The packages and wrappers of tobacco give a beautiful vision on the history of advertisement. They illustrate the style, and fashion of the time but also the appreciation of the product. When small workshops for cutting tobacco grow and transform into factories standardisation is introduced in the packing of tobacco. The fashion of the time is illustrated by the choice of the paper, the shape of the packages and especially the print on the outside.
Till late in the twentieth century the original wooden printing blocks are kept in use, like the one with the mottled horse. Next to these old fashioned styles new more luxourious designs are brought on market. Hendriks in the town of Kampen for instance packed his tobacco in a colourfull printed paper with the view on a landscape with hills and piramids, while not very logical in the front tobacco plants are cultivated. Other wrappers are as colourfull but more designed for a text.
With the introduction of the machine filled tobacco wrapper the tobacco bag is replaced by a sheet of printed paper. These sheets are often folded over an underpaper. Of course the design follows the shape of the package.
When wrappers are bought by traditional customers, the design is withdrawn and often oldfashioned. The wrappers for baai-tobacco are illustrative for that. Some factories however have a more modern approach. An example is the fresh design by Jac Jongert produced for the Dutch firm Van Nelle in Rotterdam, that leaves every tradition far behind.
In the 1930's we still meet with old-Dutch portraits and interiors, having the look of the cowsy smoking father blowing clouds of pleasant smelling smoke in the room. These designs are later replaced by that one of an airplane. Slowly onwards the design becomes straighter, especially when the importance of the plain long cut tobacco is replaced by aromatic flavored tobaccos and certainly the cigarette. Modern design proves more interested in the cigarette box with its colourfull Egyptian or Turkish design than for pipe tobaccos.
After 1950 the only innovation is the introduction of the pouch, the wrapper with the round going illustration covered with plastic. This certifies the freshness of the tobacco while the plastic protects the paper so that the brand name remains visible.
Illustrations on this page from the collections of Amsterdam Pipe Museum
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