Saturday, November 11, 2017

Pack o' smokes.

Remember cigarette packages?  Players, Kool, Dunhill, uh... Marlboro, Pall Mall....others I forget? 

Virginia Slims!

Remember them before the government (in Canada) mandated ugly boxes with images of diseased smokers' lungs and gums and whatever else on them? 

Remember ash trays?  Some of the glass ones where beautiful.  I remember ash trays on the end tables in my parents' house.  My parents didn't smoke, but many of their friends did. They could turn a pristine ash tray into a toxic haystack in a single visit.

Remember ashtrays and cigarette lighters in cars?

Remember sour, soggy, cigarette butts everywhere?  Swarming the curb at the Warden bus loop, or scattered, a flick away, between the tracks at Bloor and Yonge?  (Childhood Toronto ref.)

Recently I became interested in Chinese cigarette packages, in an admittedly dim-witted--Hey, there's a different one!--kind of way.  There are many people from Mainland China here, either recent immigrants or visitors, and the smoking culture over there is at a different stage from here, at least with regard to cigarette packaging. I have created a brief image gallery of empty Chinese cigarette boxes I have found.

Double Happiness was the first.  I recognized the characters right away, because they are usually on the wall behind the bride and groom at Chinese wedding banquets. That it was crushed flat on the road seemed poignant.

1956.  I don't know what else to call it.  It is very elegant.

This one, I think, shows one of the buildings from The Forbidden City.  This is a very pretty cigarette package, the picture not doing justice to its true colour.

I have no idea.  What is this character holding? A pie?  Roast turkey? A diseased lung?


Susannah Anderson said...

Remember those little smoking tables? A table-top only big enough for an ashtray, to place beside your armchair. Sometimes they had the ashtray built in.

I used one with the ashtray replaced by a flat tile. It held (barely) one coffee cup.

Hugh said...

I do remember those. There was a loop thing above the ashtray so you could pick it up and move it around.