Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday 529 Theme Image (18 July 2020)

Sepia Saturday 529 Theme Image (18 July 2020)

Every week Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to post based on a prompt. This week’s prompt is above, so I went hunting for vintage advertisements. Here’s what I found.




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Cigarette Ads from the Library of Congress. All from 1880

tar soap

Library of Congress, 1910

dobbins medicated soap

Library of Congress, 1869

ivory soap

Library of Congress, 1898

Chinese Cigarette Ads

At the Nanjing Art Museum they had an exhibit of cigarette ads from the 1920s and earlier. I wanted to take photos, but the guard stopped me. So I’ve found a few online.

I was struck by how innocent the ads are and how small the image of the actual advertised product is. Cigarette brands had curious English names including: White Horse, Baby, Goldbar, Double Crane, Pleasure, The Globe, Golden Dragon, Blue Dragon, The Golden Horse, Golden Ax, Pearl, Ruby Queen, Fancy Isle, The Three Castles, Berlin, Original Pinhead, Honey Bee, Richness, The Beauty, The Raven, Great Wall, and The Rat.

The museum had a number of ad posters with middle aged men dressed in Imperial era robes and sweet young things entralled with them. I wish I could have taken some photos (without flash, of course).