Posts tagged with "pinup"



07. November 2022
In November 2022 the Chinese government issued new regulations for celebrity related advertising. Among others the updated rules prohibit celebrity endorsements of medicines, off-campus education and – finally - tobacco. What sounds fairly reasonable for today’s standards actually took the authorities over a century to crack down on: the practice of Chinese singers and movie stars unscrupulously peddling cigarettes goes back to the early 20th century and, as we will see, sometimes even with...
24. October 2022
Sweetie chewing gum ad by Shanghai Henningsen Produce Company featuring Liang Saizhu (梁赛珠), one of the 3 famous Liang sisters. From the MOFBA collection.
In 1848 John B. Curtis from Maine developed the first commercial chewing gum, inspired by American Indians who chewed resin made from the sap of spruce trees. The product innovation soon became popular across the USA and beyond. Already in 1890, we find a first mention of chewing gum being available for Christmas season in the International Settlement of Shanghai from American trading firm Mustard & Co. But it took another 20 years before mass-marketing to a wider Chinese audience would...
10. October 2022
A stunning Chinese “My Dear” post-war color ad from 1946 with a voluptuous brunette bombshell on the beach, modelled after the prevalent 1940s US pin-up style popularized for and by the G.I.’s overseas. From the MOFBA collection.
My Dear, or Měilì (美丽牌) meaning “beautiful” in Chinese, was the most popular Chinese cigarette brand out of Shanghai during Republican China. Since its inception it was famous for the attractive, confident and modern “new women” featured in its advertisements, ubiquitous across billboards, magazines and newspapers. Its Chinese slogan 有美皆备,无丽不臻 literally means “everyone wants the beauty because without beauty there is no completeness” but in more creative...
22. August 2022
Hatamen brand cigarette cards depicting early 20th century Chinese beauties. Such trading cards were inserted in cigarette packaging as collectibles to drive brand loyalty.
14. August 2022
1930s Silk hosiery box with film-noir style cover illustration. From the MOFBA collection
A stunning illustration on this vintage box by the Chinese “Healthy” Pure Silk Hosiery brand (健美牌). The voyeuristic perspective and dramatic interaction of light and shadow is reminiscent of American realist painter Edward Hoppers art. Even more intriguingly though, the lady’s thin long eyebrows and her short hairstyle with romantic waves undoubtedly dates the image to the 1930s, while the low-key black and white setting in an inner-city apartment with Venetian blinds is much more...
07. August 2022
Yuen Kiang cigarettes advertising poster by Taiyuan Jinhua Cigarette Factory. From the MOFBA collection
In the autumn of 1930, the national government of Shanxi province established the Jinhua Cigarette Factory (晋华卷烟厂) in the city of Taiyuan by merging several smaller private tobacco producers. The state-owned enterprise produced cigarettes throughout the 1930s until November 1937, when the Japanese army occupied Taiyuan and took over the operations. It remained active under the name “No 13 Factory” until the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War after which it was nationalized again...
11. May 2022
Advertisement calendar posters were the most important of the many forms of visual advertisement in China. They were introduced from the West and printed in glowing color lithography. These calendars posters, known in China as yuefenpai, were directed primarily at Chinese, not Western, customers. Most often, calendar images supplied by printers had little or no connection with the product or service being retailed. They were produced with an abundance of different pictures to appeal to a range...
09. May 2022
Illustration titled  "The Teachings of Western Civilisation", from the 1938 numbered and autographed book "Maskee" by Friedrich Schiff. From the MOFBA collection.
02. May 2022
Vintage 1940s Chinese Ever-Ready Razors (老人头牌 ) advertisement. From the MOFBA collection
The American Safety Razor Company was a personal care brand founded in 1906 by a merger of the Gem Cutlery Company & Ever-Ready and was a principal competitor to Gillette for over a century. The Ever-Ready brand had been created in 1905 and razors were continued to be sold under that name until the early 1960s.
11. April 2022
Cycle brand cigarettes Chinese "beautiful girl" advertising poster. From the MOFBA collection
The Cycle brand was created in the early 1900s during the days of the American Bicycle Boom - a no-brainer for Big Tobacco to associate itself with the corresponding health benefits. In China Cycle was distributed by Enterprise Tobacco Co, Ltd. (和泰烟有限公司), part of the British American Tobacco (BAT) cigarette behemoth. The Chinese name is a direct translation using the now old-fashioned term 自由车, which translates to any sort of bike but comes with a nice spin as the literal...

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