In 1950s America cigarette smoking was the epitome of cool and glamour. Hollywood icons such as James Dean and Humphrey Bogart were never without one. Screen beauties such as Audrey Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich made smoking look sensual and sophisticated.
Even a future president - Ronald Reagan - was handed free packs of Chesterfield during his B-movie days. By the late 1950s around half of the population of industrialized nations smoked - in the UK up to 80% of adults were hooked. The product was cheap, legal and socially acceptable.
Cigarettes were originally sold as expensive handmade luxury goods for the urban elite. It was not until mass-production methods coupled with aggressive marketing that the industry began to see off traditional pipe-smoking and tobacco-chewing habits, particularly in the United States.
American tobacco firm Philip Morris gave us the chiselled looking Marlboro Man who declared: "For man's flavor come to Marlboro Country."
Camel famously ran an advert saying : "More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette." But, as early as 1951, pioneering work by UK scientist Sir Richard Doll made a link between lung cancer and smoking.
Still, for years, the tobacco industry appeared to be invincible. Then, in 1994, Diane Castano, whose husband died of lung cancer, sued the tobacco industry in the largest potential class action suit in history. Soon efforts to protect non-smokers from being exposed to secondhand smoking were championed by politicians in California. This led to the 1995 ban on smoking in most enclosed places of employment. By 2005 less than a quarter of the US population smoked cigarettes, and that is now falling.
THE OLD GOLD CIGARETTE COLLECTION
We discovered a forgotten collection of rare Old Gold cigarette commercials from the mid-Forties through the Fifties tucked away in an attic. Included are: dancing cigarette boxes with great legs sticking out; the famous baseball announcer Red Barber in the booth at Ebbets Field; Jack Berry, the first host of TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, and others including his successors Dennis James and Herb Shriner. The Collection also features the catch phrases which targeted everyday people "For a Treat instead of Treatment," "The Perfect Marriage," "Test for Taste," and other spots with the "Spin Filter."
CLASSIC CIGARETTE COMMERCIALS FROM THE FIFTIES AND SIXTIES Vol. 1
It's a Surgeon General's nightmare and a Nostalgia Buff's dream viewing These classic cigarette and cigar TV commercials from the late 1940's through the 1960's are a Surgeon General's nightmare...But a Nostalgia Buff's dream!!! The tape starts off with the famous Dancing Old Coin Cigarette introduced by Dennis James on CHANCE OF A LIFETIME; Lucky Strikes; Salem; Raleigh; Oasis; Spring; York; Paxton; Kool; Winston; Robert Burns; Benson & Hedges and Benson & Hedges 100's; Scripto lighters; and the Marlboro man riding off into the sunset, to name but a few. Plus a great series of Kent spots with the DICK VAN DYKE gang and a rare original film with Edie Adams on tour for Dutch Masters cigars and her latest spots of the time.
THE NEWPORT CIGARETTE COMMERCIAL
This is an incredible reel of Newport Cigarette commercials from the late Fifties and early Sixties which set a mood for the TV world of the Menthol Cigarette. These appeal to the average working person usually depicting a couple enjoying themselves by the water, a bridge, or a mountainside walkway, associating Menthol with a refreshing, open-air environment. Aimed at the average person, these classic spots include action shots of people: water-skiing, hunting, fishing, sailing, golfing, snorkeling, swimming, playing the drums and the piano, dog-walking, riding a bus, walking by the water's edge, canoeing at night, as well as a vintage assortment of driving scenes.
There are also occupational shots of bank guards, airplane pilots, a tug boat pilot, gag writers, corporate board executives, barber shop singers, a snake charmer, as well as situational spots in a coffee shop, a locker room, a tropical scene, as well as a depiction rush hour both on a subway and in Grand Central Station. There are also shots of a band rehearsing and a man with his Rolls Royce in an urban setting. You also get a great series of Joey Bishop commercials from his hit TV show doing spots with his TV family (Abby Dalton, Corbett Monica, and Hilda the maid), as well as a special clip of Bill Cullen sitting in front of his PRICE IS RIGHT set, giving an on-film talk to salesmen at a convention. We also include rare late Forties spots with Arthur Murray's Dance School and, of course, much more!
THE KENT CIGARETTE COLLECTION
We've uncovered a nice cross-section of Fifties and early Sixties Kent sponsorships of the hit TV series THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW. They highlight the show's cast members doing bits in their offices as well as at Dick's home. The Collection also includes spots of Jackie Coogan, the star of HENNESSY, who sold Kent by the carton, and, in another spot, a then-unknown actor (Bill Bixby) riding a bike.
CLASSIC CIGARETTE COMMERCIALS FROM THE FIFTIES AND SIXTIES Vol. 2
on, Kent, Kool, Salem, Omega Cigars, Tiperillo, Tarryton, Scripto Lighter and Pen, Camel, White Owl, Philip Morris King Size, Briggs Pipe Tobacco, Madison Cigars, Robert Burns Cigarillos, Mild Spring Filters, Lucky Strike, India House Pipe Tobacco, Muriel Babies, L&M, Kool, Roitan Cigar, Chesterfield.