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Excellent Early 1940s Black Memorabilia Nigger Hair Tobacco Tin

Excellent Early 1940s Black Memorabilia Nigger Hair Tobacco Tin


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Directory: Popular Collectibles: Memorabilia: Black Americana: Pre 1950: Item # 1303163

Please refer to our stock # BA954 when inquiring.
Stonegate Antiques
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PO Box 1896
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
860-712-9565

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 $825.00 
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Offered is the fabulously RARE NIGGER HAIR Tobacco Tin produced from the late 1870's through the first half of the 1940's.

This particular tin does not retain its original, US Internal Revenue paper tax stamp, so there is no way to precisely date it. As such, we will place its age as at the first half of the 1940's- the final production years of this style tin.

The image of an African woman with the racist title of “Nigger Hair” imposed over her shoulders was used by The American Tobacco Company of Wisconsin to promote its product; the lithographed tin was manufactured by the B. Leidersdorf Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Interestingly, it must be noted that after World War II, the product name "Nigger Hair" was changed to "Bigger Hair", although the exact same image of an African Woman continued to be used. The company simply added the words “Fiji Islander” to the left of her face in a very, very weak attempt to broaden the product’s appeal by moving further away from the earlier, severely derogatory moniker. At that time, the material out of which the tobacco container was constructed was changed from tin to heavy cardboard.

Measuring 7 inches high x 5 ¾ inches wide, the condition of the tin is a wonderful 8 out of 10--- sporting a beautiful lithograph on both sides with extremely minor, superficial scratches and rubs, along with tiny areas of paint loss. These areas of minor paint loss exist on the back side where the metal bale handle made contact with the tin and slightly scraped it, and on the front side, where several teeny areas of paint loss are present that are very difficult to see unless bright light is deliberately shown upon the tin surface as has been done in both closeup photos. When viewed in natural lighting, the tiny areas of paint loss on the front side are not readily visible unless one deliberately looks for them (see first photo).

The rim of the tin has two, tight 1/8" long splits- very difficult to see and photograph and which are not visible with the tin cover in place. The lid, base, bale handle junction points, and interior of the tin show minor evidence of light, superficial rust. Otherwise, the tin is solid. The original mustard-orange color of the tin remains consistent over the entire tin as does the clear, brilliant black lithography.

Any imperfections are quite reasonable and expected given the age of this piece-- approximately 80 years of age!! Please note that any "white" areas in photos are flash or lighting reflections and are not imperfections to the tin.

Truly an extraordinarily RARE piece of Black Memorabilia seldom found in this wonderful condition complete with bail handle and lid (Soft tissue paper has been wrapped around the bail handle to prevent any further scratching to the tin exterior.)