Winsor McCay, Tobacco Advocate

In 1930, the aging Winsor McCay did a Lucky Strikes ad (which I just found in an issue of the old, original Life magazine). The gist: Up until then, there’d been an ancient and irriational prejudice against cigarettes, which Lucky had just eradicated forever by removing harmful irritants. (Thank goodness!)

Winsor’s cartoon makes no direct reference to smokes–there’s a complex metaphor going on, with the mighty fist of American intelligence smashing a miser’s fear of banks and making possible a large, well-guarded financial institution. Apparently, the ancient prejudice against cigarettes was as out of date as the ancient prejudice against banks. Or something like that.

(You’ll notice, however, that Winsor didn’t let Nemo and Gertie smoke.)

Here’s the ad, and a sideways version of the McCay drawing so you can see all the detail:


winsor sideways.jpg

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