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How to Date a Cigarette Pack
American: 1879 to Present

by Michael McDonald (tobaccocollector.com)

Who was DeWitt Clinton?
DeWitt Clinton appears on the earliest tax stamps in 1879 listed here (please correct me if you have different information.  He was NOT, as some believe, ever a President of the US, although he did run for that office against Madison.  I am not sure why he appears on the Internal Revenue tax stamp, since that body was not formed until the Civil War.  Here is a brief biography.  If you have trouble reading this, copy and paste it to a word processor and increase the font.

"A lawyer and statesman, DeWitt Clinton was born in Little Britain,
New York, and was educated at Columbia College. Three years after graduating in 1786, Clinton was admitted to the bar, became secretary to his uncle, George Clinton, who was the governor of New York. Soon after, he became a member of the Anti-Federalist party. 

He was a member of the
New York state legislature from 1797 until 1802, when he became a member of the U.S. Senate. However, he later resigned in 1803 in order to serve as mayor of New York City, and thus he served in that capacity with two brief interruptions until 1815. 

In 1812, he ran unsuccessfully for the
U.S. presidency against James Madison. One of Clinton’s most lasting accomplishments as a leader in civic and state affairs was the establishment of the New York public school system; actively interested in all scientific and social questions, he encouraged steam navigation, modified the laws governing criminals and debtors, and advocated the building of the Erie Canal.   On the strength of the canal question, which he had made a political issue, Clinton was elected as governor of New York, serving from 1817 to 1823."

 

 

**( IMPORTANT Cycleback Note:  Tax stamps could be used past their printed date.  For example, ‘1909’ stamps have been found on packs from the late 1910s.  The only way to date a cigarette pack to an exact year is when there is a date printed on top of the tax stamp.  The printed date is often in red and very had to read.  This printed date does not ordinarily appear on the tax stamp, often because it was faded away.  This note illustrates that being able to date a pack to a year is uncommon )

 

Year

Tax Stamp and Health Warnings

Manufacturer's Notice

1879

Tax Stamp Series of 1879
May be overprinted with Factory No. and/or Date.

5/1/1879 to 6/24/1954 - "NOTICE - The manufacturer of the cigarettes herein contained has complied with all the requirements of law.  Every person is cautioned not to use this package for cigarettes again, or the stamp thereon again, nor to remove the contents of this package without destroying said stamp, under penalties provided by law in such cases."

1880

1881

1882

1883

Tax Stamp Series of 1883
May be overprinted with Factory No. and/or Date.

1884

1885

1886

1887

Tax Stamp Series of 1887
May be overprinted with Factory No. and/or Date.

1888

1889

1890

1891

1892

1893

1894

1895

1896

1897

1898

Tax Stamp Series of 1898
May be overprinted with Factory No. and/or Date.

1899

1900

1901

Tax Stamp Series of 1901
May be overprinted with Factory No. and/or Date.

1902

1903

1904

1905

1906

1907

1908

1909

Tax Stamp Series of 1909

1910

Tax Stamp Series of 1910
May be overprinted with Factory No. and/or Date.

1911

1912

1913

1914

1915

1916

1917

Tax Stamp Series of 1917
May be overprinted with Factory No. and/or Date.

1918

1919

1920

1921

Has stamp but probably no series date.
May be overprinted with Factory No. and/or Date.

1922

1923

1924

1925

1926

1927

1928

1929

1930

1931

1932

DeWitt Clinton Series 102 (1" wide)

1933

DeWitt Clinton Series 103 (1" wide)

1934

DeWitt Clinton Series 104 (1" wide)

1935

DeWitt Clinton Series 105 (1" wide)

1936

DeWitt Clinton Series 106 (1" wide)

1937

DeWitt Clinton Series 107 (1" wide)

1938

DeWitt Clinton Series 108 (1" wide)

1939

DeWitt Clinton Series 109 (1" wide)

1940

DeWitt Clinton Series 110 (1" wide)

1941

DeWitt Clinton Series 111 (1" wide)

1942

DeWitt Clinton Series 112 (1" wide) 

1943

DeWitt Clinton Series 113 (1" wide)

1944

DeWitt Clinton Series 114 (1" wide)

1945

DeWitt Clinton Series 115 (1" wide)

1946

DeWitt Clinton Series 116 (1" wide)

1947

DeWitt Clinton Series 117 (1" wide)

1948

DeWitt Clinton Series 118 (1" wide)

1949

DeWitt Clinton Series 119 (1" wide)

1950

DeWitt Clinton Series 120 (1" wide)

1951

DeWitt Clinton Series 121 (1" wide)

1952

DeWitt Clinton Series 122 (1" wide)

1953

DeWitt Clinton Series 123 (1" wide)

1954

DeWitt Clinton Series 124 (1" wide)

1955

DeWitt Clinton Series 125 (1" wide)

6/25/1954 to 6/24/1959 - "Law forbids the reuse of the federal stamp hereon and requires the person who empties this package to destroy such stamp when the package is emptied."

1956

DeWitt Clinton Series 125 (3/4" wide)

1957

1958

1959

1960

6/25/59 - 9/30/60 - Nothing required on pack.

1961

10/9/60 - Present - The manufacturer's city, state and permit number or approved symbol required on pack.

1962

1963

Zip Codes introduced.

1964

1965

Zip Codes start to appear more on packs.

1966

7/1/66 - 9/30/70 - "Caution: Cigarette Smoking May Be Hazardous To Your Health" used on side of pack.

 

1967

1968

1969

1970

1971

10/1/70 - 10/12/85 - "Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined That Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous To Your Health" used on side of pack.

1972

1973

1974

1975

1975 bar codes start to appear on packs. 

1976

1977

1978

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

10/16/85 to Present - "SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING" in any one of four forms used found randomly on packs.

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

 

 

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