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Dartmouth Tigers Wah-Hoo-Wah

History is a crooked timber, that’s for sure. Just when I was wondering how far back the Indian symbol went, up on eBay appeared a tobacco leather that seems to urge the assembled multitudes to chant for the Dartmouth T-I-G-E-R — even if the image of an American Indian is present, too:

Dartmouth TigerTobacco Leather.jpg

Tobacco leathers were affixed to tobacco pouches to advertise tobacco companies or one’s affiliation. They were offered at the point of sale by makers of tobacco products. The seller asserts, with no documentary proof, that this leather dates to 1908.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

I really enjoyed today’s post. I have a similar paper version of your leather depicted below along with a description of these items. I picked mine up at a Nantucket flea market several years ago where they also had numerous versions of other Ivy League schools. I believe the tiger cheer was similar to that of the locomotive cheer, also popular at the time and not school specific.

He also included a more detailed description of the origins of tobacco leathers:

Tobacco Leathers Forager.jpg

And a wonderful example of a Dartmouth tobacco silk that also includes the T-I-G-E-R chant (TRIGGER WARNING: avert your eyes if historical memorabilia might cause you severe emotional discomfort):

Dartmouth silk.jpg


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