Smoke up son, Daddy needs a lawnmower

Smoking is bad. Well, that’s what we are all told. Stop smoking campaings, smokers made to smoke outside.

But it has not always been like that. Smoking was once a right of passage. ‘Ey up lad, How old are you? Smoked your first cigarette yet?’ There was a time when it was a good thing. Almost seen as a form of deep breathing exercise. It was something the whole family would do.

One of the objects within the collection of the Blackburn Museum is a booklet with a list of wonderful gifts you can get from collecting cigarette coupons.Just smoke a pack of cigarettes, cut out the coupon and you were well on your way to getting your hands on something exciting. Gifts were available from collecting as little as 180 certificates (a building block set), 250 certificates (patterned hand towel) or even 100 certificates (Turned brass darts).

One of the first things you notice in the catalogue are the images. Men are found walking around with wheelbarrows and lawnmowers while women are shown ironing and looking dreamily at blenders.

Now, if you had 1650 certificates you would be in a deep dilemma. You would have to make a choice between the quilted nylon dressing gown or the foldaway step ladder as shown in the above picture. Unfortunately, pink is not my colour otherwise I would have chosen the dressign gown but you can register which you prefer in the poll at the bottom of the blog.

If you enjoy a puff more than the average man, and have collected almost 3000 certificates, you could buy yourself a lawnmower. Should you be a doting dad, however, you could instead get a cycle for your son and dress him in short shorts and socks and sandals. Awesome!

Just for those of you that are curious. The most ‘expensive’ item in the brochure is a rather dull all electric foldaway cooker for 12,000 certificates.

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2 Responses to “Smoke up son, Daddy needs a lawnmower”


  1. 1 Emma P February 21, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    As the recent proud owner of my first wheelbarrow bought with Tesco Clubcard vouchers I can relate to this (but with no chance of getting lung cancer). Definitely no vote for the dressing gown from me though.

  2. 2 4d February 24, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    My grandad liked a smoke but all he got was ephysema 😦


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Blackburn Museum can be found in Blackburn, Lancashire. It houses objects documenting Blackburn's industrial past as well as a world class collection of Fine Art, Japanese prints, Icons, Numismatics and Manuscripts. Come and visit us to find out more.

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