Category:
Smoking and Tobacco

Cigarette lighter that gives the finger

In 1942, George Horther was granted a patent for what he called an "electric resistance lighter". From what I can gather, lifting the finger activated the lighter. He had received a separate design patent in 1940 for the invention's appearance.



Curiously, in neither patent did Horther ever refer to the significance of the gesture his invention is making, even though that's pretty much the entire point of it.

I imagine he must have intended to sell this as a gag gift, but I can't find any evidence that he ever did manage to market it.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Apr 18, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions, Smoking and Tobacco, 1940s

Fire-Breathing Woman

In April 1940, Linda Lancaster Dodge Stratton was granted a patent for the "cigar or cigarette lighter" shown below. Its novel feature was that it was shaped like a fire-breathing woman. Or, as Stratton put it, "in the shape of a human figure artistically posed with the igniting means located in the mouth and ignited and extinguished by the movement of the head to open and close the mouth thereof through the manual movement of the arms toward and from the mouth."

It kinda looks like a fire-breathing Barbie. Though it predates Barbie by almost 20 years.

The patent said this woman was to be "constructed in a pocket or a table size." It would definitely be a conversation piece to have a table-size version of her in your home.



Posted By: Alex - Sun Apr 04, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Inventions, Smoking and Tobacco, 1940s, Women

Cheese-Filtered Cigarettes

We've previously posted about "cheese candy", which was the invention of Wisconsin lumberman Stuart Stebbings. Another of his inventions was cheese-filtered cigarettes. He was, apparently, a man driven to find new uses for cheese.



Lab tests demonstrated that a cheese filter could remove 90 percent of the tar in cigarettes. A hard cheese worked best, such as Parmesan, Romano, or Swiss. Although an aged cheddar could also be used. Or even a blend of cheeses.

In 1966, Stebbings was granted Patent No. 3,234,948. But as far as I know, his cheese-filtered cigarettes never made it to market.

Mason City Globe-Gazette - Feb 8, 1960

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 03, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Food, Inventions, Smoking and Tobacco, 1960s

Kent, the asbestos-filtered cigarette

In 1952, in response to growing concerns about the safety of cigarettes, the Lorillard Tobacco Company introduced Kent cigarettes, boasting that they contained a "Micronite filter" developed by "researchers in atomic energy plants".

Turned out that the key ingredient in the Micronite filter was asbestos. From wikipedia:

Kent widely touted its "famous micronite filter" and promised consumers the "greatest health protection in history". Sales of Kent skyrocketed, and it has been estimated that in Kent's first four years on the market, Lorillard sold some 13 billion Kent cigarettes. From March 1952 until at least May 1956, however, the Micronite filter in Kent cigarettes contained compressed carcinogenic blue asbestos within the crimped crepe paper. It has been suspected that many cases of mesothelioma have been caused specifically by smoking the original Kent cigarettes.

According to Mother Jones, the company is still battling lawsuits to this day.

Chicago Tribune - Apr 1, 1952

Posted By: Alex - Mon Dec 14, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Health, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, Smoking and Tobacco, 1950s

“Perfect smoke column from end to end”

The model looks slightly out-of-it as the "Accu-Ray" machine deposits an endless supply of cigarettes into her hand. Perhaps, like James Bond, she had a 70-cigarette-a-day habit that had to be constantly fed.

Life - June 13, 1955

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 23, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Advertising, Smoking and Tobacco, 1950s

Admiral Cigarettes Film

The cigarette genie appears!

Posted By: Paul - Mon Nov 23, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Magic and Illusions and Sleight of Hand, Advertising, Smoking and Tobacco, Nineteenth Century

Trim Reducing-Aid Cigarettes

The Cornell Drug Corporation came out with Trim Cigarettes in 1958, claiming that smoking three of them a day would reduce appetite and thereby help with weight loss:

Smoke a TRIM reducing aid cigarette and you'll be amazed to find yourself shaking your head as the food is passed around. There'll be no argument, you won't have to close your eyes and grit your teeth, you just won't want!

The FDA promptly banned them. More info: wikipedia



Miami News - May 16, 1958

Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 14, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Smoking and Tobacco, 1950s, Dieting and Weight Loss

A silly millimeter longer

In 1966, Benson & Hedges introduced the "100" — an extralong, 100-millimeter cigarette. Their tongue-in-cheek commercials focused on the supposed disadvantages of such a long cigarette.



Not to be outdone, the makers of Chesterfields responded by introducing the "101", which was 101 millimeters long. As they put it, it was a "silly millimeter longer."



As far as I know, no one ever introduced a "102" cigarette.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 04, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Smoking and Tobacco, 1960s

Cockroach trained to carry cigarettes

1938: Prisoners in solitary confinement in Amarillo, Texas figured out how to get cigarettes by training a cockroach to carry them under the cell door.

Salt Lake Tribune - Mar 2, 1938



Klamath News - Apr 9, 1938

Posted By: Alex - Mon Aug 17, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Prisons, Smoking and Tobacco, 1930s

Follies of the Madmen #483



Our product turns you into an arrogant jerk.

Source.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jul 19, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Business, Advertising, Emotions, Smoking and Tobacco, 1970s

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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