Seldom found on today's collectible market, this all-original, Mayo’s Cut Plug Tobacco Roly Poly Mammy Tin dates to circa 1912.
In 1912, in a stroke of advertising genius, Mayo's Tobacco Company packaged their cut plug tobacco in round tins with a lithographed character. Each held 1 pound of tobacco. It was opened by removing the head!
These "Roly-Polys" were a unique shape that distinguished them from the rectangular and lunch box-shaped tins that surrounded them on store shelves. There were a number of different characters that were available, and smokers were encouraged to collect the entire set. The six original tins were the Satisfied Customer, the Storekeeper, the Singing Waiter, the Dutchman, Scotland Yard....and Mammy!
Mayo called this packaging a "Brownie" tin...apparently the company suggested that the tins be used as brownie containers after the tobacco was used, and designed them accordingly. They were never a plentiful tin, and today, are becoming increasingly more and more difficult to find.
The Mayo tobacco tins were distinguished by little packages of Mayo Cut Plug tobacco shown somewhere on the character. Notice that the Mammy tin has a tiny tobacco tin tucked into her front pocket.
Mammy's dimensions are 7"x7". She is in good condition, as evidenced by the photos which clearly detail the flaws she has acquired over her 100+ years of existence. The body of the tin has minor paint loss to the litho as seen in photos, minor and subtle surface scratching (see photos), and small areas of denting to the top of mammy's head (see photo) and to her base near the cigarette pack protruding from her pocket (see photo). The body has some light soiling and has the appropriate wear at contact points. The tin has no repaint but does have some light, interior rusting to the interior of the base as well as a couple of tiny size holes which can be seen in the 12th photo (tiny holes show up as white spots in the photo). The base was held up to the bright, outdoor light to illuminate the holes- which actually make them appear more prominent than they actually are!
The base of the tin is labeled "made in factory # 42, in the 2nd District of Virginia".
**The depth of color is better viewed "in person" as opposed to what I was able to capture in a photo.**
A must-have addition to any SERIOUS Black Americana collection! A note on the rarity of this item....this is only the second Mayo Cut Plug tin that I have had the pleasure of offering for sale in my 20+ years specializing in Black Americana! The tin displays beautifully!!