Banker, The Clean Tobacco, F. R. Penn Tobacco Co., Circa 1920

The F.R. Penn Tobacco Company in Wilkes-Barre, PA certainly made good use of this small metal tip tray from the 1920’s.   The companies highly touted Banker Chewing Tobacco got the outer billing and largest letters on the tray, and was denoted as a “clean tobacco”.    I can imagine a banker wanting a clean tobacco, vs. a factory worker wanting a dirty tobacco?!   Well, just remember, it’s only advertising.

This tip tray also incorporated images of the companies Gold Crumbs and their Queen Quality tobacco for men in the trays image.   It is not too often you see three brands advertised on a small four inch tip tray, but the F.R. Penn Company pulled it off very well, and the colors of this tray certainly catch the attention of collectors still today!

The F. R. Penn Tobacco Company was one of the larger eastern tobacco companies outside of the traditional tobacco belt of the Carolina’s.  Founded in 1874, the companies leaders eventually created the Lucky Strike cigarette brand, this propelling a successful company to unheard of new heights.  The Lucky Strike brand eventually became the largest selling cigarette brand in the U.S.  Due to the Penn companies success, the company caught the attention of the American Tobacco Company, and were bought out in 1904. hence, ending a successful run by F.R. Penn Tobacco Company and the Penn family.  The Penn names was retained for quite a few years however by the new parent, simply to ensure the brand’s continued their sales success.