A Tobacco Lord relaxing with his pipe, depicted on the cover of a booklet issued on the occasion of the International Exhibition of 1901 by Glasgow tobacco merchants F & J Smith.
The booklet's author Alfred Barnard (famous for his 19th century guides to the whisky industry and the brewing industry of the United Kingdom) extols the virtues of tobacco, claiming that it is "the means of sleeping with our eyes open." For the benefit of visitors, Glasgow's rise to a position of pre-eminence in the 18th century tobacco trade is described. A picturesque description is given of successful merchants at the time, which the illustrator has attempted to capture: "They assumed important airs and the deportment of very superior persons, looking down upon their fellow tradesmen and dependants with a superciliousness that would be laughed at in these days. They considered themselves princes, and strutted about on the Plainstanes as if they were the rulers of the destinies of Glasgow. They were (like the merchants of Venice) distinguished by a particular garb, being attired in scarlet cloaks, curled wigs, cocked hats, and bearing gold-headed canes."
Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 679.7 BAR
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
advertisements, F & J Smith, International Exhibition, 1901, merchants, pipe smoking, pipes, tobacco, Tobacco Lords, tobacco merchants