Introduction

    Promotions

Page 1

    Beginnings

    Classic American

Page 2

    Classic Designs

    Sporting Packs

    Fashion Designer Packs

Page 3

    Good Tastes and Smells

    Political Packs

    US Presidential Packs

Page 4

    Commemorative Pack

    House Brands

    Imitation Cigarette Packs

Page 5

    Novelty Brands

    Self-lighting Cigarettes

    US Prisons

    Target Marketing

Page 6

    Tax Evasion

    Warning Labels

    Kiddie & Toddler Packs

    Research Cigarettes

Page 7

    Healthful Cigarettes

    Denicotined Cigarettes

    Filters-1930-1960

    Filter Innovation

Page 8

    The Fire-Safe Cigarette

    Product Regulation

    Gimmick

    References

    Resources

Visual Exhibits

 

Cigarette Design and Innovation for Market Appeal - Page 1

 

This exhibit illustrates the inventiveness of cigarette makers and marketers through the 20th century.  Most items come from the United States because this is the home of the collection from which this exhibit is drawn.  An understanding of design and innovation for these addictive products is essential for public health policy makers.  The items on exhibit are presented as a primer for those interested in tobacco product regulation and the regulation of tobacco product marketing.

 

BEGINNINGS

 

Tobacco was chewed, snuffed or puffed (but not inhaled) before flu cured tobacco was developed in North Carolina in the mid-19th century.
Durham Smoking Tobacco & Duke's Mixture.  Fine cut tobacco (Roll your own, RYO).  Two classic brands of cigarette tobacco which originated in the 1860s-70s in Durham, NC.  Flu cured tobacco made the smoke from these cigarettes mild, that is, easy to inhale.  These examples date from after 1911, following the breakup of the American Tobacco Trust.
Cigarette cards with collectable designs and pictures, usually in series, were introduced in the 1870s as a marketing device.  Coupons redeemable for trinkets advertised with tobacco packets and through catalogs were another major marketing device.  On display are some silks  from early in the century, Tareyton cards featuring the cartoon character Henry dating from the 1930s, and Raleigh coupons (Brown & Williamson) probably from the 1960s.  Brown & Williamson is the only major cigarette manufacturer which continues an unbroken tradition of coupons with some of its brands.
Prince Albert tobacco.  In 1907, R. J. Reynolds introduced its first smoking tobacco.  The "National Joy Smoke" demonstrated Reynolds' skill in identifying a potential market and selling to it.  Cigarette manufacture followed in 1913 with Reyno, Red Kamel, and Camel.
THE CLASSIC AMERICAN BLEND CIGARETTE
Sweet Caporal and Murad were among the best selling brands in the first decades of the century.  A pack of Sweet Caporal from 1946 is on display.
RJ Reynolds introduced the modern American Cigarette with Camel in 1913.  Combining a unique blend (flu cured, burley, Turkish and Maryland tobaccos) with a mass media campaign instead of cards and coupons, the brand sold for 10 cents instead of 15 cents for a pack of 20.  The 70 mm unfiltered Camel packs sold in the U. S. still carry the original legend on the back:  "Don't look for premiums or coupons, as the cost of the tobaccos blended in CAMEL Cigarettes prohibits the use of them."  The Camel packs on display date from 1945 (wartime paper) and from 1993.

Camel was such a success that the competition was forced to come out with its imitators.  Lucky Strike (American), Chesterfield (Liggett & Myers), and, eventually, Old Gold (Lorillard) were the major imitators.  Cigarettes did not become the major form of tobacco in the U.S. until the mid-1920s when cigarettes for the first time outsold moist snuff and chew.  The three packs are of WW II vintage (no foil).  The Lucky Strike pack was packed for overseas use on Navy vessels and the Old Gold pack was given to military service personnel by the Red Cross.

Sample packs illustrate some of the variety of classic major brands as well as some mid-century innovations such as king size (pioneered by Pall Mall) and filters (illustrated here by Viceroy).  Camel, Lucky Strike, Chesterfield (including Army field ration pack), Old Gold (with field ration pack), Pall Mall, Raleigh, Philip Morris, Viceroy.

Marlboro was a woman's cigarette ("Mild as May") until its makeover as a filter cigarette in the mid-1950s.  This pack was made in 1953 but its design dates from the 1920s.
Johnnie's "Call for Philip Morris" was the hallmark of this brand for decades.  This pack, signed by Johnny, was made in 1940.
Price competition in the 1930s boosted the fortunes of a number of minor manufacturers.  Wings, Paul Jones, Twenty Grand, Marvels and Coupon were among the brands that prospered.  Philip Morris leveraged its success with brands such as Paul Jones to become one of the big six makers, and Brown & Williamson did the same with Wings.  On display:  Coupon (1932), Paul Jones (1941), Twenty Grand (1942), Marvels (late-1950s).
Christmas carton, Lucky Strike, 1955.  Giving gifts of cigarettes, to servicemen overseas or at holidays, was heavily promoted through the 1940s and 50s.
Trinkets & Trash | 683 Hoes Lane, Room 309, Piscataway, NJ 08854 | Email