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Benares House Gallery
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Cigarette Tin: Player’s Navy Cut Cigarettes
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Title: Cigarette Tin: Player’s Navy Cut Cigarettes
Identifier: 2006.1.75
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: 1970-1980
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A rectangular cigarette tin with a hinged lid. The colour is mainly medium blue with red, yellow illustration on the lid. The illustration is of a sailor's head inside a life preserver. The sailor is wearing a blue cap and he has a beard. A 3 x 2 cm piece of glued paper and hard white plaster is spilled onto the centre of the lid, partly covering the image of the sailor. The words "Player's Navy Cut" are printed on the life preserver in red. "Cigarettes" is printed in red at the bottom of the lid. The background image is a sea shore scene with the ocean, sky, a lighthouse on a rocky shore and a drawing of a tall multi-masted ship. The top (proper right) corner has the company trade mark - a s x 1.5 cm oval with an illustration of a castle and the words "Trademark - Nottingham Castle Registered". Two sides of the tin have "Navy Cut Cigarettes" printed on them and two ends of the tin have "Player's" printed on them. In fine print on one side are the words "Manufactured by Imperial Tobacco Co. of Canada Limited, Montreal, Canada." The inside of the lid is black and gold and has the same illustration as on the top. The remains of an excise stamp reading "50 Cigarettes" are stuck to each end of the tin. Information on the bottom of the tin reads: "Factory No. 6, Inland Revenue No. 17. Notice: The Manufacturer of the Cigarettes herein contained has complied with all the requirements of the law. Every person is cautioned not to use this package for packing Cigarettes again, nor to use the stamp, nor the stamped wrappers upon the packages of Cigarettes, constituting the contents of this package, under the penalties provided by law in such cases."

John Player founded his tobacco company in the mid-19th century in Nottingham. It was later expanded into a thriving cigarette manufactory based at the Castle Tobacco Factories in Redford, Nottingham - just west of the city centre and run by his sons, John Dane Player and William Goodacre Player. In 1901, in response to competitive threats from the USA, the Players' business was merged into the Imperial Tobacco Group headquartered in Bristol. However, Players cigarettes retained their own identity.
The term "Navy Cut" refers to how 19th century sailors in the Royal Navy would wind string or rope around rolls of compressed tobacco leaves, allow the leaves to mature, and then thinly slice off the end. This shredded tobacco could then be smoked in their pipes. English legend tells us that the sailor in the image was Thomas Huntley Wood, a crewmember of HMS Edinburgh in the 1880s. REF: and
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   Virtual Museum of Canada