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100 Year Old Gold Block Tin - 4oz Seal Intact (Pic Heavy)

(76 posts)
  1. ashdigger

    ashdigger

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    I acquired this super cool 4 oz tine of Gold Block. It is a cutter-top with the paper seal. The can is SOLID with no air holes. I currently have no plans on smoking it, but I'm weak and love ancient baccy!!

    You think the FDA is goofy. This a turn of the century pipe tobacco with a fine and warning.... It reads "The retailer or Vendor is required to obliterate the Stamp on Sale before Delivery to the Purchaser Under Penalty of £20.....Not Exceeding Four Ounces.....This package must be sold Entire!!

    As you can see the Tax Stamp is still affixed. Yes, I'm a criminal.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. buroak

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    Wow! I love that tin. It is politically incorrect today, but progressive compared to some of its contemporaries.

    Life contains a particle of risk. - Allardyce T. Meriweather in Little Big Man
    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. josephcross

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    Too cool for school! God I'd be so tempted.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. beastinview

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    Truly awesome. Thanks for posting, especially the pictures.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    Because Negro is so much more polite than.....

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. dread

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    Super cool! I like the writing - Negroh . . . WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    Couldn't help it.

    ". . . I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul."
    - INVICTUS
    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. buroak

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    Because Negro is so much more polite than.....

    I'm not trying to defend the term used on the label.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. danielplainview

    dave g

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    Very cool. Love the artwork on these old tins.

    Calm down guys. Negro is Spanish for black.

    Make aromatics great again.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    I'm not trying to defend the term used on the label.

    No, I didn't assume that you were.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. dread

    dread

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    Everybody is calm - I'm Black and having fun with it. It is a historic term. I could make your heads explode with the pros and cons of the term, but I won't.

    I found a British statute all the way from 1846 discussing the importation of this specific tobacco (the specific use of the term "negrohead" intrigued me as an academic, so I did a little poking around). Pretty neat - dull and boring reading no doubt, but neat to see it from so long ago. Makes the tin even cooler Tim.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=wK4uAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA649&lpg=PA649&dq=british+use+of+negrohead&source=bl&ots=tcPEpY5f2f&sig=Y1tYKqgMnN4Xwp3niEocMl_9pc0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiOk5Cb_erRAhUG9WMKHS62DwMQ6AEIITAC#v=onepage&q=british%20use%20of%20negrohead&f=false

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. buroak

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    All is calm here. I just wanted to eliminate all possibility of my comment being misconstrued.

    I didn't start dusting off my dueling pistols, and I doubt woodsroad was, either.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. hawky454

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    Very cool man! I would smoke it though. How often are you gonna get the chance to smoke 100 year old tobacco? Go for it!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. jmill208

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    Wow, thread derailed over an obsolete term. Do y'all giggle when someone mentions Lake Titicaca?

    Back to the tobacco. Awesomeness! So many questions on that tin.
    From?
    How?
    How much? (Not trying to offend, just curious)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. whitesands77

    whitesands77

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    SUPER COOL! I would crack it and smoke it down... Investing in the memory of the smoke is better than saying you just possessed it. It traveled all this way through time to get in your pipe...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. condorlover1

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    Its an interesting tin. I had not seen the 1/4 Lb tins before, only the 2oz tins which occasionally surface on the market at crazy prices. Thats a very old specimens and it is unusual to see one with its paper wrapper still intact. I saw a cutter top tin of Red Rapparte on Ebay the other day that still had its paper wrapper although I don't know what it finally sold for in the end. I have had quite a few of these tins over the years and most of them have found their way down to Tim as I just don't have the interest or inclination to smoke the damn things!

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    We're allowed to duel here? Neat!

    A man who serves his country is a patriot. A man who serves his government is an employee. The two are not always the same thing.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. mortonbriar

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    Family duels only.

    I don't really care if the cup is half full or half empty, I just want something to sip on.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. skraps

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    Good shite, Tim. Very cool. Lots of history there and I bet that is one tasty tin of baccy.

    "People are not made better by a briar. An idiot before smoking a pipe is still an idiot after smoking a pipe, they're just more likely to speak less drivel with something in their mouth. For that, all society should be grateful."

    - Bob Runowski
    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. theloniousmonkfish

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    Real nice, congrats. We cracking that thing open tomorrow?.....

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    heimedvw

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    That's a amazing find. If you to crack it open post more pics. It would be interesting to see one hundred year old tobacco!!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. jefff

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    I'd smoke it.

    Hell I would probably bring it to a pipe show or gather a large handful of pipe smoking friends and bust it wide open.

    Then again, it;s not my money..:)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. ashdigger

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    If I smoke it...... I'll do a group tasting like I did with the FVF.

    I'm not greedy and I think it would be fun.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. mortonbriar

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    Cant wait to hear the tin note review, see pics of the leaf etc etc!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. jefff

    jefff

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    Count me in!

    I would stress about the pipe..... would it be wrong to use a fresh cob?.... maybe a favored briar?

    Shoot..... thats a lot of stress.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. balkisobrains

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    If I had a lot into it, and I bought it because it has the wrapper on it, I guess I would keep it sealed. But, if I didn't spend too much on it, and was curious as to how the tobacco is doing, I guess I would open it up. Plus, there seems to be some rust developing on the tin surface, which would cause me to open it if I thought it was still sealed, for fear of the rust making its way through.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. ashdigger

    ashdigger

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    Balkisobrains, so what you're saying is, rust never sleeps, or am I crazy riding my horse?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. jefff

    jefff

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    Either way, Life is cool.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. snoopy311

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    I’d love to try it and then sell it for a profit. Best of both worlds.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  29. ashdigger

    ashdigger

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    Snoopy, once it's opened its value drops like a yard dart thrown by my drunk uncle.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  30. balkisobrains

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    It would be a let-down to open it and find it already dried out from a rusty pinhole. How can you tell if it is still sealed? Perhaps heating or cooling it slightly and observing? I'm guessing that a complete un-opened can with a pinhole and dried-out tobacco is worth more money than an opened can with dried-out tobacco. But, would an opened can with fresh tobacco be worth more to you than an un-opened can with dried-out tobacco? At that point I guess you would have to go back to why you bought it in the first place, and possibly be prepared for dismay if you crack it and it's dried-out already.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  31. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    I'd rather have a tin seal than a sealed tin.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  32. ashdigger

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    Balkisobrains, I have had many tins from the 1920's to 60's in my hands. Three have been compromised by leaks....you can detect the contents "moving" when you shake it. The contents when dried out shrink and that shrinkage shows up as movement and "noise".

    I hope this can is solid, it sounds solid, but can I guarantee it? Nope. Just like I couldn't guarantee the burned out building I was in today wouldn't collapse while I was in it.

    So it's easy for me to roll the dice.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  33. balkisobrains

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    Too bad there's not an authoritative Tin Grading Service out there. I've seen price guides, but I've never seen a grading service for tins. Seems like the people collecting the sealed tins don't care about the condition of the tobacco inside. If that's not you, and you think it's good and will keep, you could open it now, or put it away for a while. There's got to be a point where it stops aging though, right?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  34. ashdigger

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    Balkisobrains, my guess is that it stopped aging substantially a long, long time ago. BUT having said that, I didn't aquire it because I want to taste something that continued aging for nearly a century. I acquired it because I'm curious and am lucky enough to have a friend that feeds my curiosity stream. He only smokes one blend.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  35. lonestar

    lonestar

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    Very cool find Tim !
    You are such a criminal. You could sell me *some* of that tobacco and go for the double felony

    -Ryan Alden
    Posted 2 years ago #
  36. ophiuchus

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    I'm picking my jaw up from the floor. That is so cool!

    Smoke it! Smoke it! (I know ... it has value as a full tin ... )

    Posted 2 years ago #
  37. condorlover1

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    The trouble with all these old tins is that they smell wonderful when you first open them but the flavors dissipate very quickly and you wind up smoking something that tastes very flat thereafter. I have commented before that back in the early 1980s a store close to me where I used to live in the UK called Gidea Park Tobacco Stores closed down and they had several large boxes of sealed 'cutter top' tins that were sold off for a pound a tin. Most of it was Gold Flake and Capstan and several other well known 1930s UK OTC blends and it was OK to smoke but went down hill pretty quickly after opening. I still can never understand the crazy money that is paid on Ebay for these tins but then I suppose its the novelty value.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  38. jvnshr

    jvnshr

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    Nice find. Congrats Tim.

    Javan
    Posted 2 years ago #
  39. jpmcwjr

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    Gorgeous tin!

    A thought occurred to me that perhaps you can—to some degree—have your cake and smoke it too.... What about cutting through the bottom of the tin, extracting all the baccy, (and probably re-hydrating) Done carefully, the cut out could be mended back in place. That way all the cool seals stay intact. The value to a collector would diminish, but not as much as seals, etc. broken.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  40. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Hi Tim,

    Very cool tin. Personally, I'd keep it as it is. Much rarer to find all the stamps intact, etc. The rust is a concern and you can use one of those magnifying glasses with the onboard hi intensity lights to check for holes.

    The trouble with all these old tins is that they smell wonderful when you first open them but the flavors dissipate very quickly and you wind up smoking something that tastes very flat thereafter. I have commented before that back in the early 1980s a store close to me where I used to live in the UK called Gidea Park Tobacco Stores closed down and they had several large boxes of sealed 'cutter top' tins that were sold off for a pound a tin. Most of it was Gold Flake and Capstan and several other well known 1930s UK OTC blends and it was OK to smoke but went down hill pretty quickly after opening. I still can never understand the crazy money that is paid on Ebay for these tins but then I suppose its the novelty value.

    And that's the other issue. Tobaccos have a lifespan, even in the tin, and then they just go strange. Even if it smells reasonably good, exposure to fresh oxygen generally kills superannuated blends very quickly. If it isn't mummy dust, it's sludge. As for the super high prices that some shell out for 50 year and older tins, well, belief in fairies dies hard, and PT Barnum was right. That said, among the sludge, wraiths, mummies, and other night terrors of ancient tobacco, I have experienced a few really remarkable smokes, but the odds are pretty long and I'm not going to pay for the privilege of gambling.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 2 years ago #
  41. ashdigger

    ashdigger

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    Sable, we've had conversations about my crazy love of very old blends and we absolutely agree. Having said that, life is a gamble, the price was right (gift), so we'll see where it ends up.

    Look folks, I'm a weirdo, I love history, I love old blends. Whatever I do with this tin won't be motivated by cost or any financial interest. That's not my thing. I'm very fortunate by the opportunity I have for a career and lifestyle. I'm more driven by shared experiences and assisting others down their baccy journey. If I was solely guided by monetary concerns I would have sold the 80 pipes I've given away and the roughly 50 lbs of baccy, but that's not what makes me tick.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  42. fitzy

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    Very cool tin.

    I hear voices chanting:
    OPEN IT!
    OPEN IT!
    OPEN IT!

    "These are ghosts that are more at home in a girdle-filled drawer than one of my pipes." Quote by Neil Archer Roan on lakeland ghosts
    Posted 2 years ago #
  43. whitesands77

    whitesands77

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    Hmmmmm, something even better than investing in the memory of smoking it you say?... investing in others memories and fellowship... it seems that tin fell into the right hands.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  44. balkisobrains

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    How rare is what you have there, in that condition? There's not really a lot of tin art there to go crazy about, but how hard would it be to find another one just like it, or better, if you wanted to?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  45. samcoffeeman

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    Sable/Jesse and Condorlover/Simon:
    I have to kindly disagree. I opened up a cutter top tin of unknown age about a year ago. I just recently smoked another bowl of it and it is as good or better than the day I opened it. It may in fact be one of the best tobaccos o have smoked! Purchased from Pipestud and completely intact, I hope I get a chance to share some of this Bailiwick Navy Cut with you. Although I do agree this may be out of the norm, certainly not all tobaccos will stand the test of time.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  46. condorlover1

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    Sam you got really lucky with that tin. You are absolutely right in that exceptions do happen in the 'cutter top' universe but on the whole I have found stuff to be a little on the flat side. I opened a 2 oz 'cutter top' tin of Condor yesterday and found the experience like smoking Condor Plug I had previously sliced and then left in the pocket of my leather trench coat for a few weeks. It was recognizable as Condor but tasted a little on the flat side, once mixed up with some other plug I smoke it seem to pep up a bit but there you go.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  47. cosmicfolklore

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    Nice Tim. I'd be willing to try it.
    Life is a gamble, to get the high payoffs, you gotta take the larger risks.

    Michael
    Posted 2 years ago #
  48. mayfair70

    mayfair70

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    As a historian, I wouldn't open it. Leave it as is, since there are few, if any, more of them out there.

    As a pipe smoker, I would have opened it yesterday. Let us know how it tastes!!

    The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made. -Groucho Marx
    Mouse-catcher on The Black Frigate
    Posted 2 years ago #
  49. jpmcwjr

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    I love the way you put the dichotomy, mayfair! A beautiful dilemma.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  50. cosmicfolklore

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    I was trying to find out something about the company, is it D. Ritchievby, Ritchieoby, Ritchieobo, none of which even registers even a twerk on Google. Sigh... this is where we need our "Mr. little letter" guy to do some research for us.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  51. bryguysc

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    That is really cool!
    Open and smoke it!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  52. jpmcwjr

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    I was trying to find out something about the company, is it D. Ritchievby, Ritchieoby, Ritchieobo, none of which even registers even a twerk on Google. Sigh... this is where we need our "Mr. little letter" guy to do some research for us.

    Yes we do miss him! I wonder if the Ritchiexxx might have been a sub of one of the following. What a history! From Wiki:

    The Imperial Tobacco Company was created in 1901 through the amalgamation of 13 British tobacco and cigarette companies: W.D. & H.O. Wills of Bristol (the leading manufacturer of tobacco products at that time), John Player & Sons of Nottingham, and 11 other independent family businesses, which were in competition with companies from the United States by the American Tobacco Company.[7][8] First W. D. & H. O. Wills of Bristol merged with Stephen Mitchell & Son of Glasgow. Subsequently, other smaller companies including Lambert & Butler, William Clarke & Son, Franklyn Davey, Edwards Ringer & Bigg, Hignett Brothers, Hignett's Tobacco, Adkins & Sons, Richmond Cavendish, D&J MacDoland, and F&J Smith joined in the amalgamation. In 1904, James & Finlay Bell Ltd merged with Stephen Mitchell & Son. The Company's first chairman was William Henry Wills of the Wills Company.[7]

    Posted 2 years ago #
  53. sablebrush52

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    I have to kindly disagree. I opened up a cutter top tin of unknown age about a year ago. I just recently smoked another bowl of it and it is as good or better than the day I opened it. It may in fact be one of the best tobaccos o have smoked! Purchased from Pipestud and completely intact, I hope I get a chance to share some of this Bailiwick Navy Cut with you. Although I do agree this may be out of the norm, certainly not all tobaccos will stand the test of time.

    Hi Sam,

    Exceptions do happen. In my experience so far, they have been few compared to the night horror variety. But when the exception does happen, it a pretty exceptional exception!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  54. jiminks

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    One exception was the 1960s Balkan Sobranie that Simon gave me. It was fresh, moist, and had lost almost nothing during the years it was in the sealed tin. I was incredibly lucky.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  55. condorlover1

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    I used to fish out the Turkish tobacco bits to roll cigarettes with Jim!!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  56. voorhees

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    very cool.

    Jason
    Posted 2 years ago #
  57. beefeater33

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    What a find this is! I couldn't open it, but that's just me..........

    "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dream..."
    Willy Wonka
    Posted 2 years ago #
  58. ashdigger

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    I've shared the high of the Black Mallory tin and now the lows of superannuated baccy. While I was moving the tin of Gold Block I noticed a "shake" of the contents of the tin. I explored further and found a pin hole in the bottom. I then put the tin to my nose and push on the tin and could feel the air move in and out. I could smell the contents. I opened it up and it's a tin of mummy baccy. I'll post pictures in a bit. I'm going to try and rehydrate it. Nothing to lose at this point.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  59. woodsroad

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    Mwah, mwah, mwah....

    Posted 2 years ago #
  60. ashdigger

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    Exactly. That's the gamble. If you know the risks, it's all part of the game. That's why I post these things. Cautionary tales of crazy success and abysmal defeat, but if you don't try, you'll never learn. Now I'm smoking more Black Mallory that is absolutely fantastic!!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  61. sablebrush52

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    Let us know how the rehydration works out. Good luck!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  62. woodsroad

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    Now I'm smoking more Black Mallory that is absolutely fantastic!!

    That will cover for about a dozen abysmal failures.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    jguss

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    Beautiful tin; I'm sorry it was compromised. Hopefully the rehydration will work!

    As for the originator of the blend, the cursive script utilized at this time is deceptive in the extreme. The name really reads "D. Ritchie & Co.". Yes, I know it doesn't look like that, but trust me: that's what it says.

    I'm sorry I don't have time for a real write-up, but in brief David Ritchie was born in Ireland in 1852, immigrated to Canada in 1865, and set up shop in Montreal about 1876 under the name Dominion Cut Tobacco works. The business operated out of various addresses before being bought in 1895 by the newly formed American Tobacco of Canada as part of their roll-up of the Canadian cigarette industry. ATC in turn was swallowed up by Imperial Tobacco of Canada in 1908, a by-product, as I recall, of the turbulence surrounding the anti-trust activity then targeted at American Tobacco.

    Incidentally, if you track down an image of one of the Ritchie tins the cursive is more obviously a rendition of "D. Ritchie & Co."

    Posted 2 years ago #
  64. aquadoc

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    Hey another cool tin! Hoping it is aOK to smoke.

    "If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and sex, you don't actually live longer; it just seems that way."
    Posted 2 years ago #
  65. hawky454

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    I've shared the high of the Black Mallory tin and now the lows of superannuated baccy. While I was moving the tin of Gold Block I noticed a "shake" of the contents of the tin. I explored further and found a pin hole in the bottom. I then put the tin to my nose and push on the tin and could feel the air move in and out. I could smell the contents. I opened it up and it's a tin of mummy baccy. I'll post pictures in a bit. I'm going to try and rehydrate it. Nothing to lose at this point.

    You might be surprised. I just recently rehydrated some mummified Condor Sliced from the 80's that was only wrapped in foil and low and behold it smoked pretty damn good! I then threw a bit of fresh Condor in with it and it came back to life completely! I look forward to hearing about your experience with it.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  66. condorlover1

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    Was there anything else in the tin Tim like a leaflet or money off coupon?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  67. jvnshr

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    Sorry for hearing that Tim, I hope rehydration works for you though.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  68. didimauw

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    It will only light, in a 100 year old pipe, just so ya know...

    "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
    Posted 2 years ago #
  69. ashdigger

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    Didimod, I have plenty of 100 year old plus pipes.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  70. ashdigger

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    Okay. Here's the updated photos of the interior of the tin and stuff. This is NOT a cutter top. It is just a twist off lid after the seal is broken. The lid came off freakishly easy. Under the lid is the large paper disc and then under it is the "buy British". The coolest find was a paper packet, that at first I thought was sample cigarettes, because Gold Block was used extensively for cigarette filler, but instead it contained four pipe cleaners.

    I managed to get the tobacco out in essentially one large clump, so that should make hydrating it easier as opposed to re-hydrating mummy dust that resembles snuff.

    The pictures show the sequence. I'll let you folks know how the hydration project goes.

    Posted 2 years ago #

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