Recently I've been digging around an old house that we will soon be remodeling. It has been interesting to discover many outdated products and brands that I either remember with fondness or have no memory of at all. The house was built in the early 1960's. It had been unoccupied for many years, and we decided that not much of the original house was practical to preserve. This mostly included the wood paneling that covered the entire house. Yes, that's right, except for the two small bathrooms that were lined with drywall, the rest of the house was covered in wood paneling.
The paneling itself was still in good condition, but it really just had to go. So off it went. And as it did, I noticed this little logo stuck inside the paneling on every other piece. It turns out that the wood came from Gabon, which, in the early 1960's, had just obtained its independence from France. I realize that the drum motif is African, but I couldn't help but think that this image was making an attempt to snag the attention of home builders who were still wanting to jump on that Tiki bandwagon that had been rolling along.
A little surfing tells me that Gabon is known for its petroleum and timber products. Port-Gentil, a small town after WWII, grew to 20,000 residents by 1960, and it seems many of them made it their mission to panel as many of the walls of America as possible.
I found many cigar boxes in the house, most of which were in very bad shape. However, in a store room cluttered with piles of junk, I dug out this box, which was badly discolored and stained. Opening it, I discovered that the image inside the top lid was nicely preserved.
El Producto cigars were once a popular cigar, though that was nearly one hundred years ago. While most cigar fans looked elsewhere for something to smoke, George Burns was well known for his devotion to the brand. You can read more about his love of El Producto Queens, what he called his little ladies, at cigaraficianado.com.