Collection: Factories, Labs, Machines
This theme refers to ads which show the testing labs and production factories for tobacco manufacturers. The 1930s and 1940s saw a huge dependence on modern technology in tobacco advertisements. Whereas some tobacco companies touted state of the art factories (and guided tours!), still others boasted superior laboratories. Emphasis on modern advancements and scientific discoveries appealed to an American public vested in modernity. In this era, before the coming of the atomic bomb, little of today’s cynicism existed concerning the abilities of science to overcome societal problems. By showing these facilities, the manufacturers sought to associate their brands with the technology as the most modern, clean, and healthful. Labs, in particular, appear to be in existence to ensure the quality and safety of a product and thus the health of the consumer. An increasing dependence on science and medicine in the advertising of cigarettes continued well into the 1950s.
Today, Big Tobacco takes the opposite approach. The tobacco industry wants consumers to believe that cigarettes just appear out of thin air – it doesn’t want consumers to realize how much goes into the production of cigarettes. No photographs of modern cigarette factories exist today. The Cigarette Citadels project at Stanford University is working to undo the industry’s deception by mapping cigarette factories using Google Maps. More information on the Cigarette Citadels project and a link to the project’s Google Map can be found here: http://tobaccoresearch.stanford.edu