Yes,…!! Finally I managed to make good reproductions of the 3 Player’s Medium Cigarettes Boxes and the Capstan Cigarettes Box. As mentioned in an older article, I had bought three original Boxes of Player’s Medium Cigarettes with the meaning of reproducing them. These are three different boxes for resp. 5 Cigarettes, 10 Cigarettes and 20 Cigarettes. The Capstan Box is for 20 Cigarettes. Repro Player's Boxes Before the war there were a huge variety of brands, each with a particular personality portrayed in the packaging and advertising of the time. The evolution of pack design shows both changes in marketing technique and period graphic style. Most popular brands of all time were Player’s Medium (or Player’s Navy) and Wills Wild Woodbine. Woodbines were cheap cigarettes targeted at the working man. Strangly, Woodbine was named after a wild flower. The intricate nineteenth century packet design remained current until the mid 1960’s. The star of the Player’s Medium packet was bearded sailor known as ‘Hero’. The original design, featuring the sailor a lifebelt and the sea, was used until the 1960s. Player’s Medium was manufactured by John Player & Sons, a tobacco and cigarette manufacturer based in Nottingham, England.

On the left you see the reproductions and on the right the originals.

On the left you see the reproductions and on the right the originals.

In March 1832, William Wright set up a small tobacco factory in Broadmarsh, Nottingham. This business expanded and earned Wright a comfortable fortune. John Player bought the business in 1877. He had the Castle Tobacco Factories built in Radford, Nottingham, just west of the city centre. He had three large factory blocks built, but initially only one was used to process and pack tobacco. The other two blocks were let to lace manufacturers until the business had expanded enough to use the additional space. One of John Player’s innovations was to offer pre-packaged tobacco. Before this, smokers would have bought tobacco by weight from loose supplies and cigarette papers to roll them in. He also adopted a registered trade mark as a guarantee to the public that the goods could be relied on. The business was run later by Player’s sons John Dane Player and William Goodacre Player. In 1901, in response to competitive threats from the USA, Player’s merged with the Imperial Tobacco Group. The largest constituent of Imperial Tobacco was W. D. & H. O. Wills and the new group was run from Wills’ head office in Bristol. However, Players retained its own identity with cigarette brands such as ‘Navy Cut’, ‘No.9’, ‘John Player Special’ and ‘Gold Leaf’ and its distinctive logo of a smoking sailor in a ‘Navy Cut’ cap, and loose tobacco brands such as ‘No Name’. Player’s Medium Navy Cut was the most popular by far of the three Navy Cut brands (there was also Mild and Gold Leaf). Two-thirds of all the cigarettes sold in Britain were Players and two-thirds of these was branded as Players Medium Navy Cut. In January 1937, Players sold nearly 3.5 million cigarettes (which included 1.34 million in London. The popularity of the brand was mostly amongst the middle class and in the South of England. it was smoked in the north but other brands were locally more popular. Capstan was Wills’ attempt to compete with Player’s Medium. Cutting of artwork Well, the artwork is ready for production and the reproductions will be taken into the shop…