Instead of a cigarette, enjoy a small sampling from our chronological assortment of 1000’s cigarette ads, from the 1920’s till today, currently on display on the top shelf of the picture collection.
Volume One Number One (March 1970)
The tiny American flag and big six-figure check on the first-issue cover proclaim their audacity. No kneeling to sacred cows, least of all advertising.
Warren Hinckle came from Ramparts, which published Che Guevara, Fidel Castro and Eldridge Cleaver. Sidney Zion wrote for most of the New York publications you’ve heard of, and was the one who revealed the name of the guy who leaked the Pentagon Papers.
Together their monthly ran eight issues.
The first, in our rare periodicals archive, pretends ads don’t exist, favors the extended narrative, and pushes against journalistic hypocrisy. There’s a report offering Altamont as a refutation of Woodstock, an assertion of the normalcy of atrocity in Vietnam, a tale of CBS-CIA collusion in Haiti, the American- and British-made disaster of Biafra, Mark Twain’s radicality, high school activist thought, mobster biography, and a ski champ-turned-salesman profile by Hunter S. Thompson, whose gonzo paradigm, “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved,” debuted in Scanlan’s third issue. Their last was boycotted by U.S. printers for covering domestic guerilla warfare.
“We will make no high-blown promises about how great this magazine is going to be,” Hinckle and Zion wrote on the cover. “Pay the buck and turn the page.”
May 1968-May 1981 (incomplete)
In 1956 the U.S. and Soviet governments agreed to a mutual propaganda plan modeled on Life. From them we got The USSR which became Soviet Life which became Russian Life. From us they got Amerika which became America Illustrated. “Soft” propaganda for a Cold War. Gentle cultural competition. Achievement, progress, beauty, tourism. Soviet Life could celebrate the cosmonauts and the construction of a dam as though ballistics and explosives were signs of society’s liberation. One can just imagine what Amerika looked like.
Somewhat relatedly, the U.S. Information Agency, which seems to have had a hand in all this, also employed Chermayeff & Geismar (which later added & Haviv) for a traveling Russian-language exhibition that showcased American design. Featured among the designer portraits, which can be found in the Milton Glaser Archives, was none other than Milton Glaser.
Find Soviet Life bound in green in the back near the bathrooms.
American Fabrics and Fashion (also called American Fabrics) was a commercial textile magazine created as a guide for manufacturers in the fabrics industry. In every issue there are dozens of physical fabric samples glued in, so in case you were wondering, “What did the 50’s feel like?”, here is the most literal answer to your question. Accompanying the samples are textile advertisements and sometimes the samples are even incorporated into the ads themselves. For anyone interested in fashion, textiles or all that is tactile, American Fabrics is a publication of great cultural and historical value.
We have 105 Issues of American Fabrics, 1946-1975.