Orlik pipe dating
All this information about Murray's or Orlik production, and tins withridges and tins without, has got me curious.
I went into the cellar and took half a dozen tins to see what differences I could find.
And what's with the July 05 EMP recessed ridge, which is quite different from the old no ridge and new pronounced ridge bottoms.
Golden Sliced is a blend of none other than golden, fully ripened Virginia leaves from the traditional districts of the United States, with just a touch of Perique.
Here's what I've discovered, but I don't know what I've learned, if anything. Light Flake (bought Nov 2004) no ridge tin with a 6 digit dot matrix code 064204 (on the metal of the bottom, but overlaps the small rectangular Lane sticker.) White CA sticker. Only a little, and I have to make some large suppositions. in Association with Dunhill Tobacco of London" on them.
Early Morning Pipe (bought Jan 2000) no ridge tin, with rectangular small Lane sticker with a 3 digit solid typeface rubber stamped code 036(no CA sticker because this tin is open and I'm smoking it. 2004) no ridge tin, with a six digit dot-matrix code 054105 stamped near the edge of the bottom of the tin. Early Morning Pipe (bought July 2005, after the announcement about the changeover, hoping to stockpile old production)with a somewhat recessed ridge, but still having 6 digit dot-matrix code 054129 and the small Lane sticker. Elizabethan Mixture (bought Sept 2005) has a pronounced ridge, no coding on the tin, large round Made in EU Lane sticker -- though the sticker has in microscopic print a 10 digit code -- 0507060902. The code numbers on earlier tins are added AFTER the Lane labels -- in the early tins they are 3 digit codes on the Lane sticker itself, in later tins they are six digit codes on the tin, but occasionally overlapping the paper Lane sticker. I cannot imagine Orlik is producing these mixtures in the UK and all the rest of their production in Denmark. Is this like Rattrays's, who used their old labels for years in some instances, even after production had changed and finally gone out of the UK.
The sailors cut pieces from the end for chewing (this happened most of the times because smoking was often forbidden on the wooden ships, imagine, a little spark and *whoosh*) or they cut coins that could be loaded into pipes.
The flakes we know today from tobacco manufacturers are evolutions of the pressing that the sailors invented to keep their tobacco usable.
This code is interesting because the first six numbers look somewhat similar to the dot-matrix code most recently used. Lt brown CA sticker, but attached horizontally, rather than vertically, as on all the other tins. In new production tins they are absent, or incorporated into the large round Lane sticker. If there truly is a major difference between the Murrays and the Orlik product, being able to identify the production "tells" will be important.Perhaps it is a six digit mixture or batch or quality control code, with a date code following? So does the factory afix the importer's sticker (and therefore possibly the coding) or is the sticker and the code afixed by Lane after the tins arrive in the USA? Do any of these codes appear on tins not imported into USA? Sorry if I'm nit-picking, but capturing these details now when they are still fresh and in front of us may help down the road.