Cigarette smoking was so widespread when I was
growing up in the 1940s and early 1950s that its sales were
a significant earner for the cigarette manufacturers. Consequently there
were brand wars between them, and advertising was commonplace.
internet image search on tobacco posters will readily show the large range
of poster adverts. This page goes
further by showing the various other ways in which cigarette
Presumably this other form of advertising was a great help to small shops as
the cigarette manufacturers paid well for the privilege of
keeping their names in the public eye.
A cigarette advert for Players Cigarettes on the swing tag of a glass shop door, stating whether the shop was open.
The open swing tag in the photo would have been reversed when the shop
closed. There would also be an advert for Players on the 'closed' side.
Photographed at the Black Country Museum. Note the gas lamp in the porch.
Probably the best known form of cigarette advertising was through the cigarette cards that
manufacturers put inside their cigarette packets. There was always pressure on smokers to buy the brand that was most likely to contain a card that would complete a set.
Advert in a 1939 magazine for Craven A cigarettes. The selling point was that they were supposed to be kinder on the throat.
Photographed at Tilford Rural Life Centre, 1940s event.
A large wooden waste bin with the Player's log on its side. Photographed on the floor of the tobacconists shop in Winchester Museum.
Rubber doormat outside a tobacconists shop advertising Capstan cigarettes. Photographed in Swansea Bay 1940s Museum.
Paper bags advertising Sharrow's snuff. Photographed in the tobacconist shop of Winchester Museum.
Moveable advert stand for pavement, photographed at Beaulieu.
Advert in a 1943 magazine for du Maurier filter-tip cigarettes. At that time filter tips were
rare or perhaps it was that no-one took them seriously at the time. After all -
so they thought - inhaling tobacco was not dangerous. Magazine photographed in Dinefwr House.
Playing card. one of a pack with the reverse of each card advertising Senior Service cigarettes. Photographed in Eastbourne Museum of Shops.
Support wall below a shop window advertising St Bruno tobacco.
Advert in a 1939 magazine for Capstan Navy Cut cigarettes. Photographed at Tilford Rural Life Centre, 1940s event.
What is really significant about this advert is that it shows the prices of cigarettes in 1939 just before the outbreak of war:
- A packet of 10 cigarettes cost 5d, i.e. 5 old pennies, and -
A packet of 20 cigarettes cost 11½d, i.e. 11½ old pennies.
Clearly it was cheaper in the long run to buy the larger packet!
This website Join me in the 1900s is
a contribution to the social history of everyday life in 20th century Britain
from the early 1900s to about 1960, seen through personal recollections and
illustrations, with the emphasis on what it was like to live in those times.