La Africana

These risqué images were offered in packs of La Africana cigarillos by the Vaccaro Company of Peru as a way of luring potential customers.  Tobacco cards were first produced as premiums in the mid nineteenth century, and continued to grow in popularity until World War I.  These particular images, printed circa 1900, are scandalous compared to the more common cigarette cards of the day which included such mundane subjects as ships, birds, flags of the world, and military uniforms.

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5 Responses to “La Africana”

  1. Was the target market only men? Are there any examples of early cigarette promotion geared more towards potential female smokers?

  2. Good question. I’ve never come across any cigarette cards that were clearly marketed toward women. According to a New York Times article from 2008, it wasn’t until the late 20s that it became acceptable for American women to smoke in public. Though I do know that in at least some Latin American countries, such as Cuba, and perhaps even Peru, it seems to have already been the norm for decades.

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C03E6D71039F932A25753C1A96E9C8B63

    J.H. Lartigue published a book of photographs from the 1920s titled, “Les Femmes aux Cigarettes.” The following link, concerning Lartigue’s book, claims that it was also uncommon for Parisian women to smoke openly until the 20s.

    http://www.rootdogg.com/lesfemmes.html

    • Karin Brinkers Says:

      i have bought a few years ago these pictures and can you tell me how many different pictures there are. I have 33 of them.
      I think there beautiful and real art. how can i make it complete.
      greet from Holland

      • Hi Karin, unfortunately I don’t know how many pictures there are in a complete set. I bought the ones above when I was traveling through Arequipa, Peru. There are guidebooks listing known tobacco cards and there may be more info on this set in one of those guides. They are amazing images!

  3. To Karin Brinkers,
    I have 40 different of this set and I believe this to be a full set, although cannot be 100% certain. The last British World Tobacco quoted that 39 were known, but I can confirm that there are 40.

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