Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sepia Saturday - May 4

Sepia Saturday

Challenge and image source from Sepia Saturday.

It has been a stressful few days and in the good old days I would have reached for my trusty pipe and tobacco pouch. Others would have reached for cigarette packets or cigar cases or snuff boxes : whatever the delivery method, tobacco was the preferred accompaniment to lifes' ups and downs. Now we know better and tobacco sales are hidden away behind high counters, plain wrappers and dire warnings. But here on Sepia Saturday we deal with the past, and therefore Sepia Saturday 175 - post your posts on or around Saturday 4th May 2013 - provides you with an opportunity to light up your blog with pictures featuring smoking, cigarettes, vending machines, gold flakes, black cats ... or anything else you can spot in our archive image. The picture dates back to 1931 and features a rather unique device - a vending machine that delivered a lit cigarette! The picture comes from the Flickr Commons stream of the Dutch National Archive.

This wasn't the photo I had planned on posting initially but when I was looking through my files I noticed this ad on the back of an Aer Lingus plane ticket from 1957 when we flew from Dublin to Montreal.
Thank goodness smoking is not allowed on flights today!

Sweet Afton was an Irish brand of short, unfiltered cigarettes made with Virginia tobacco and produced by P.J. Carroll & Co., Dundalk, Ireland, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco.

The Sweet Afton brand was launched by Carroll's in 1919 to celebrate the link between Dundalk and the national poet of Scotland, Robert Burns. Burns' eldest sister, Agnes, lived in Dundalk from 1817 until her death in 1834 and was buried in the cemetery of St. Nicholas's Church in the town. Carroll's thought that the brand would only be successful in Scotland if the carton simply had an image of Burns, or Scottish name on the packet, so the people of Dundalk were canvassed and the name Sweet Afton was chosen. The name is taken from Burns' poem "Sweet Afton", which itself takes its title from the poem's first stanza:

Flow gently, sweet Afton, amang thy green braes
Flow gently, I’ll sing thee a song in thy praise
My Mary’s asleep by they murmuring stream
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

Both my parents smoked as did my maternal grandmother and aunts and uncles. My grandfathers favoured a pipe. In the 50s and 60s it was quite common for women to smoke through pregnancy!
This is my aunt with the cigarette and it looks like they are just moving into this place as my parents are on the floor setting up stuff and that looks like a makeshift table. I am curious what my sister is looking at so intently???


  1. I remember a friend taking up smoking simply so she could sit in the smoking section of the airplane. She said people were having more fun there. Really?? I can't imagine that.

  2. I like the ad you found. Like Wendy, I doubt the smokers had more fun.

  3. I know about those special places, even on a sight-seeing train that I was on, the smoking section was in the front where the best windows on the entire train were, besides also being the less crowded! Great post, thanks for the trip back!

  4. I did a lot of travelling by air and rail but never willingly in a smoking section.
    I am not familiar with that Burns poem - I'm off to look it up in my copy of his works.

  5. I'm so glad that smoking is no longer allowed on flights..."Adds to the enjoyment" ????

  6. Intriguing photograph - what were they up to?

  7. On our honeymoon, we sat behind a gentleman smoking a cigar. It seemed like a VERY long flight!

  8. Your post about smoking on airplanes brought back a memory so I looked it up. I had attended a professional convention and met some people from Canada. They were returning home on Air Canada flight 797. A fire started in the bathroom as the result of a cigarette. Upon landing, a flash fire killed 23 passengers who had not yet escaped from the plane. These included the new friends I had made at the convention.


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