Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Wunup Baccyflap

A few weeks ago, we delivered an outreach engagement session to a local school, showing Year 7 pupils a selection of plastics objects related to WWII (refer image below).

A selection of the WWII related objects.
Image credit: Katherine Pell

One of the objects that really caught my attention was the Wunup Baccyflap, seen in the middle of the top row above, and full image below.

Wunup Baccyflap, AIBDC : 006319SA
Image credit: MoDiP

The museum’s catalogue record describes it as a round tobacco holder with a screw top lid and inner lip. Moulded in three sections to make the tooling easier, the inner lip is adhered in place. Compression moulded in phenol formaldehyde (bakelite), it dates from the early 1930s-1950s (circa).

If you ever get the chance to handle one of these, you will appreciate just how tactile they are. Resting perfectly in the palm of the hand, I can imagine the design makes filling a pipe both easy and satisfying. The size would fit very neatly into a pocket and the top includes a useful band of match strike. Moulding details on the bottom state WUNUP BACCYFLAP and MADE IN ENGLAND.

There is another Baccyflap in the collection, injection moulded in polystyrene and manufactured by Parker, post 1945 (refer image below).

Parker Baccyflap, AIBDC : 008640SA
Image credit: Katherine Pell

These two objects are actually linked because although very little information is known about Wunup, the name was either created or acquired by Parker. The Parker Pipe Co. Ltd was formed in 1923 and found initial success through marketing a range of mass-produced smoking accessories under the Wunup brand (the company amalgamated with Hardcastle Pipes Ltd in 1967 to become Parker-Hardcastle). The image below shows an original box for the Wunup Baccyflap promoting both Parker and Wunup, held in the collection of the Deutsches Kunststoff Museum.

It seems that the Wunup Baccyflap was certainly established by 1933, when it was advertised for sale at 2/6 in a trade journal, and it appeared in industry price lists two years later amongst other products sold by Parker. MoDiP has some other Wunup objects, including a cigarette case (refer image below) with a spring-loaded compartment and sliding lid, inscribed ‘Parker Wunup. Made in England’ on the base. It is speculated that the Wunup name may have evolved from this design because as the lid was pulled back, a cigarette would ‘pop up’ - one up.

Wunup cigarette case, AIBDC : 006545SA
Image credit: MoDiP

And here is one illustrated with an original point-of-sale marketing stand, for use in-store:

Wunup cigarette case advert.
Image credit:

Parker filed to trademark the Wunup name in the US in 1946 and anecdotal evidence suggests the Wunup Baccyflap was still available to buy throughout the 1950s. However, at some point post WWII, Parker changed the production of this popular tobacco container by moulding their name into it instead and making it from a completely different plastics material, likely due to costs. These versions were still available to buy in the early 1970s.

Advertisement for the Parker Baccyflap
Image credit:

If you would like to view these or any other museum objects, contact us to make an appointment.


Katherine Pell
Collections Officer



1 comment:

  1. Amazing. How do the wonderful people who work in this museum come up with such interesting and hard to find out stuff?