Tuesday, June 25, 2013

SMOKIN' MONSTERS: BORIS KARLOFF AND UNION LEADER


Well, if you ever wondered what brand of pipe tobacco Boris Karloff smoked, here's the answer . . . at least in the early days. If you believe the ad in this May 1935 issue of POPULAR SCIENCE as words coming directly from Karloff himself, then you would have found that he had smoked Union Leader since 1930. Appearing just a month after the release of BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, Karloff looks every bit the English gentleman . . . with one catch -- Union Leader was an American product!



For those interested, Union Leader was a blend of Burley and Virginia tobaccos manufactured by P. Lorillard, "America's Finest Tobacco Company", established in 1760. It was cut for use as both a cigarette and pipe tobacco. It's last incarnation before disappearing off the drug store shelf was as a House of Windsor product, where it retained its Burley base accompanied by a top note that was described alternately as maple and honey. Some online tobacconists are currently selling a "Union Leader match" blend.




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