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Old 09-28-2017, 04:57 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Central, Iowa
Posts: 9,806
Cigar Institute Man of the Year 1963 Humidor

The story and the nameplate is probably more interesting than the humidor itself. It was a fairly plain walnut box. I don't remember if Decatur made it, but it is certainly in the style they were making humidors at the time. The walnut is pretty thick on this box, which is nice. But it had their sprayed on blonde finish, white painted metal top and bottom inside with some fairly thin cedar lining it. Pretty typical for the time.
The book I keep track of this stuff in says I traded for this humidor. I don't recall what I traded or who I traded with. It's a blank.
I think these are ebay pics, which makes the earlier anecdote all the more confusing. But this would have happened about 2003 and I just can't remember.
Edit: Those are not eBay pics. I recognize that stained linen tablecloth as my standard large backdrop.

The finish was tired but the box was sound.

Inside as I described. Looks like it was missing a lid stop. One pops up in later pics. Probably cannibalized from an inexpensive desktop. Oh wait, I made the missing pieces from brass stock. lfn2nrg helped me. Or maybe he did most of the work. I'm not sure.

And the main attraction!

The Cigar Institute of America was based in NYC on Fifth Avenue. Earl Wilson was a newspaper columnist and author who had been active at least since the 30s. I think he did snarky columns like Winchell or Royko. But I guess he smoked cigars and he was man of the year in 63.

I refinished it in my signature style. The walnut grain is actually pretty nice.

I was still working out interior details. I basically copied the rectangle humidifier and filled it with beads. Super thin, strong magnets make for a tight flush mount. Now I think it takes up more space than it needs to. Plus the lid mount humidifier can over humidify the cigars under it. I was trying 1/2" cedar for trays at the time. I decided it was too thick and went to 3/8" to match the liner.

The tray actually isn't too bad inside the box. I made the humidifier as thin as I could. Still kinda clunky.

I used this as my personal humidor for awhile. I liked it. Thought it was cool. Still do.
I attended the Reno herf in 2006. I met garme1962 there. I had sold him an earlier humidor and he seemed to like it a lot. He had also seen pics of this humidor. He wanted it. But I didn't want to sell. Then he said the magic words: "How much do you want for it?" I quoted a price I thought was high, but not crazy. And he agreed to it. Damn!
I don't remember if I Made a new tray before or after that. It's possible I did it after I found a new source of cedar in Kenosha. I redid the bottom too. Might have been before the meet.

It ended up looking like this:

I put a glass bottom in it because I think glass bottoms look slick. A side benefit is that they don't stain.

The 3/8" tray matches a little better.

The cleaned up nameplate:

I liked Doug. I was very sorry to hear of his passing. It's nuts when a guy goes young. I hope his kids are enjoying a couple heirloom xrundog humidors.

Last edited by xrundog; 09-29-2017 at 06:41 PM.
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