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Historical Cartoons on Smoking

  • Smoking has always been an easy target for cartoonists. The image of the billowing clouds of acrid smoke and black globs of chewing tobacco flying toward a rancid spittoon evoke tropes of filth, corruption, and deceit. So does a sketch of the fat cat political boss or indifferent factory owner chewing a cigar and lording over the working dregs of the society.
  • Anti-smoking cartoons have also been a staple of the cartoonist’s repertoire, featuring characters such as the busybody reformer chastising the public or the grim image of the reaper or other spirit of addiction claiming the souls and draining the life of the afflicted.
1872 11 02 Harpers Weekly Nast Cartoon Save Me From My Tobacco Partner 1

Thomas Nast
Harper’s Weekly, front cover
November 2, 1872

1927 The New Yorker Not A Cough in a Car Load 1

Clare Briggs
Old Gold advertising cartoon
The New Yorker, page 39
1927

n.d. Mad Magazine Smoke Mag. Ad Parody 1

Parody of advertisement for Smoke magazine
MAD magazine, page 15
No date

1869 01 30 Punch Nicotina Cartoon 1

Punch, page 35
January 30, 1869

n.d. Goldberg Cartoon Lucky Strike 1

Reuben “Rube” Goldberg
Circa 1929-1931

n.d. Goldberg Cartoon Professor Butts 1

Reuben “Rube” Goldberg
Circa 1929-1931

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