Hambone Cigar UpdateBy Mark Chervenka
Hambone Cigar Update
ACRN previously reported on a fake 10-inch porcelain plate advertising J.P. Alley's Hambone 5¢ Cigars. At that time, no information was available on any old counterparts. A family descendant with connections to the original Hambone brand offered ACRN additional information on this subject.
The Hambone brand was manufactured for J.P. Alley by W.C. Frutiger & Co. of Red Lion, Pennsylvania. Frutiger was a cigar factory which specialized in private labels. It was in operation from the early 1900s until the factory closed in the late 1960s. For Federal tax purposes, the Frutiger factory was licensed as Factory #417 in the First District of Pennsylvania.
The family member provided an example of the original Hambone art work shown in Fig. 2. The piece shown is a 7-inch cardboard sign printed in color on both sides. It was designed to be suspended from ceilings in tobacco shops and other retail locations where cigars were sold. This form of sign was widely used to advertise cigars from the 1920s to 1950s and is referred to in the trade as a "drop."
The family member who contacted ACRN confirmed the porcelain plate is a modern fake. It is unlike anything associated with the original Frutiger factory or original Hambone brand advertising.