Original J. P. Alley’s Hambone Advertising Cigar Sign with African American Pilot – Lindberg’s 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic ocean


Vintage Original  J. P. Alley’s Hambone Advertising Cigar Sign Fan Pull

TThe image on the cigar box label is a satire on Lindberg’s 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic ocean (note USA on the left and the Eiffel Tower on the right side of picture).

Image of an African-American pilot flying a small yellow plane. The plane has the words “Going Over” painted on the side. The advertising indicates that the product is of the finest quality and is above all five cent cigars. An identical image is printed on the back of the card. The size is 7 1/8″ across and the advertising is printed on heavy-weight card stock with bright colors and a shiny gilt details.

More than one fantasy involves around HAMBONE cigars.  Hambone was the nickname of Tom Hunley, a folk-wisdom spouting ex-slave interviewed late in his life by a young Memphis editorial cartoonist James Pinckney “J.P.” Alley who was enthralled by Hunley’s humorously philosophical tone. Alley turned the old man’s pithy observations on life into a syndicated illustrated newspaper column called “Hambone’s Meditations” which debuted in 1916 and was soon followed by two books. When J.P. died in 1934, his son Calvin took over his work, and the Hambone character continued in papers until 1968.

Starting in the late 1920’s, two different cigar companies (over time, not at once) were licensed to market cheap cigars under the character’s name and Alley’s illustration. The image on the cigar box label is a satire on Lindberg’s 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic ocean.

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