Most of those holes were drilled by idiots, big time. Since my airplane ashtrays have multiple parts to light up I just add a switch at the bottom on the long cord so I can light it all up at once. In the airplane fuselage I like to use a red bulb, yrs ago I used to find an attachment which made them blink which I liked.
    I remember chroming one whole air ash which I sold for 350 and the buyer, a pilot, told me it was too expensive. I usually kick them out as they don't know how hard to have one that will knock your socks off and the money you have to spend to get all the parts and then rechrome, especially if you have the most beautiful bases on the planet. My mom owned a beautiful ashtray from Metalcraft with one of the bases which was on the airplane ashtray, her metalcraft lamp, and some ashtrays. They made some very beautiful parts such as the base, and some which I consider "starter" or basic !
  14. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 3 months ago
    Thank you Tassie, I most appreciate the comment, I bought the greyhound for less than 20 dollars.
  15. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 3 months ago
    Thank you Manikin, appreciated xoxo !~

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