Simpler times

Do ever think everything was simpler before the days when you had to sell cigarettes with pictures of emphysemic lungs and green stumps of teeth on them? When everyone lived in their own innocent world of nonchalance and silver tongues. When men put on white hats to go fishing in. And you could sell a bag of tobacco with the slogan:

I’m like Velvet Joe –
“When I go fishin’
I want fish that bite
and tobacco that don’t.

Stop smoking fish then.

This Velvet tobacco company, which seems to have existed in the States for an indefinable period in the middle of the twentieth century, looks to have been a positive virtuoso in selling  the Age of Innocence schtick. That guy looks like what would have happened if Ernest Hemingway had concentrated at school, passed all his exams, and always did as his Mother told him.

Here are two more Velvet ads on a similar theme. First, the ad that goes, “Buy Velvet: Men in hats find them cheering”.

What exactly’s happening in that picture? The man with the horse and cart seems to have met the man with the  broken-down car in a country lane, stopped, offered no assistance whatsoever, but waved a pack of tobacco in his face. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this may also be the only instance in history of the word “killer” being used to advertise cigarettes?

Lastly, we have:

They must do: he said that without stopping smoking. You may well pluck at your waistcoat with your thumbs Sir. You may well.


~ by David Thorley on March 18, 2011.

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