When you have an old house you never know what will pop out of it. This empty cigarette package was under the floorboards on the third floor. I googled the brand name and found four advertisements that sold on ebay:
- In a 1913 advertisement from the March issue of Country Life in America magazine a package costs 15 cents. The tag lines are “The smoke that cheers” and “Distinctively Individual”. (See a copy after the jump.)
- A 1949 ad with actor Basil Rathbone showed the same package design (“Now at length – quality in a long cigarette –Fatima! First Quality for 30 years. If you like a long cigarette, buy the best of long cigarettes. Buy Fatima . . . it’s MY cigarette.” signed Basil Rathbone)
- A 1950 ad from the Saturday Evening Post shows the same package design. (“Sales reports show these sensational increases in smokers: NEW YORK DIVISION—UP 132%, CHICAGO DIVISION—UP 453%, LOS ANGELOS DIVISION—UP 545%.)
- A 1952 Life magazine ad showed a different design for the package. And they’re now called “King size” cigarettes rather than “long”.
I guess my package is at least 55 years old. I've never been a smoker, but looking at these ads ("pure and wholesome" — if they only knew!) and the exotic packaging (even though they are from Richmond, VA) are enough to make me long for ". . . the little luxuries in life."