popculture advertising ephemera
December 11, 2007 12:25 PM   Subscribe

From about 1875 to the 1940s, cigarette cards spurred tobacco sales. Sets offer a glimpse into the popculture of the times, spanning newsmakers, cinema celebrities, and sports stars; cute illustrated subjects, like "frisky" and children with rosy cheeks; handy info like air raid precautions, first aid, and amusing tricks; and neat stuff like famous escapes, exotic races, and figures of speech. Browse more fun sets of vintage images.
posted by madamjujujive (21 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Smoking is so much less fun than it used to be.
posted by nasreddin at 12:29 PM on December 11, 2007


In doing some archaeology at my job this year, we found a whole stash of these cards (Caporals) tucked betwen boards under an outdoor porch. They were amazingly well shielded from the elements, and magically beautiful. Neat post - I'll look at links later, but what a nifty topic!
posted by Miko at 12:33 PM on December 11, 2007

"Frisky" was about to cause me to snark on cigarettes not being marketed to children, but maybe they have a point, wotwot.
posted by DU at 12:33 PM on December 11, 2007

MeFi's own terrapin inherited quite a stash a while back.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:59 PM on December 11, 2007

We've actually got this one framed and hanging in our livingroom. Love that archive.
posted by gwint at 1:00 PM on December 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

Fascinating. I on seeing this one, I spend a few amusing but fruitless minutes trying to learn the origin and meaning of the phrase "to be on Queer Street."

The "amusing tricks" are cool, though many seem to require further explanation, maybe on the other side of the card?
posted by exogenous at 1:06 PM on December 11, 2007

I love the common fallacies cards.
posted by exogenous at 1:10 PM on December 11, 2007

Yes, exogeneous, most have a link to "view verso" where you can see the reverse - I should have pointed that out, it isn't all that obvious. This includes the back side of Queer Street, too - you may need to enlarge it to read the text.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:12 PM on December 11, 2007

... oops, sorry for the extra 'e" in your name there, exogenous - I am a terrible typist.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:15 PM on December 11, 2007

Thanks - I should have seen that.
posted by exogenous at 1:43 PM on December 11, 2007

This thread is useless without cat pictures.
posted by lukemeister at 2:10 PM on December 11, 2007

The more things change.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 2:43 PM on December 11, 2007

This thread is useless without cat pictures.

posted by CynicalKnight at 3:07 PM on December 11, 2007

This creature is straight out of the lolcats play book.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:58 PM on December 11, 2007

Good post. I've got about a dozen of the T206 series and they're really spectacular.
posted by dhammond at 4:15 PM on December 11, 2007

posted by squalor at 10:35 PM on December 11, 2007

My dad had a furniture store in Orange County, Ca, back in the mid nineties.

One day in his dumpster behind the store, amidst other discarded rubbish, he found a couple of Cigarette card albums from 1930s Germany. Yes, Third Reich Germany. The albums were complete. Within these albums are full-color cards celebrating the nascent Third Reich; Goebbels presiding over this conference here, Hitler watching the SS parade there, and so on.

People will collect most anything it seems. I wonder if my Dad has that book somewhere, it's fascinating stuff. and I was always curious as to how these albums came to be in the OC. Ahem.
posted by stonesy at 11:07 PM on December 11, 2007

The children w/ rosey cheeks looks disturbing. They look like they have two red tumors on the sides of their cheeks.
posted by dasheekeejones at 3:52 AM on December 12, 2007

madamjujujive - great post, thank you. Only, the last link... the list appears to end with "G"?

I puzzled over how to get to H, but perhaps there just aint no mo. any thoughts? What a cool set of images.
posted by ilovemytoaster at 4:27 PM on December 12, 2007

the list appears to end with "G"?

If you click on "Names A-Z" at the top, you get this page, and you can begin at any letter.
posted by Miko at 8:30 AM on December 13, 2007

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