BrandBlack Cat

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Brand Black Cat

Black Cat cigarettes were first introduced in the United Kingdom by Carreras Ltd. in 1904. The brand was named for a black cat that consistently used to sleep in the window of Carreras' Wardour Street shop; its appearance was so regular, that passersby used to refer to the business as 'the black cat shop'. The Black Cat brand was a pacesetter in the British tobacco market. Besides being among the first machine-made cigarettes to be sold, it was also a pioneering coupon brand. The brand hit its peak in the 1920s, and although cigarette coupons came to an end in Britian in 1934, it still continued to include collectable cigarette cards. Black Cats were withdrawn from sale during the Second World War. They briefly were brought back in 1957, but due to customer demand for filtered cigarettes, it disappeared from the market a couple of years later. They were brought back one more time, this time with a filter tip, beginning in 1976, and Black Cats continued to be sold in Britain until 1993.

In Canada, they were manufactured by Rock City Tobacco, which had become a subsidiary of Carreras in 1936. Black Cats were sold in plain (in a yellow package) and cork-tip (in a light blue package)--the latter had the distinction of being the last cork-tipped cigarette to be sold in the Canadian market, being available as late as 1974. Both of those versions were phased out during the 1970s. A filter-tipped version was introduced in the 1960s, called Black Cat Number Seven, but over time, the Black Cat name was dropped, and the brand came to be known simply as Number Seven. Black Cats were briefly reintroduced in the Canadian market by successor manufacturer Rothmans Benson & Hedges in the early 2000s as an early value brand, but this incarnation only lasted a couple of years before they were withdrawn.

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