We are always buying postcards and photos from before 1950 - email us at circa1910@tampabay.rr.com.

Friday, November 7, 2014

SMOKIN' HOT WOMEN on Antique Postcards

Smoking was a daring action for women 100 years ago. Here is an abbreviated description from Wikipedia on the subject:  

"Before the twentieth century smoking was seen as a habit that was corrupt and inappropriate for women.  Women’s smoking was seen as immoral and some states tried to prevent women from smoking by enforcing laws. In 1904 a woman named Jennie Lasher was sentenced to thirty days in jail for putting her children’s morals at risk by smoking in their presence and in 1908 the New York City Board of Alderman unanimously passed an ordinance that prohibited smoking by women in public.  Some women’s groups also fought against women smoking. The International Tobacco League lobbied for filmmakers to refrain from putting women smoking cigarettes in movies unless the women being portrayed were of “discreditable” character and other women’s groups asked young girls to sign pledges saying that they would not use tobacco. These groups saw smoking as an immoral activity and a threat. Yet during World War I as women took the jobs of men who had gone to war, they also began smoking.  Cigarettes were a way for women to challenge social norms and fight for equal rights as men. Eventually for women the cigarette came to symbolize “rebellious independence, glamour, seduction and sexual allure..."

This sexy rebellion was reflected on postcards.   We open with a pair of women in sailor suits, holding nets and cigarettes in studio real photo postcards.  Below is a close-up so you can see the nice tinting on this image and the come-hither look on the model's face.

Here is another real photo postcard with a woman in a feathered hat and a fancy gown inside a crescent moon set in a starry sky.  Bright color tinting adds to this postcard, postmarked 1908 in France.  Below are two signed Usabal women, both glamour poses with cigarettes.

A beautiful flirtatious woman holds her cigarette on this artist-signed postcard by Codina.  She wears a bright patterned shawl and jewelry with red flowers decorating her dark hair. This is a divided back flat Spanish postcard published in Barcelona.

Our last image is from France and includes a design element frequently seen in postcards of men smoking a pipe - the smoke forming words or a picture of the dreamed-of lover.  Her smoke says I Love You in French.  Although this is an unused divided back real photo postcard, her bobbed hairstyle and cigarette holder implies the 1920s.

Looking back at earlier posts and realizing how much postcard prices have changed (generally upward), I have decided to retire the Prices section on the posts.  It will be most helpful for you to search recently SOLD lists to find the current prices of postcards that interest you.

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