Advert for Player's Navy Cut, cigarettes
John Player bought a tobacconists shop in Broad Road, Nottingham, in 1877, capitalising on the contemporary popularity of prerolled cigarettes and prepacked, labelled tobacco. In 1881 he bought land nearby and established three factory buildings. Two he rented to lace manufacturers, the third he kept for himself and his cigarette manufacturing business.
Player's Navy Cut were perhaps the company's most famous and distinctive brand. Indeed, Player & Son's advertising has changed little in the intervening century: their cigarette packets are still decorated with the logo of a sailor and life ring. This colourful illustration is so small in reality that it was probably a wrapper from a packet of cigarettes rather than an advertisement in and of itself.