October, 2022

In This Issue

  • The Grant Smith Collection
  • Breaking News: Morphy Auctions Acquires Route 32 Auctions and Indy Ad Show
  • Nestle Cigarettes
  • Fall Indy Ad Show
  • Favorite Finds: Robert Ray
  • The Intriguing History of Ketchup: Who Knew?
  • Upcoming Auction
  • Wanted Items

The Grant Smith Collection

By Adrienne Hedger

Editor's Note: All of the collections showcased in AAAA publications are very special. But the outstanding collection featured in this piece occupies a unique place that merits your attention. Click the link below to display an 82 page tome that rightfully could be regarded as a book. It features some of the most eye-popping displays of rare and desirable antique advertising anywhere. Beautifully written, it chronicles a passionate lifelong journey of collecting and curating. And, along the way, it pays homage to the history of vintage advertising and many of the notable figures who made our hobby what it is today. Do not hesitate, click the link below.  

My step-dad, Grant Smith, has been an avid collector since the early 1970s, and he’s built a truly impressive collection—likely one of the largest and most diverse around. Over the past year, I’ve been interviewing him about how he got into this hobby and how he curated such a large array of items. I’ve also been taking pictures of all the different rooms and displays in his house. 


I put everything together in an overview to share with family and friends. But then it occurred to me that perhaps fellow AAAA members would enjoy seeing it as well! 


The first part of the overview looks at Grant’s experience building his collection and being part of this community since the 1970s. Then I give you a tour of his collection, which includes tins, signs, toys, and advertising for country store items, tobacco, soft drinks, automotive, breweriana, food, and much more.


Click the link below to display this overview, which is titled, "The Grant Smith Collection". And if you have any questions or comments for me or Grant, you can email me at I hope you enjoy this tour of Grant Smith’s collection! 

Click Here to Display "The Grant Smith Collection"

Breaking News: Morphy Auctions Acquires Route 32 Auctions and Indy Ad Show

Dan Morphy, President of Morphy Auctions just announced that Route 32 Auctions and the popular Indy Ad Show have been purchased by Morphy Auctions. Jill and Kevin Parker, the departing owners, will "take a new direction in their lives". However, they will continue to manage the show for the first year it is under Morphy ownership. 

The Indy Ad Show has changed ownership numerous times over the years. Yet even with frequent changes in its operations, AAAA members have been enthusiastic supporters, both as buyers and as dealers. Morphy Auctions has had a long-term relationship with AAAA as an advertiser and Convention Sponsor.  

It will be fascinating to see what direction this show takes under the Morphy banner.

Click here for additional information about this important news.

Nestlé's Cigarettes

By Dheeraj Khiytani

Condensed Milk and Cigarettes--an Unusual Advertising Combination: A Nestlé UK Case Study

Every once in a while, one needs to look outside the box (pun fully intended) to find unique examples of cigarette advertising-and this one still has a few unanswered questions despite my best research attempts. I recently purchased the intriguing cigarette box shown below from an elderly couple in England who said that it was given to the husband in the 1950s by a long since deceased farmer. Let us now wind the clocks back to around the time of The Great War, circa 1914 to 1920.

The first question I asked myself was whether Nestlé England really sold cigarettes in order to promote their milk and coffee products. Or were they selling chocolate or sweet cigarettes? Unfortunately, there is no indication either way on the box. The second question was whether I could attribute a date to it.

It does seem quite far-fetched that Nestlé would try to promote cigarettes and milk, especially with today’s sensitivities and politically correct advertising. But one must remember that back in that period of history, the World was a different place and smoking was not viewed negatively. It was a man’s activity, even benefitting health in some ways. It is entirely possible that these could have been some form of candy or chocolate cigarettes. Reference to cylinders of chocolate wrapped in paper resembling cigarettes can be found as early as the 1880s in the US but if so, why advertise these candy cigarettes only to Fathers who smoke and not the whole family? Surely doing so would have expanded the target market for Nestlé. The jury is definitely still out on this point, although the way that Nestlé positioned these products leads me to believe (perhaps in the hope that they actually were) tobacco-based cigarettes.

To help with dating the box I looked into each element of the advertising to try and determine when slogans were first used and for how long. There was a mix of elements of brand marketing from Nestlé in this one box:

1)     Milkmaid Brand

2)     Café au lait – part of their Milkmaid Brand

3)     Ideal Milk

4)     Nestlé’s Ideal Cigarettes

Having spent the last thirteen years as a marketing professional myself, mixing so many messages together and overloading your product design with multiple slogans will dilute the message you are trying to convey and risk confusing your target audience. However, I will break down the analysis to each constituent brand in order to try and simplify things. I don’t profess to know much about the food and beverage industry but will certainly give it my best.

Milkmaid Brand - This brand predates the Nestlé story by one year when, in 1866, American Brothers Charles and George Page established the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company, manufacturing condensed milk under this brand. When Anglo-Swiss merged with Nestlé in 1902, so did their products and Milkmaid became a parent brand, all based on the central premise of condensed milk. One can still find the Milkmaid brand in certain parts of the world, for example India, but no longer in Britain.

The slogan for Milkmaid’s Rich Thick Cream (Pure Thick Cream on this box) started out life as "Can be whipped but can’t be beaten".  By 1916, Nestlé changed this slogan (as on this cigarette box) subtly to "Often whipped but never beaten". Then from around November, 1920 on, it became "Often whipped: never beaten".

Milkmaid Café au Lait – The first mention I can find of this product in Britain was in October, 1914 at the outbreak of the First World War. The slogan which you can find on the ad below and on this box, "Leaves no grounds for complaint", continued at least until the end of 1921. After this point I have not been able to find any further usage of this slogan by Nestlé.

Advertisement for Milkmaid’s range of products, October 1914

Ideal Milk – This became a must-have item for the British Army and Navy during the First World War due to its ability to remain drinkable far longer than fresh milk. I can find an article dated June 1914 advertising Ideal Milk to the general public. This ad made good use of the fact that it was also being supplied to the armed and naval forces. Here, Nestlé has identified a broad target market of children and grown-ups. Ideal Milk is still sold today in many countries although not in Britain as far as I am aware. The slogan "Ideal is milk: whole milk and nothing but milk" was used all the way up to 1924, after which I am unable to find further reference to it.

Advertisement for Ideal Milk – June 1914

Summarizing the above research, I would attribute a date of this cigarette box to between 1914 and 1920, possibly the mid-1920s at the very latest. 

While there are a number of different marketing messages employed on this cigarette box, they revolve around the main product being advertised of Nestlé’s Ideal Cigarettes in the yellow oval shapes. Nestlé tries to bring everything together through clever use of word play and the design of the labels stating that "….these cigarettes are sold expressly to advertise these facts by Nestlés".

The idea of trying to promote Ideal Milk to nursing Mothers by using another product as a co-promotional tool to a different target audience (in this case Ideal Cigarettes to fathers who smoke pipes) still has me puzzled. I have not found any reference to tobacco-based cigarettes manufactured by Nestlé at any time although Nestlé did produce a line of chocolate cigarettes circa 1960s called Royals. However, I believe these came decades after this box.

My best guess is that this was possibly part of a limited and low volume advertising campaign, clearly humorous in nature (perhaps to boost morale in the dark days at the outbreak of war). Coincidentally, during my research for this article I found a company in Sunderland (in the north of England) selling ID:L (Ideal) cigarettes towards the end of 1913 so another line of inquiry could be to see if there was some form of collaboration between Nestlé England and a cigarette (tobacco) manufacturer of that period.

I have tried contacting Nestlé UK and various other sources which house many of Nestlé’s historical records to find out more about this box but every avenue so far has come up with a dead end. If anyone has information related to this box or can even confirm an approximate date I would be most interested in hearing from you. (Click here to send me an email.) Perhaps I have been barking up the wrong tree! Nevertheless this is a neat little cigarette advertising box and something different from what we would normally come across.

Fall Indy Ad Show

By Chelsea Morman, Indy Ad Show Team 

The Indy Ad Show, sponsored by Route 32 Auctions, was back on September 23-24, 2022 for our Fall Show. We had a great turn-out from vendors and public alike. As always, there was something for every collector (see photos below). With over 150 vendors, a bottle club, a breweriana club, and a car show all present, the Boone County Fairgrounds was booming.

We are back in the office now and are looking forward to the 2023 Spring Ad Show and how to make it even better. The Spring Show will take place on May 5-6 and the Fall show is set for September 22-23.

Favorite Finds: Robert Ray

Robert Ray reported acquiring the gorgeous framed sign shown below at a recent auction. It is a beaut! The Rays continue to expand their outstanding collection of signs and general store items. Stay tuned! An article featuring the sign collection of Robert and Mary Ann Ray will appear in the December, 2022 issue of PastTimes.

Have you recently scored a special purchase? If so, click here to share your joy with your fellow collectors.  

The Intriguing History of Ketchup: Who Knew?

Hidden beneath ketchup's mundane and commonplace persona is a fascinating past. In the August 16, 2022 issue of Atlas Obscura, the controversial details are revealed. A couple of images of early ketchup ads are included in this piece. To read the article, click here.

Atlas Obscura is a wonderful FREE publication with wide-ranging historical and other content that occasionally includes items relevant to lovers of vintage advertising.  To subscribe to this unique online newsletter, click here. 

A Deeper Dive Into Ketchup

If the above article has whet your appetite, so to speak, for ketchup and related goodies, there is a comprehensive reference source available on Heinz bottles. It is entitled, The H.J. Heinz Co. and the H.J. Heinz Glass Co. and was authored by Bill Lockhart, Beau Schriever, Bill Lindsey, and Carol Serr (date unknown). It was published by the Society for Historical Archeology. Informally written, this 24 page article features dozens of descriptions, hand-drawings, and photos of Heinz-related bottles, crocks, and jars. This may be an important reference source for collectors of food products. To download the article directly from the Society's web site, click here.  Another helpful resource for Heinz sleuths is the Heinz company web site at (Click on the "Our Heritage" tab). The above image comes from the Heinz web site.

Upcoming Auction

October 21-22, 2022:  Chupp Auctions will be conducting an auction that will include country store items, advertising signs, syrup dispensers, and all kinds of showcases. Bid online or on-site (890 S. Van Buren St. Shipshewana, IN) For additional information call 260-499-0216 or check Live Auctioneers or AuctionZip.  

Wanted Items

In this column are those sought-after items of desire that seem to be elusive. If you know where any of these items can be acquired or if you have one available, please click the link to reply directly to the seeker. To place a listing in this column, click here. There is no fee for AAAA members. Up to three listings per member are permitted.

Justrite Pet Foods. The Justrite Company General Office was located in Milwaukee WI. A National Account. Advertising, displays, signs, tins, boxes all with logo on it. Most would come from the 1930’s through 1950’s. Thanks for the help… Gordon Addington. To reply, click here.

Old Topper Brewery Calendar of the late 1940's featuring a pin up artist nude in large format wanted. Always seeking any Rochester Brewery memorabilia. John DeVolder 585-697-4047 or


"Jenny" Genesee Brewing Company's girl of the 1950's. Seeking cardboard point of sale-and other items that feature Jenny, who had a ten-year run from 1953 to 1963. Also interested in any cardboard point of sale items from the 1930's through the 1950's from any of the Rochester Breweries. John DeVolder 585-697-4047 or

Coca-Cola 24" button porcelain sign with bottle in center. Want several in as close to mint condition as possible. Call 336-970-9867.


Books on Oil & Gas Collectibles. Also looking for books on signs. Call 336-970-9867.

Yellow Kid wanted: 50 year collector looking for the unusual. Reply to:

Pedal Cars: Photos, postcards, calendars, catalogs and advertising related to pedal cars. To reply, click here.

Beer cans, soda cans, beer and soda tin-over-cardboard signs, cork-backed bottle caps, key-wind coffee cans, quart oil cans. Please email Jeff Lebo at

Pedal car related items. To reply, click here.

Matchbook holders. To know what these are, see my articles in Checkerboard for Nov. 2020 and May 2021. I will consider all items, in any material from plastic to gold, and not necessarily with advertising. Email Andy at

Cigarette Packs. Advanced collector looking to purchase vintage packs. Please contact Dheeraj by email: DHEERAJ.KHIYTANI@GMAIL.COM.

Donald Duck Goyer Coffee Cans; One Pound Can & 3 oz Sample Size in Good Condition With Lids. Please Send Email With Photos & Prices to

Morimura Brothers (Japanese import company operating in NYC from 1880-1941) advertising items wanted: trade cards, pamphlets, catalog pages, salesman sample pages, porcelain items with advertising. To reply email at


DeLaval Items and Farm Advertising Signs. Always looking for top quality and unique items. Contact Gregg Hillyer at

Antique Advertising pertaining to Country Store or Drug Store Products or Places. Especially those showing Women or Girls with the product or location shown. I would consider any  Antique Advertising (paper, cardboard & metal Signs). Quality a plus! Dale Peterson at

Wanted top condition: Hard A Port small top tobacco tin; Convention Hall 1 lb coffee tin (green or yellow); Army Navy coffee slip lid canister; Big Horn 1 lb coffee tin; Continental Cubes medium size kidney shape tobacco tin.

To reply, click here.

Unusual one pound peanut butter tins. Tin litho or paper label. To reply, click here.


Marshmallow Tins. Smaller than 5 Pound Size. To reply, click here.


American Cookie, Biscuit and Cracker Tins and Boxes. To reply, click here

Banjo related advertising wanted Pre-1940s. Long time collector buying banjo company signage, catalogs, billheads, periodicals, minstrel banjo items such as posters, broadsides, sheet music (pre-1870s) with illustrated banjo covers, early photographs showing banjo players (pre-1915). My main collecting interest is in 19th century material. To reply, click here.

"Antique American Medicine Bottles" by M. Knapp... soft cover book with price guide. Printed in 2012. or 781-248-8620. Also, see my other want ad for Clarke’s ephemera and bottles.

Looking for 3 Vintage Tins. American Eagle "Oriental Mixture" tobacco (dimensions approx. 6.5" long, 2.75" wide, 1.5" tall); 1 Gal. Indian Head Hydraulic Brake Fluid; and Packham´s Caramel Toffee. Any offer is welcome and any condition considered. To reply, click here.

Morton Salt, older items, and also Pacific Coast Borax, especially a crate or box. Email or call Peggy Dailey 612-522-9211.

Comic Book-Related Advertising Items: Must be from before 1980. To reply, click here.

Clarke’s Vegetable Sherry Wine Bitters, Sharon, MA & Rockland, ME: All sizes, variants, smooth/pontil base. Especially need labeled Clarke’s any size! Also, any Clarke’s ephemera…trade cards, almanacs, newspaper ads, etc. Charlie Martin Jr., 781-248-8620. Email:

George Petty: Advanced collector looking for unique or rare items. Photo’s, store displays and non paper items. NO Esquire pages. Pete Perrault. To reply, click here or call (502) 290-7661.

Ice Cream Advertising: Mr. Ice Cream desires better graphic ice cream advertising including: postcards (Advertising and RPPC), trade cards, letterheads, billheads, booklets, poster stamps, blotters, magic lantern slides, pinbacks, watchfobs, and pocket mirrors. Allan Mellis, 1115 West Montana St. Chicago, Illinois 60614-2220. To reply, click here.

Stock food, poultry food, veterinary advertising wanted. Posters, medicine packages, give-aways. Email or call (256) 520-5211.

Singer Sewhandy Model 20. Green-regular paint, not hammertone. To reply, click here.

National Biscuit Company, Nabisco, Uneeda Biscuit, Uneeda Bakers, Muth Bakery, NBC Bread toys, signage, tins, containers, displays, historical items. Please Email or call (937) 205-2232.

Early Cigarette Rolling Papers: Pre-1940’s - American, Zig Zag, Braunstein Freres, Bambino, and Ottoman papers wanted. To reply, click here.

Antique/Collectible Banking and Financial System "Giveaway" and advertising items. Specifically from Pennsylvania. Alarm devices and such. To reply, click here.

VITAMINS advertising, displays, signs, bottles, and anything related: Hadacol is an example. Most would come from the 1930’s thru the 1970’s. Also anything related to cod-liver oil and WEIGHT-LOSS, REDUCING, ANTI-FAT, and OBESITY ITEMS. To reply, click here.


Early tin signs lithographed by Tuchfarber, Wells and Hope, Worcester Sign Company, Sentenne and Green, etc. I can pay more for good condition, but would be interested in any condition. Don Lurito also in the directory. To reply, click here.


Dwinell-Wright Co. Royal Ground Spice Cardboard Spice Boxes. One side displays horizontally. Approximately 3.75" by 2.25". Any type of spice is OK. To reply, click here.


ENSIGN Perfect and ENSIGN Perfection vertical pocket tobacco tins to enhance my collection. Feel free to contact me at 614-888-4619 or to see if you can help fill the voids.


Edmands Coffee Company, Edmands Tea Company, 1776 Coffee, American Beauty Tea, Japan Tea, Devonshire Tea, (imported by Edmands, Boston/Chicago): Any items such as tins, signs, paper, or anything else related to the Edmands family of companies in Boston is desired. To reply, click here.

The AAAA Checkerboard is a monthly e-newsletter that is made available to all AAAA members at no cost. The mission of the Checkerboard is to increase knowledge about antique and collectible advertising among AAAA members. The Checkerboard also provides news and updates about AAAA. It is produced each month with the exception of the four months per year when the award-winning PastTimes print newsletter is published. Paul Lefkovitz ( serves as the Editor of the AAAA Checkerboard. Copyright 2022, Antique Advertising Association of America.

Send Us an E-Mail
Visit the AAAA Website