The Erinmore Pineapple

In 2009, I presented a video on YouTube
in an effort to address what certainly seemed
at the time, to be a Very pervasive “mystery”
concerning Erinmore pipe tobacco.

That video was produced; and this editorial is written
because I am disgusted by those
who seem to take any opportunity
to present themselves as profound ‘experts’ …
by propagating Ignorance and Error as “fact”.

I despise Bullies.

And malignant creatures who inflate their own ego
by impressing the feeble-minded with false “knowledge”,
ignorant opinion, or downright lies.

I certainly noticed no small number of such characters
once YouTube (in 2008) had begun to degrade into
crude profanity and gross immaturity,
quickly becoming nothing more than a ‘soapbox’
for any and every narcissist to promote his or her vanity.

Even kindness and a desire to help folk, was abused
and turned into a Vanity Show …

One occasion will serve to illustrate:

“Mr Livingstone, could you tell me
the correct way to fill a pipe?”

Believing that the inquirer was having some
quite understandable beginner’s difficulty,
I would describe to that person and explained
the way that I have always done so.

Having heard nothing more, I ventured to their
YouTube ‘channel’ … and there, FIVE DAYS after
asking me that question — found myself staring
at a new video: “How to Pack a Pipe” !!!!!!!

And that single example was repeated
on no less than a dozen other occasions.

The Pineapple on the tins of Erinmore pipe tobacco
seemed to be a great favourite for armchair fantasists
to make claims, and deceive their easily-led followers.

The reason that a Pineapple appears
on the tin of Erinmore pipe tobacco
is easily explained …

When I was a lad, my grandpa owned a shop in Belfast
at 363 Beersbridge Road where – whenever staying with
my grandparents – I was able to take the bus into town.

It was on those regular visits into the city, that I would
have the odd occasion to see the austere red brick factory
of ‘Murray & Sons’ Whitehall Tobacco Works
at Great Victoria Street Train Station near Sandy Row.

Now, Belfast – in the 19th century, was home to two
producers of pipe tobacco: Gallahers (Belfast 1867,
premise’s enlarged 1896) and Murrays (Belfast 1810),

and it was here, at Murray’s,
that Erinmore pipe tobacco originated.

The Pineapple

In the 18th century, Britain was in the process
of becoming “Great” Britain – which it did by

invading foreign lands;
occupying them;
and stealing what was theirs –

making outrageous sums of money
from invasion and stolen goods.

It was in the great age of sailing ships,
that people in Britain and Europe
were introduced to exotic delicacies
brought back from voyages to far-off lands.

And certainly, any British subject
(who was able to afford such novelties)
was considered to be a ‘person of class’
and ‘distinction’

if there was, in his household, something
that was brought back to Britain
on one of these sailing voyages.

By acquiring these delicacies from overseas,
pompous men and women made every effort
to impress friends and business associates
who were equally as shallow as themselves –

by having on display in their homes
items that were brought back to Britain
from the far side of the world.

If you wished to be regarded as
“A person of class” or “a person of distinction”,
you made certain to display some exotic novelty
in your home or place of business.

Such items – prominently displayed –
was intended to signify the owner as a person
… or a business … of excellent quality.

Homes began to feature such things as

Parlour Palms …
oranges …
bananas …

and that real novelty …

the Pineapple.

Possession of a pineapple marked its owner
as a person of true sophistication.

Businesses, equally, began to incorporate
some type of exotic import into the advertising
of their premises, goods, or services.

The Pineapple was the ultimate sign of

QUALITY.

And it was THIS particular exotic cargo
that Murray and Sons of Belfast
adopted as their trademark … of excellence
… for their pipe tobacco.

That 2009 video did
make the rounds at the time,
and put to rest a fair amount of idle speculation
and the flights of fantasy of “tobacco reviewers”
who trumpeted their ability to ‘taste’
that “nuance” of Pineapple flavour in Erinmore.

To repeat what I had taken pains to explain
in that video …

There is absolutely NO pineapple flavouring
to be found in Erinmore pipe tobacco,

let people imagine it … and swear to it …
however much they may.

It is an indication of the deplorable state
of 21st century humanity, that they WILL not
read what is before their eyes …

… they see, but they do not observe.

IF the observations from personal experience
made above, might actually require further
clarification for some defiant souls,
let me ask you a question:

What appears – in plain view – on either side
of that Pineapple drawing … ?

Two Words. “Trade” and “Mark”.

The Pineapple is a trade mark.

Murray and Sons closed in 2005,
and Erinmore has been made in Denmark
for a good few years …

But that pineapple is still to be found
on the tins of Erinmore pipe tobacco.

P Livingstone
Traditional Methods of Pipe and Tobacco
philiplivingstone.org

Author: Mr Livingstone

A gentle man who simply wishes to live quietly and die peacefully ... despite being surrounded by a world that has neither manners nor morals.

2 thoughts on “The Erinmore Pineapple”

  1. Hello Mícheál, Not to presume upon your age,
    but as you previously mentioned your dear wife,
    I would assume that that would be when Erinmore was still made
    in Northern Ireland. When the factory closed and the name
    was carried on elsewhere, its flavour and aroma did change, so
    you will be carrying a memory that no one since then will ever have.

    It is amazing the way a scent (or piece of music, for that matter),
    can transport one back to a specific place or even time in their life.
    A Painter enjoying Erinmore Flake: that in itself is an image
    that immediately comes to life! For me, these are the things that I
    want to speak about with people: memories of life … the hollowness of
    the Internet, for me, is always that people can ‘speak’ or type about
    nothing but “Look at Me”, “Look at What I Own” …

    There is two sentences from you – and yet they have more significance for me
    (who, clearly, never met your dad) than the massive Vain Volumes of Vacuity
    that saturate the Internet.

    Many thanks for letting me share that memory!
    Regards, PL

  2. My dad smoked Erinmore Flake. I can still smell it’s fine scent in my mind as I think back to the days when I would accompany my dad when he sold his paintings at the Summer Art Shows in central Wisconsin.

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