Theodore Roosevelt “Ted” Gamble (1906-1960) started in 1919 as a night usher before building a chain of Northwestern movie theaters, later expanding across the country. In 1942 he was appointed a consultant to the Treasury, pay two cents a week; the next year he was appointed as National Director of The United States Treasury, War Finance Division. By the 1944 "Battle of the Bonds" he had gotten Hollywood behind the bond drive, pairing it with war films: "you can make it entertaining, you can make it convincing, you can make a sale." Gamble was one of the biggest promoters of All Star Bond Rally (1945), hosted by Bob Hope with Bing Crosby, Betty Grable, Harpo Marx, and Carmen Miranda.
On January 7, 1946 Gamble was honored with a banquet by the film industry of New York in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria. More than a hundred film industry, banking, industrial, military, political and publishing leaders attended and presented this cigar box to Gamble. A very similar cigar box had been been given to the quintessentially New York politician Al Smith (now in the New York Historical Society).
The Depression had restricted Tiffany & Co.'s work in the Art Deco style, but the finest of it was showcased in the House of Jewels Pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair. The principal designer for that group and for the offered cigar box was Arthur Leroy Barney. He had joined Tiffany & Co. in 1906 and became head designer by 1919, a position he held until his death in 1955.
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