January 7

What was published in a colonial newspaper 250 years ago this week?

Jan 7 - 1:6:1766 Connecticut Courant
Connecticut Courant (January 6, 1766)

“Augustus Deley, Tobaconist (from New York) … keeps constantly for Sale, ALL Sorts of TOBACCO.”

I suggested that yesterday’s advertisement for Yorkshire muffins (Yorkshire pudding) used words to evoke some of the smells of a colonial port city.  This advertisement does so as well.  It also prompts readers to imagine other goods that consumers needed to purchase or possess.  Just as sugar nippers were necessary for consuming the sugar loaves featured earlier this week, “Chewing, or Smoaking” tobacco required various accoutrements.

Daley notes he supplies “Hog-Tail, Pig-Tail, and Shagg in Papers.”  These wrappers were likely unadorned, marking a significant deviation from tobacco advertising on the other side of the Atlantic.  By the turn of the eighteenth century, as Catherine Molineux notes, “Tobacconists and other tradespeople began commissioning local artisans to engrave or etch trade cards, billheads, and what the British Museum characterizes as tobacco papers, or wrappers.” [1]  Although trade cards and billheads became increasingly common among other occupational groups in America as the eighteenth century progressed, either tobacconists did not provide wrappers that advertised their wares or such printed ephemera has not survived.

If you have encountered eighteenth-century tobacco wrappers distributed by American tobacconists, I would very much appreciate knowing about them!

An eighteenth-century tobacco advertisement from the collections of the British Museum, London.

[1] Catherine Molineux, “Pleasures of the Smoke:  ‘Black Virginians’ in Georgian London’s Tobacco Shops,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd. ser., 64, no. 2 (April 2007): 343.

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