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What Will You Take For It

What Will You Take For It Advertising Button Museum
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What Will You Take For It button back Advertising Button Museum
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Text on Button: 
What will you take for it - SWEET CAPORAL CIGARETTE
Image Description: 

Black text printed on probably white background. Slightly skewed printing to the top right.

Back Paper / Back Info: 

Metal backing engraved: SWEET CAPORAL CIGARETTE

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"The Old Reliable," Sweet Caporal Cigarettes were produced by Kinney Bros. Tobacco Company, New York starting in 1878. Shortly after, Kinney Bros merged into the giant American Tobacco Company. A.T.C.'s monopoly was broken in 1911 but they retained Sweet Caporal. The popularity of the brand may be linked to its novel use of collectible cigarette cards and pinback buttons included in each pack. There was a series of conversation starters such as "What will you take for it?," "Here's your hat," and "what's your hurry," illustrated Mutt and Jeff phrases, American flags, an Aircraft Spotter Series in the 1940s ("Learn to know friend from foe"), and many baseball series over the years.

It might be hard to imagine that baseball cards were the prize inside a pack of smokes, but these tobacco company promotional items were instrumental in the proliferation of baseball cards (and Sweet Caporal wasn't the only brand sponsoring them). One conscientious player, Honus Wagner, objected to the association. The company pulled his card after he announced he "did not care to have his picture in a package of cigarettes." Unsurprisingly, one of the 57 Wagner cards produced in 1909-1911 sold in 2007 for $2.8 million, the highest price ever for a baseball card. Sweet Caporal brand was discontinued in the US in 1969 after the introduction of a filtered version, but continued in Canada until 2011.

Sources: 

Atlas Repro Paperwork. (2014, November 17). Sweet Caporal Cigarettes. Retrieved July 28, 2020, from https://www.atlas-repropaperwork.com/sweet-caporal-cigarettes/

Gasoline Alley Antiques. (2020). 1890's A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS Sweet Caporal Cigarettes pinback button a2. Retrieved July 28, 2020, from https://www.ebay.com/itm/1890s-A-PENNY-FOR-YOUR-THOUGHTS-Sweet-Caporal-C...

Catalog ID: 
AD0025
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