Wills's Sweet Chestnut

Questions, Reviews, Storage, Etc.
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philofumo
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Wills's Sweet Chestnut

Post by philofumo » Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:38 pm

I got back home yesterday for an extended weekend before going back out for another 2 week stint, got lucky and came across an old 2oz. cutter-top online offered by a Canadian antiques dealer.

It looks in good order and I'm hoping that it will be well-preserved and provide a crackerjack smoke.

Sadly, I likely won't be home when it arrives, but I'm greatly looking forward to opening it.

ImageImageImageImage

When in hand, I will be able to examine more closely, especially the "cancel" stamp to see if it is legible to provide a concrete date, but going from the pictures and doing a little research leads me to believe that this is likely from the late 30's or early 40's. The stamp looks to be a Series of 1915. In 1942 they changed the font for the fractionals, so that puts it to prior '42.

Looking this stuff up invariably led me to the incredibly comprehensive papers of Christopher D. Ryan, who has assembled a rather large body of detailed work on the subject --- especially useful for me was Canadas Stamp Taxation of Tobacco Products,
1864 - 1974


Part 6 helped much:
http://www.esjvandam.com/Tobacco%20Exci ... rt%206.pdf

In full,
parts 1 - 10 here:
http://www.esjvandam.com/stampshows.htm

There's also this site,
with some interesting articles:

https://sites.google.com/site/canadiant ... d_articles

Something I found highly intriguing and of much interest was this subject:

A discussion of the Secret Identification Marks on Canadian federal revenue stamps. These marks are also known as Hidden Letters.
seen here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/0nipifg97nrj0 ... s.pdf?dl=0


I look forward to doing more reading and research and familiarizing myself further with the Canadian stamps.

Anyway,
It'll be fun to see if I can pinpoint a precise date when I get it.

I have gotten an old 4oz. tin o' this before, but it had been opened and only about a 1/4 full, and it was an unsmokeable superfunk, yet caught my attention due to the precision of manufacture and care of packing --- it was a premium tobacco and always sold for a couple shillings more than Wills standard fare.

I'm very familiar with the US system and deciphering tax seals, so it was easy to date.
Series 122,
which is 1952.

A few pictures of it so you can see the discs and etc:
ImageImage
ImageImage
ImageImage

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Re: Wills's Sweet Chestnut

Post by Rusty » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:51 am

Interesting stuff. So who really is the British manufacturer or exporter for that tin of Sweet Chestnut? This is the first interesting question. It suggests that Imperial Tobacco was exporting product to N. America. Tin art or manufacturer? This is like Bell's Three Nuns.
Check the tin carefully for manufacturer etc. If it really is from Wills it should also have an Imperial Tobacco mark on it and BAT should not be mentioned.

The list of foreign manufacturers in the pdf doesn't list Imperial, Wills, nor any other Imperial branch. It's a 1973 version of the list.
1973 is an important year because the new agreement between Imperial and BAT applied in years following. One of the consequences was that the previous exclusive sales & marketing regions that kept Imperial from selling outside the domestic UK market no longer applied. BAT could enter the UK domestic market as well. I think BAT certainly debated an immediate domestic UK selling presence but the most obvious example of change was their subsequent UK acquisitions.

The 1902 agreement wasn't a prohibition so much as a partitioning of market exclusivity. If either ended up with their product sold in the others market there was a compensation formula.
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Re: Wills's Sweet Chestnut

Post by philofumo » Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:04 am

Rusty wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:51 am
Interesting stuff. So who really is the British manufacturer or exporter for that tin of Sweet Chestnut? This is the first interesting question. It suggests that Imperial Tobacco was exporting product to N. America. Tin art or manufacturer? This is like Bell's Three Nuns.
Check the tin carefully for manufacturer etc. If it really is from Wills it should also have an Imperial Tobacco mark on it and BAT should not be mentioned.

The list of foreign manufacturers in the pdf doesn't list Imperial, Wills, nor any other Imperial branch. It's a 1973 version of the list.
1973 is an important year because the new agreement between Imperial and BAT applied in years following. One of the consequences was that the previous exclusive sales & marketing regions that kept Imperial from selling outside the domestic UK market no longer applied. BAT could enter the UK domestic market as well. I think BAT certainly debated an immediate domestic UK selling presence but the most obvious example of change was their subsequent UK acquisitions.

The 1902 agreement wasn't a prohibition so much as a partitioning of market exclusivity. If either ended up with their product sold in the others market there was a compensation formula.
Thanks Rusty,
I appreciate your commentary.

It would be interesting to see the earlier list of foreign manufacturers.

I will inspect the tin when it arrives and see if it offers any clues.

The 1952 US-market tin was distro'd by ATC:

ImageImage

Would perhaps Imperial of Canada (BAT) have had a similar distro relationship with Imperial Bristol?

I have long been under the false assumption that Imp. of Canada was affiliated with Imperial of Bristol, but it's been a BAT-thing all along!
I'm a slow learner and often stumble. Thanks for all your help putting me on the right path as I find all the business conglomeration stuff and the various legalities quite difficult to navigate, messy and confusing in many cases.

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Re: Wills's Sweet Chestnut

Post by Rusty » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:02 pm

philofumo wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:04 am
Rusty wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:51 am
Interesting stuff. So who really is the British manufacturer or exporter for that tin of Sweet Chestnut? This is the first interesting question. It suggests that Imperial Tobacco was exporting product to N. America. Tin art or manufacturer? This is like Bell's Three Nuns.
Check the tin carefully for manufacturer etc. If it really is from Wills it should also have an Imperial Tobacco mark on it and BAT should not be mentioned.

The list of foreign manufacturers in the pdf doesn't list Imperial, Wills, nor any other Imperial branch. It's a 1973 version of the list.
1973 is an important year because the new agreement between Imperial and BAT applied in years following. One of the consequences was that the previous exclusive sales & marketing regions that kept Imperial from selling outside the domestic UK market no longer applied. BAT could enter the UK domestic market as well. I think BAT certainly debated an immediate domestic UK selling presence but the most obvious example of change was their subsequent UK acquisitions.

The 1902 agreement wasn't a prohibition so much as a partitioning of market exclusivity. If either ended up with their product sold in the others market there was a compensation formula.
Thanks Rusty,
I appreciate your commentary.

It would be interesting to see the earlier list of foreign manufacturers.

I will inspect the tin when it arrives and see if it offers any clues.

The 1952 US-market tin was distro'd by ATC:

ImageImage

Would perhaps Imperial of Canada (BAT) have had a similar distro relationship with Imperial Bristol?

I have long been under the false assumption that Imp. of Canada was affiliated with Imperial of Bristol, but it's been a BAT-thing all along!
I'm a slow learner and often stumble. Thanks for all your help putting me on the right path as I find all the business conglomeration stuff and the various legalities quite difficult to navigate, messy and confusing in many cases.
The ATC has some claim as one of the two founders of BAT. But I thought they were forced to divest BAT stock following the 1911 antitrust action.

Still even a vestige of ATC can be the American distributor. And that's the American party. Who was exporting the product from the UK?

Under the old agreement it would be quite different. ATC would be manufacturing it for the US market. Just as Imperial manufactures, distributes etc for the UK. Under the 1902 agreement the entire planet consisted of three markets UK, US, Everywhere else. BAT exported product to Everywhere else. ATC had America, Imperial had the UK. Imperial and ATC owned BAT.

Unless Canada was part of the UK in the agreement Imperial cannot export to Canada. Even when Canada was a colony (Upper and Lower Canada) it wasn't part of the UK anymore than the 13 American colonies were. The Canadian market was served by BAT and BAT did have Canadian distributors. Imperial did not sell export tobacco product to anywhere on the planet. That was BAT's job. And BAT was intended to export ATC product to markets outside US and UK. So you have a puzzle in the tin. I'm a little surprised that you're not asking what is going on.

There are two distinct biz to keep in mind with this 1902 agreement over ATC & Imperial products.
1) UK exporter - it's always BAT. US exporter - it's always BAT.
2) Country importer / distributor - this is the tax collector in the country eg Canada, Germany, etc
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Re: Wills's Sweet Chestnut

Post by philofumo » Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:05 pm

Rusty wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:02 pm
philofumo wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:04 am
Rusty wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:51 am
Interesting stuff. So who really is the British manufacturer or exporter for that tin of Sweet Chestnut? This is the first interesting question. It suggests that Imperial Tobacco was exporting product to N. America. Tin art or manufacturer? This is like Bell's Three Nuns.
Check the tin carefully for manufacturer etc. If it really is from Wills it should also have an Imperial Tobacco mark on it and BAT should not be mentioned.

The list of foreign manufacturers in the pdf doesn't list Imperial, Wills, nor any other Imperial branch. It's a 1973 version of the list.
1973 is an important year because the new agreement between Imperial and BAT applied in years following. One of the consequences was that the previous exclusive sales & marketing regions that kept Imperial from selling outside the domestic UK market no longer applied. BAT could enter the UK domestic market as well. I think BAT certainly debated an immediate domestic UK selling presence but the most obvious example of change was their subsequent UK acquisitions.

The 1902 agreement wasn't a prohibition so much as a partitioning of market exclusivity. If either ended up with their product sold in the others market there was a compensation formula.
Thanks Rusty,
I appreciate your commentary.

It would be interesting to see the earlier list of foreign manufacturers.

I will inspect the tin when it arrives and see if it offers any clues.

The 1952 US-market tin was distro'd by ATC:

ImageImage

Would perhaps Imperial of Canada (BAT) have had a similar distro relationship with Imperial Bristol?

I have long been under the false assumption that Imp. of Canada was affiliated with Imperial of Bristol, but it's been a BAT-thing all along!
I'm a slow learner and often stumble. Thanks for all your help putting me on the right path as I find all the business conglomeration stuff and the various legalities quite difficult to navigate, messy and confusing in many cases.
The ATC has some claim as one of the two founders of BAT. But I thought they were forced to divest BAT stock following the 1911 antitrust action.

Still even a vestige of ATC can be the American distributor. And that's the American party. Who was exporting the product from the UK?

Under the old agreement it would be quite different. ATC would be manufacturing it for the US market. Just as Imperial manufactures, distributes etc for the UK. Under the 1902 agreement the entire planet consisted of three markets UK, US, Everywhere else. BAT exported product to Everywhere else. ATC had America, Imperial had the UK. Imperial and ATC owned BAT.

Unless Canada was part of the UK in the agreement Imperial cannot export to Canada. Even when Canada was a colony (Upper and Lower Canada) it wasn't part of the UK anymore than the 13 American colonies were. The Canadian market was served by BAT and BAT did have Canadian distributors. Imperial did not sell export tobacco product to anywhere on the planet. That was BAT's job. And BAT was intended to export ATC product to markets outside US and UK. So you have a puzzle in the tin. I'm a little surprised that you're not asking what is going on.

There are two distinct biz to keep in mind with this 1902 agreement over ATC & Imperial products.
1) UK exporter - it's always BAT. US exporter - it's always BAT.
2) Country importer / distributor - this is the tax collector in the country eg Canada, Germany, etc
It is a puzzle, as you say.

I have been lazy, (but also pressed for time), giving up before even starting by thinking that I wouldn't find anything and morosely reluctant to investigate the matter.

So, many thanks for the prompt and the push, as going down the rabbit-hole led to some interesting results.

I first checked a 1940 ATC price list that I have, something I forgot about earlier, and they have a section for imported tobaccos of which S.C. is one, it is listed at $1.50 vac. tin, whereas Three Nuns was $1.25 and Capstan was $1.00, those and the others (all Imperial brands) were stocked at the Richmond Va. warehouse.

The question is, who made the tobacco?

And, there are some very interesting answers.

The Legacy Library provides some concrete facts which exceeded my expectations.

I'm still unsure of exactly when S.C. was introduced, but since it isn't listed in the 1935 trade annual, I'd reckon it to be somewhere between that small window of 1935-1939.

It was acknowledged in correspondence from Imperial to BAT in a 1952 doc where it states that S.C. had been made at BAT Liverpool since 1939, so it is a bit odd that for almost its entire lifespan (both export and domestic UK?) it was an Imperial brand made under contract by BAT???

https://www.industrydocumentslibrary.uc ... d=jzjw0209

:

This 1950 doc suggests further that Imperial was intending to take back manufacture of certain blends exported to ATC, except for S.C. which they request BAT to "continue indefinitely" manufacturing, as well as noting that BAT also makes the "home trade" UK-market S.C.
Pretty interesting quote also: "...so that American smokers who have visited England should get tobacco as nearly as possible identical with those which they smoked here."

https://www.industrydocumentslibrary.uc ... d=tkkw0209

Image

:

ATC ordered directly from Imperial it seems:
https://www.industrydocumentslibrary.uc ... d=jpjw0209

:

Here's an interesting 1954 note from Imperial Canada to BAT with regards to labelling as it had been agreed the previous year to add this bit:

"The contents of this package are the goods of the successors to W.D. & H.O. Wills, Bristol and London"

https://www.industrydocumentslibrary.uc ... d=ngpn0201

My 1952 tin says "This label is issued by The Imperial Tobacco Co. (of Great Britain and Ireland) Limited."

Neat stuff and I'll continue digging as time allows.

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Re: Wills's Sweet Chestnut

Post by philofumo » Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:07 am

Erratum:

Scratch my speculative ramble above regarding the late 30's intro date.

The assertion was yet more laziness on my part.

I violated one of my own personal rules by assuming that omission meant nonexistence.

Although Sweet Chestnut doesn't appear in the 1931 or 1935 trade annuals, it does appear in a 1917 edition,
with the odd twist of attributing both parties to the manufacture:

Image

So, the intro date is still up in the air to me at this moment.
Later, I may dredge the trademark sites looking for an absolute.

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Re: Wills's Sweet Chestnut

Post by philofumo » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:24 am

Image

Found the trade mark.

It was reg'd in January of 1913 by Imperial:

https://trademarks.ipo.gov.uk/ipo-tmcas ... 0000348699

.

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Re: Wills's Sweet Chestnut

Post by Rusty » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:48 am

"odd twist of attributing both parties to the manufacture"

Odd twist? This was the normal state of affairs with those two. Find a history of BAT and Imperial.

Here's something from THE site... but there are likely more.
https://www.industrydocumentslibrary.uc ... d=mrjv0205

We presume that a branded product is manufactured by one company and distributed in their home market and exported to other markets. That's the one TM owner model with a single source. But that's not the only way to skin the cat. Multiple TM owners, for the same products, each with distinct markets manufacturing for that market are also a solution. There are multiple manufacturers of the same products assigned to distinct markets with the 1902 agreement. Imperial & ATC owned and created BAT. And this was operative for most of the 20th C. The overseas assets of Imperial & ATC were ceded to BAT. It changed in 1973. Long before that the ATC was broken up under US antitrust law. So the US became another export market for BAT.

Nothing here prohibits biz arrangements between BAT & Imperial to supplement or replace manufacturing capacity. It's interesting that the market for that market is not specified in the letter you found. The exception is BAT manufacturing domestic UK product for Imperial at the time.
You'll also find the 1973 agreement between Imperial & BAT in many copies on that site.
Last edited by Rusty on Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wills's Sweet Chestnut

Post by philofumo » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:01 am

Rusty wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:48 am
"odd twist of attributing both parties to the manufacture"

Odd twist? This was the normal state of affairs with those two. Find a history of BAT and Imperial.

Here's something from THE site... but there are likely more.
https://www.industrydocumentslibrary.uc ... d=mrjv0205

We presume that a branded product is manufactured by one company and distributed in their home market and exported to other markets. That's the one TM owner model with a single source. But that's not the only way to skin the cat. Multiple TM owners, for the same products, each with distinct markets manufacturing for that market are also a solution. There are multiple manufacturers of the same products assigned to distinct markets with the 1902 agreement. Imperial & ATC owned and created BAT. And this was operative for most of the 20th C. The overseas assets of Imperial & ATC were ceded to BAT. It changed in 1973. Long before that the ATC was broken up under US antitrust law.

Nothing here prohibits biz arrangements between BAT & Imperial to supplement or replace manufacturing capacity.
I thought it was odd because BAT never shows up in the domestic UK trade publications, so it was a bit strange seeing them listed there.

Thanks for the link, I'll read it indepth as time provides -- I like the typefont, it reminds me of the old IBM Selectrics.

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Re: Wills's Sweet Chestnut

Post by Rusty » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:11 am

philofumo wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:01 am
Rusty wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:48 am
"odd twist of attributing both parties to the manufacture"

Odd twist? This was the normal state of affairs with those two. Find a history of BAT and Imperial.

Here's something from THE site... but there are likely more.
https://www.industrydocumentslibrary.uc ... d=mrjv0205

We presume that a branded product is manufactured by one company and distributed in their home market and exported to other markets. That's the one TM owner model with a single source. But that's not the only way to skin the cat. Multiple TM owners, for the same products, each with distinct markets manufacturing for that market are also a solution. There are multiple manufacturers of the same products assigned to distinct markets with the 1902 agreement. Imperial & ATC owned and created BAT. And this was operative for most of the 20th C. The overseas assets of Imperial & ATC were ceded to BAT. It changed in 1973. Long before that the ATC was broken up under US antitrust law.

Nothing here prohibits biz arrangements between BAT & Imperial to supplement or replace manufacturing capacity.
I thought it was odd because BAT never shows up in the domestic UK trade publications, so it was a bit strange seeing them listed there.

Thanks for the link, I'll read it indepth as time provides -- I like the typefont, it reminds me of the old IBM Selectrics.
It took me a half hour to find a suitable tiny font to interest you. You're a detail guy and big pictures aren't welcome.

The wikipedia article on BAT is also worth reading. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_American_Tobacco
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