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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.
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1869 01 30 Punch Nicotina Cartoon 1

Sancta Nicotina Consolatrix, The Poor Man’s Friend

Punch
January 30, 1869

1919 Satterfield Cartoon Reformer 1

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Satterfield
1919

1872 11 02 Harpers Weekly Nast Cartoon Save Me From My Tobacco Partner 1

Save Me From My Tobacco Partner

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

Swell Struggling with the Cigarette Poisoner

Cartoon
Punch
September 23, 1882

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

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

1913 10 18 Sat Eve Post Cartoonists for Tuxedo 1

The Men Who Put the Fun Into Your Life

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Tuxedo
The American Tobacco Company
Saturday Evening Post
October 18, 1913

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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

The Ancient Order of the Glass House

Postcard
Reuben “Rube” Goldberg
1914

1948 Sat Eve Post Rube Goldberg for Lucky Strike 1

A Few Words of Humor … Rube Goldberg

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Lucky Strike
American Tobacco Company
1948

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