- History’s Mysteries: Ghost Sign on East 6th Street By Andito – November 21, 2011 – Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
vintage mural ads & other signage by Frank H. Jump & friends
Virgin Leaf tobacco was a trademarked chewing tobacco marketed by McAlpin & Co. Since I have never seen their past ads as claiming to be “for the blood,” I am assuming this is a pentimento – two or more ads superimposed upon one another – of the Virgin Leaf ad with a blood tonic. Would love to climb that fence and get a straight on shot of this right after it rains.
I had totally forgotten about it until my friend mentioned it yesterday. I love researching the old companies that are being advertised and reflecting on how much the city has changed over time. – Iman R. Abdulfattah
According to Relli Shechter in Smoking, Culture & Economy in the Middle East- The Egyptian Tobacco Market 1850 – 2000, Coutarelli was the only large-scale Greek producer for the Egyptian tobacco smoking market, opening its business immediately after 1890 [p.80, Shechter]. In early February 1918, cigarette roller strikes occurred in Alexandria where the company was located [p.89]. According to Shechter, Coutarelli…
…began machine production in 1922, when it bought its first three cigarette-making machines. In 1945, an article in La Reforme suggested that Coutarelli employed more than 5,000 persons in production and distribution, thus putting the percentage of persons employed in Coutarelli at slightly less than a third of the total number employed in the business.
Former U.S. Diplomat Henry Precht, who was chief of the Iran Desk at the US State Department during the years of the Revolution and the hostage crisis said the following in a March 8, 2000 interview conducted by Charles Stuart Kennedy for The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Foreign Affairs Oral History Project:
Coutarelli had been the cigarette king of Egypt and had died after marrying a rather disreputable, it was said, Italian lady whom the family disapproved of. She was afraid that her huge house with an immense garden right around the corner from the consulate would be taken away either by the Egyptian government or by her husband’s family. So, she rented it to an American vice consul for his housing allowance in order to safeguard it. And it worked, at least for us certainly.