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Where There's Smokes: 1964

Where There's Smokes: 1964

January 15, 1964. "Customer buying cigarettes from tobacconist." 35mm negative by T.J. O'Halloran for U.S. News & World Report. View full size.


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Location of Smoke Shop

I may have missed it, but where was this gem located?

[Probably Washington. - Dave]


Thanks to high quality tobacco from Java, the Dutch founded a famous cigar industry. The Schimmelpenninck cigars (Media, the short, and Duet, the long ones) have long been my favorite ones. Sweet memories about (now) hidden (almost forbidden) pleasures.

The Duet box shows an Indonesian tobacco landscape.

International tobacco brands

They've got everything from Turkish tobacco blends to Greek Assos Papastratos brand (top centre left with the "1" on the pack) and on to Gitanes. Very eclectic selection I must say. I reckon the Gitanes might be filterless.

Dirty Filters

Kent's Micronite Filters were originally made with asbestos but by 1956 they changed to cellulose acetate.

I don't miss any of these

But probably every brand I ever smoked is in this store, maybe blocked out of the pic. Winston was my favorite smoke and I smoked a lot of Pall Mall and Salem. Pall Mall advertised that even though they were unfiltered they were a safer smoke because they were a lengthier cigarette, unlike the popular Lucky Strike and Camel brands.

Sweda cash register

That cash register looks like a Sweda, judging from the style of the case, the digits and the brand name ending in 'a'. Not too common, but the Safeway in Tucson had them when I was a kid in the late sixties.

Not your grandpa's Marlboro

Marlboro (or Marlborough) cigarettes were originally marketed as an upscale woman's brand. The filter even had a red band to hide lipstick stains.

In the 1950s, they were re-positioned -- through the magic of advertising -- as a rugged men's brand.

Curious Selection

When I used to smoke I always preferred American brands to Canadian, which being a Canadian living in Canada made my addiction more challenging since American brands were more expensive and hard to find. Canadian cigs were always vastly inferior IMO to American brands, as they used a more "British-style" blend which was almost sickly sweet, as opposed to the slightly dryer-tasting, more cigar-like American blend. It amazes me to see such a selection of Canadian brands such as DuMaurier in a U.S. shop. The other thing I notice is that while the tobacconist has a huge selection, the assortment of American brands is far smaller and simpler than what they became in the heyday of brand/style proliferation in the 1980s.

Variety of stock

This seems to be a true tobacconist. As well as USA brands, I see french (Gitane) British (Sobranie, including their famous "Black Russian") British again with Players. I am not sure of the origin of the likes of Marlboro, Viceroy and Craven A, and I recognise the packet alongside the Gitane as another French brand.

With the total change in habits in recent times, I wonder if any of those companies survive producing something other than cigarettes?

Amazing assortment

But I couldn't find the brand I started on at age 15. Art, the clerk at the Junior's convenience store in Apalachicola, would only sell me Between the Acts, a terrible combination of mini-cigar and cigarette.

When I asked him why, he said, "I can't stop you from smoking, but I can make sure you don't enjoy it."

Surgeon General's Report

Judging from the subject matter and date, this was probably meant to run with a story on the Surgeon General's 1964 report that conclusively linked smoking to lung cancer.

Canadian brands

Gosh, look at all those Canajun cigarettes: Number 7, Rothman’s, Craven A, Peter Jackson, Matinée, Belvedere. Makes a fellow nostalgic for the days of smoking.

Why people got hooked

In the mid 1950s, on a U.S. Navy ship, 80 cents per carton.

In today's dollars

He would be handing over a $22 bill today, but still.

Up in smoke

Wow, three cartons for under $5. Right now, going price for a legal carton up my way (Ontario, Canada) is right around $110. Or you could take your chances on the reservation outside of town, where $15 will net you a bulk bag of 200 tax-free smokes.

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