Tobacco (Card) Store Advertisements - Now - Focus on Helmar Cigarettes

Stone193Stone193 Posts: 23,867 ✭✭✭✭✭

We all know of the rich relationship between the tobacco companies and trading cards.

I had an old thread, but I decided to start over.

I’ll try to add things along with some historical context in small bites as not to bore everyone to death. (thumb)

I’ll start with tobacco company “advertisements” that were sent to shops throughout the nation.

I’ve got a few to share.

I’m going to start with the most recent - tho not in the best of shape, it proves to have the chromolithographic print design emblematic of the period.

I picked it up because I have a sealed Mogul Pack with the “premium” still attached.

In this case, it contains a leather patch premium - approximately 1 3/4 X 2”

The original picture frame is 12.5 X 16.5”

MOGUL Egyptian Cigarettes - 1910

A division of S. Anargyros which is also a division of P. Lorillard Co. I will talk later about the antitrust breakup of one of the biggest monopolies in American history - primarily the American Tobacco Company.

First the pack, picked up a few years ago:

E.g. of the premium of which my pack still contains all the original packaging:

And the framed advertisement - original frame:

(if you notice - the pack in the picture is the same as the one I picked up)

Notice in these photos how framed tobacco ads were placed in the store - wish I could've found some with ads that I have.

Next coming up will be Helmar - I've got a bit of interesting history behind this company.



  • bishopbishop Posts: 2,902 ✭✭✭

    Very neat stuff Mike. Thanks for posting it

    Topps Baseball-1948, 1951 to 2017
    Bowman Baseball -1948-1955
    Fleer Baseball-1923, 1959-2007

  • Stone193Stone193 Posts: 23,867 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @bishop said:
    Very neat stuff Mike. Thanks for posting it

    Hiya Al

    Thanx buddy.

    I thought I'd change the "narrative" a bit with something else.

    Not gonna have much luck I guess?


  • mcolney1mcolney1 Posts: 881 ✭✭✭

    As a kids tobacco cards seemed so mysterious with their unusual names, places, hard to read/pronounce words. Thanks for sharing and my eye still catches and my mind lingers on words like Mogul, Obak, Sweet Caporal, Piedmont, Imperial and the exotic Middle Eastern people depicted...who were these men and what was their story?

    Collecting Topps, Philadelphia and Kellogg's from 1964-1989
  • Stone193Stone193 Posts: 23,867 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @mcolney1 said:
    As a kids tobacco cards seemed so mysterious with their unusual names, places, hard to read/pronounce words. Thanks for sharing and my eye still catches and my mind lingers on words like Mogul, Obak, Sweet Caporal, Piedmont, Imperial and the exotic Middle Eastern people depicted...who were these men and what was their story?

    I will be adding to the story as an ongoing thread.

    Here's a little known factoid on the "naming" of these products.

    One of the companies named their product "Ramleh" after the city for popularity.

    Problem? They were competing with another company's brand - "Ramly" which I'm sure we've all seen the rather ornate cards they produced.

    They were sure brand confusion was occurring.

    So, some bright employee proposed: "why not just reverse the name?" So Ramleh became Helmar.

    The Ramly pack is not mine.

    These 2 are mine - actually a member who doesn't post anymore "gifted" the Ramleh pack to me a few years ago.


  • BenG76BenG76 Posts: 1,047 ✭✭✭

    I have a pack very similar to the bottom one you pictured. I got it to go along with my T107 set I've been working on.

  • nam812nam812 Posts: 9,408 ✭✭✭

    Very interesting about stuff about how Helmar got it's name Mike. Never knew that, thanks for sharing.

  • ArchStantonArchStanton Posts: 1,124 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for posting. I would love to see more about the Helmar story.

    Collector of 1976 Topps baseball for some stupid reason.
    Collector of Pittsburgh Pirates cards for a slightly less stupid reason.
    My Pirates Collection
  • cincyredlegscincyredlegs Posts: 2,039 ✭✭✭

    Great thread Mike. Would like to see a bigger image of the two B&W pictures with the shopkeep in the photo. I bet there was some cool stuff in the display cases.



    T206 Set - 300/524
  • Stone193Stone193 Posts: 23,867 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanx for the kind words guys!

    This will be an ongoing thread with loads of stuff - that's a promise.

    Hiya Mark - good to see you buddy. Unfortunately that's how big they were in the place I found them.


  • axelrichaxelrich Posts: 43 ✭✭

    Nice Collection... :)

  • Stone193Stone193 Posts: 23,867 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 10, 2019 7:05PM

    Had to post this again - it's color just pops on the wall!

    Helmar Cigarettes

    The origin of Helmar Cigarettes:

    The Egyptian Ideal and Tobacco Works started producing Ramleh cigarettes in 1902.

    By 1907, they were being made by S. Arnogyros (they also produced Turkey Red - more on that later) - a branch of the American Tobacco Co.

    The American Tobacco Co. felt that the name was too confusing - since Ramleh (city in Israel) resembled a competitor - Ramly Cigarettes which were made by the Mentor Cigarette Co., Boston, MA. I read - but won't say this is gospel - that Mentor made the cigarettes "after" Ramleh to capitalize on their popularity.

    So, they decided to change the name but keep the cool Egyptian graphics. Later, someone came up with the idea of 'reversing' the name - thus the birth of Helmar.

    20 cigarette size pack:

    Here's an old ad for the Ramleh product and what the pack looked like - I gotta say, I didn't know Helmar had another trade name.

    and again - the pack:

    Now, fast forward from 1907 to 1911: the Supreme Court ruled against tobacco - they were in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 - the major companies to emerge out of the decision were: The American Tobacco Co., R.J. Reynolds, Liggett & Meyers Tobacco Co., Lorillard and British-American Tobacco.

    Thus, now - Lorillard is the producer of Helmar product - though of interest - I noticed the Arnogyros name is still on the inside of the cover to the packs. The Lorillard name is on the outside edge of the packs. And at some point, I believe - based on different packs - it was removed all together.

    Cool ad for Helmar (not mine)

    So the product came in 3 sizes that I know of - 10, 20 and 50 cigarette boxes.

    For those who might not know? The tobacco companies in the early 1900s put "blank" cardboard in the 10 pack to give it support. Then some "ad guy" got the idea of turning them into pieces of advertisement with some kind of pic on the front.
    IMO, Helmar didn't need the cardboard since the packs were pretty sturdy compared to other products of the era.

    Here's an example that I have of the metal 50 ct. cigarette box:

    A few years back, I found a really cool cardboard advertisement that was found in an old tobacco store in Boston:

    And I was lucky enough to find a Helmar "carton" box along with the empty packs.

    In terms of premiums, Helmar did stamps, silks and leathers (which were pretty large at 9 1/2 X 7 3/8")

    I think that's enough for now.

    More to come.


  • ssdawg77ssdawg77 Posts: 1,100 ✭✭✭

    Great read Mike, thanks for posting.

  • Stone193Stone193 Posts: 23,867 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanx Stoney.

    A few more pics to close out Helmar.

    I'd really like to find an ad like this to frame.

    I should have some information later on packs - I believe that Helmar used the same packaging up to around 1955 or so?


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