Partial Tinned Tobacco Inventory

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Written by John C. Loring (4/10/00)
Contributed by Yang Forcióri

Tinned Tobacco dating to the 1970s & 1980s Tinned Tobacco dating to the 1960s & Earlier

This is a partial inventory of my tinned tobacco and is to significant extent the basis for my recent article on dating English tinned tobacco.

To make the inventory easier to review I have deleted all tins still maturing, ie. dating to 1990 or later, and then divided the balance into newer tins dating from the 1970s and 1980s (Tinned Tobacco dating to the 1970s & 1980s) and older tins dating from the 1930s to the 1960s (Tinned Tobacco dating to the 1960s & Earlier), the former consisting primarily of 'pop top' & 'coin twist' tins and the latter consisting of 'knife lids' (or 'cutter tops' as you prefer) & 'coin twist' tins.

Prices for older tobacco have begun to reach reasonable levels, e.g. mid '80s tins often go for $30 + an ounce to better then $100 an ounce for highly desirable blends with good age - and prime blends in excellent condition in older knife lid tins or early 'coin twists' can go for better then $150 an ounce. (If you question the reasonableness figure out the true 'time valued' cost of buying a tin of quality unadulterated tobacco today, when you can find such, and holding it until 2015, 2030 & then, if your basement escaped flooding, 2050, for instance $10 in 2000 time values at 10% to $1,300 in 2050).

I will consider serious offers to buy or trade for one or more tins from this inventory. And in fact, after initially posting my initial inventory some months ago I priced it to keep some consistency. However, I have posted this updated inventory unpriced for a couple of reasons. Foremost because while I sell tins this remains my personal tobacco inventory as opposed to a 'sales inventory' and includes some tins that I earnestly hope I will only part with through puffs of smoke. I price only in part based on the market, the other part is how much I personally like the blend and whether, for me, there are substitutes. Secondly, the 'market' is both growing and a moving target & I really don't want to spend my days updating prices.

A few additional notes about the two lists:

You may assume that the tins on the Tinned Tobacco dating to the 1970s & 1980s list are in reasonably good condition, requiring at worst some minor rehydration. If that proves not to be the case, within two weeks of shipment you may return the opened, but still completely full tin, for a refund of the purchase price (not including shipping).

Tins from the Older Tins - Tinned Tobacco dating to the 1960s & Earlier are sold 'as is' without any assurances. These tins are all well over a quarter century, some over a half century old and even when they look 'pristine' there's a risk that there are hidden problems. On the other hand I have found 'perfect' tobacco in the grungiest of tins. I should also add that I have rarely found a situation where the tobacco could not be salvaged to some extent. (As an examples I am presently smoking my way through a pound of 1943 Dunhill American Mixture from a wartime, hardly 'airtight, cardboard container. And for an incredible rusted tin tale Read this personal experience. Generally speaking, a round 'coin twist' tin is a safer bet then a knife lid (or a pop top) of equal age but especially before the 1960s they are not readily found.

For an enjoyable risk free smoke, the tins from the '70s & the '80s do the trick quite nicely, but for a sometimes unforgettable experience, as well as the mystique of drawing wisps of smoke born before you or perhaps even your parents, you have to risk the older tins. I can not gainsay those that shake their heads, but then how many supposedly sensible people in the land of the Cubs and the Bears are paying thousands of dollars to keep their Bulls tickets in hopes of 'next year' - and if nothing else, you don't get ulcers from knife lids.

Lastly, please remember that older tobacco, especially when you get into the '50s and earlier, is like older wine, once opened or rehydrated it should be smoked within the month if not sooner, as it will tend to fade.

Back to Loring's articles here

Yang (talk) 10:27, 19 August 2019 (CDT)