advertising · fitness

Occupations for Women in 1887: My faves are Athlete and Scholar

We’ve written before about the odd combination of ads for smoking and women’s athletics:

“It’s odd now, in light of all we know about the health impact of smoking, to think about a positive connection between sports and cigarettes. But that wasn’t always the case, especially for women. Both smoking and being physically active were hallmarks of the independent woman. Yes, smoking’s allure was partly about weight loss but it was also about women’s new found autonomy, careers, and education.

According to the Center for Disease Control, “Tobacco advertising geared toward women began in the 1920s. By the mid-1930s, cigarette advertisements targeting women were becoming so commonplace that one advertisement for the mentholated Spud brand had the caption “To read the advertisements these days, a fellow’d think the pretty girls do all the smoking.” As early as the 1920s, tobacco advertising geared toward women included messages such as “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet” to establish an association between smoking and slimness. The positioning of Lucky Strike as an aid to weight control led to a greater than 300% increase in sales for this brand in the first year of the advertising campaign.”

Now these 1887 cigarette cards predate these advertising campaigns. But I still love the imagery, smoking aside.

I like the “athlete” and “scholar” best.

One thought on “Occupations for Women in 1887: My faves are Athlete and Scholar

  1. Bike racers once thought that a cigarette at the foot of a mountain would give them extra lung power for the climb. There are some interesting old photos of Tour de France riders sharing a smoke before a climb.

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