The highly Coveted Boston Whaler Ashtray!
I’ve been trying to acquire one of these for a long time - no, definitely not taking up smoking, just another very cool piece of Whaler memorabilia for the office!
In 1972 these little 13’ Boston Whaler ashtrays were offered in the Boston Whaler accessories catalog.
The listing read “Park your smokes in this replica Boston Whaler”.
They were made of ceramic and offered for $3.50, plus 50 cents shipping (if there’s a cent sign on my MacBook keyboard, I’ve yet to find it).
These cool little relics were sometimes given to new Whaler owners in the late 60’s and early 70’s and occasionally presented as awards to employees, etc.
Mine popped up on eBay last week, and I wasn’t about to let another one get away!
Imagine that, the gift of an ashtray from your employer! They didn’t, after all, call them candy dishes, or say “Park your Snickers in this replica…”
It’s amazing to me just how deeply entrenched into American society smoking was, and not that long ago. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way.
Hell, right up ‘till the 1990s most cars included ashtrays for both front and rear passengers as standard equipment. It was great entertainment as a kid to repeatedly flip the spring loaded lids open and shut on long road trips in the back of our 1968 Ford Station Wagon. As a staunch non-smoking family our ashtrays were generally full of candy wrappers.
If the capacity of these factory installed smoking enablers wasn’t great enough, a popular 1970’s auto accessory was the beanbag ashtray which stayed relatively still atop your car’s dashboard.
Nowadays it seems strange to see folks smoking, much less in a car, and certainly not with kids in the back!
In the late 80’s I had a part time job bagging groceries at Food Lion while attending a small college in a southern Virginia town with a rich tobacco history. Part of my job was going around with a cat box pooper scooper and sifting cigarette butts out of the ashtrays located at the end of the isles.
Just a few years prior, my relativity suburban high school had just painted lines on the bus ramp to serve as the designated smokers section - which as I recall was quite an infringement on the rights of young smokers.
I remember 50 cent cigarette vending machines next to soda and snack machines, long before age restrictions and taxes designed to curb bad habits were put into place.
As a child I enjoyed a few packs of both candy and bubble gum cigarettes, which I did think were pretty darn cool at the time - Mom did not.
In elementary school art class, it seems like the go-to for less talented young artist was a clay ashtray, wasn’t it? And who didn’t want to be the Marlboro Man?
So, anyway this cool little piece of Whaler memorabilia will soon be sitting on my office desk full of YCM business cards and maybe even a few of those fun sized Snickers bars.
Currently she’s being enjoyed by a few of my childhood buddies from the Fisher-Price Adventure People Crew - so much cooler than the stuff kids play with today..
So, I know I’ll be asked - and I’m embarrassed to admit what was paid for this $3.50 ceramic ashtray - so let’s just say it could have supported a 1970’s pack a day habit for nearly a year..
By the way, I was released from that Food Lion job in 1988 for refusing to remove a tiny diamond stud earring from my left ear.
While smoking in the break room was just fine, guys you see, weren’t allowed to have earrings.
The times they have a changed..
Pretty cool ashtray though, huh?
YCM - a different kind of boat dealer
The best time to quit smoking was twenty years ago, the second best time is now..