Last year, in December, I wrote an article about Lucky Strike cigarettes and an article about Camel cigarettes. Some time ago someone asked me how I could tell a cigarette pack was wartime dated.

Taxstamp1Tax stamps

Well, most US cigarette packs have a blue tax stamp on the top. And on that tax stamp there should be a series number (See photo, red circle). To date those cigarettes packs you should add 30 to the number, eg. 110 = 1940, 111 = 1941, 112 = 1942, 113 = 1943, 114 = 1944, 115 = 1945… and so on.

Lucky Strike Green from 1941. See tax stamp series number 111.

Lucky Strike Green from 1941. See tax stamp series number 111.

Free of Tax stamp

When US Troops were send overseas,”Free of Tax” stamp were put on the packs. You will find several types of those “Free of Tax” stamps (see photo) in several colours. On one of the stamps you will find following:

[box style=”rounded” border=”full” icon=”none”]Free of Tax – For use only of U.S. military or naval forces in Alaska and Hawaii, or for use outside the jurisdiction of the Internal Revenue Laws of the United States. This product is admitted free of Duty.[/box]




With the early war cigarette packs, the cigarettes were wrapped into a silver type wrapper. Mid war cigarettes were wrapped in brownish or grey coloured waste paper. This was done to save the silver foil for the war industry. This waste packaging paper was used till mid 1945 when the war was over. So for US cigarettes a 1942 pack would have silver paper and a 1943-44 pack should have the waste packaging paper.


On this photo you can see the brownish-grey packaging waste paper as used after 1942.