Silver cigarette containers
During the First World War, in a trench bombarded by heavy bombs and machine-gun fire day in and day out, soldiers found comfort in smoking: first pipes, and then cigarettes. British soldiers and sailors smoked 1,000 tons of cigarettes and 700 tons of pipe tobacco in 1915 alone. Cigarettes grew in popularity because they were smaller than pipes, quicker to smoke, and only needed to be lit once. On the US homefront, there was an effort to raise money specifically to provide soldiers with free cigarettes. The US per capita cigarette use shot up after the war, from 151 cigarettes per year in 1910 to 477 in 1920.
Ezra Curry brought these cigarette cases home with him from the war. The case on the right is stamped “German Silver” so he likely acquired it while overseas.