Growing up, smoking was all around me, chain smokers were everywhere amongst the men and the women. Hand-rolled cigarettes for my grandfather, cigars for his son and my cousin Bobby (even a pipe at times), Marlboros, Camels, Phillip Morris for my dad and Uncle John. My mother didn't smoke but many of my aunts and certainly her women friends did with their dark sunglasses and that cigarette perched in their hands, in their mouths — they looked so cool, so sophisticato.
All those people with their cigarettes and all those souvenir ashtrays to buy and save while you were smoking your way through the USA. So many of those painted metal state-shaped ashtrays that everyone had — the older ones with the filigreed edges, the newer ones just stamped out and mass-produced.
|Vermont dwarfing Alaska|
The idea of the map made of ashtrays quickly faded when my Vermont (sixth smallest state in area) dwarfed my other ashtrays in size.
Clearly there are series of these ashtrays..those touristy metal ones you've all seen (not very geographically accurate), and a ceramic series by "Annie Laurie." Was this one person making them state-by-state and I just happened to find her Alaska and Maryland? Or were the Annie Lauries manufactured and sold in stores? And then there are the ones that are unique to the state: Maine (The Lions Club), Ohio (radio station) and Arkansas (the Razorbacks are the football team for those like me who don't have a clue).
|Horizontal & vertical versions of Georgia|
I'm sad to say I don't have my home state of New Jersey so com'on all you readers out there — be on the hunt!
State-Shaped Ashtrays I NEED [Update: I have crossed out those I have received since this post...thanks to the generosity of Stephanie and Julie!! Thanks you two! And thanks Liz! And also Nancy! And Jason!]ALABAMA *
PS Though I loved this title, truly I smoked for less than five years total.