The Tobacco Cellar … 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.

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

Believing they were having some quite understandable
beginner’s difficulty, I would describe to that person,
the way that I have always done so.

Having heard nothing more, I venture on to their
YouTube ‘channel’ … and there, FIVE DAYS after
asking me that question — they have 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 …

… the 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