Old cigarette packs had some terrific designs. Shown on this page are all US-made cigarette packs from the 1940s and ’50s (though the last Frappé pack looks c.1970 to me). At top left is Toppers from United Whelan. Next is Thrills from Axton-Fisher Tobacco. Debs are by Benson & Hedges and have “rose tips” like the Marlboros in the next row. Domino is from Reed Tobacco, Larus & Bro.
The Sweet Caporal brand was made by Kinney Brothers in New York. The younger of the Kinney brothers, Abbot, helped create Ocean Park south of Santa Monica, California, and in 1905 nearby “Venice of America,” complete with Venetian style buildings, pier, and canals through the neighborhoods.
Marlboro, one of today’s most “masculine” brands, was earlier known as a women’s cigarette. That’s right, I am not making this up. In the early 1950s, as you see above, Marlboro had a red “Beauty Tip” to hide unsightly lipstick smudges. The brand was repackaged in 1954 and advertising giant Leo Burnett created the “Marlboro Man” campaign, turning this also-ran into the top selling brand in the world.
The Viceroy packs show the ever-changing nature of package design and are a study in that interesting graphic art. The brand maintains its identity, even though every single element of the design is different.
Above a very stylish pack of Avalon Cigarettes from Brown & Williamson, and a nice pack of Marvels from Stephano Brothers, Philadelphia. Last, a couple of packs of mint green Frappé, also from Stephano Brothers.
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