Archive Interest, a Silver Cigarette Case


January 05, 2021
Stephanie Plowman
Recently, Gonzaga University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) received a donation of a silver plated cigarette case with a small GU logo attached. Holding up to 9 cigarettes, the case had a patented date of June 6, 1916. The donor said that it was amongst his late mother’s cigarette case collection and gave it in memory of her, Norine May Miller. He did not have any information as to how she acquired it.  

It is a unique item that makes one wonder why it was manufactured. In 1916 there were not many Gonzaga students nor alumni to demand such an item. The case was probably not given away at the 1916 commencement as there were only 15 graduates. Yet, the case demonstrates how smoking was a common feature of Gonzaga’s culture at the time.  

Currently, the cigarette case is held in UASC’s vault with other unique GU memorabilia. Hopefully soon the cigarette case can be put on display with other items with GU’s logo, such as suede pillowcases from the 1930s.