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Nigger Hair Tobacco lunch tin
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Object ID 001637

Object Name Nigger Hair Tobacco lunch tin

Object Desc Lunch style tobacco tin for Nigger Hair tobacco.

Collection General Collection

Accession # CMY001328

Alternate ID

General Category History

Category Tobacco Products


Source Category Found In Collection

Accession Date JAN 1,1991


Location Tobacco Exhibit North Shelf 8

Object Date

Start Year Range 1878

End Year Range 1930

Status On Exhibit

Object Keywords Nigger Hair Tobacco,tins,B. Leidersdorf Company,tobacco,chewing tobacco,smoking,

Title Nigger Hair Tobacco lunch tin

Description Nigger Hair tobacco tin. Tin is lunch style; could be used as a lunch pail after tobacco was finished. Tin is yellow with black print and illustrations. Front and back have illustration of a black woman with afro and ear/nose rings. The words "Smoke/or Chew/Nigger Hair/ Registered In Patent Office April 8, 1878/Smoking/Tobacco" are printed on the front and back.Side contains company name "B. Leidersdorf Co." and Caution Notice. Opposite side reads "B. Leidersdorf Co.,/Milwaukee, Wis./The American Tobacco Co. , Successor." Tin has wire handle attached to two domes on each side. Tin is missing lid.


Approx Collection Date

Height 7

Length 0

Width 0

Depth 0

Diameter 5.25

Circumference 0

Weight 0

Unit of Measure Inches/ounces

Dimension Details Dimensions are for entire tin with handle lowered. Handle upright changes height to 9".

Quantity 1



Site Details

Place of Origin

Maker B. Leidersdorf Company

Maker Details Bernhard Leidersdorf (1837-1912) came to Milwaukee in 1858 and started a tobacco factory in partner-ship with Henry Helmholz. The partnership was dissolved in 1869 and the firm continued as the B. Leidersdorf Company. The company became one of the leading tobacco firms in Milwaukee, and its products were distributed throughout the nation. Leidersdorf retired from active business in 1905. A Republican, he was city alderman (1880-1881) and public debt commissioner of Milwaukee (1905- 1906). The product was produced as "Nigger Hair" until the 1950s. The production company changed the product's name to "Bigger Hair" in the 1950s, following fierce criticism from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Maker Mark


(click for full image)

Image Caption CMYY001328

Description Nigger Hair Tobacco Lunch Tin


Date MAR 4,2014

Summary Poor

Assessor Cassie Coffey

Notes Tin has many dents in the bottom/left side and around rim. Masking tape from previous sales is on the tin near rim and front (15.00). Tin has moderate scratching and oxidation on the handle, domes, bottom, and inside.


Date MAR 25,2014

Summary Status change

Notes Status changed to On Exhibit from On-Site Collection Storage - automatic entry by admin

Date MAR 25,2014

Summary Location change

Notes Location changed to Tobacco Exhibit North Shelf 8 from Room 7, Shelf 23 - automatic entry by admin