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Vintage Siam Flag Cigarette Silks - Matted and Framed
In the Victorian era new embellishments were available, small "tobacco silks" or "cigarette silks," printed in a wide variety of motifs, and offered as premiums in cigarette packs as a marketing tool. Women didn’t smoke cigarettes during the Victorian era - but they would encourage the menfolk to smoke a certain brand so they could get the latest actress or bathing beauty silk.
The tobacco companies encouraged women to make things using the fabric, and women obliged with quilts, pillow tops and table covers. The companies believed giving these items away would encourage smokers to chose one brand over another."
The advertising gimmick worked. In parlors of homes everywhere, men smoked while their wives fashioned the colorful fabric swatches into quilts, comforters, table scarves and clothes, this shows a marketing technique that is still used today.
There were silk issues in the USA from the late Victorian period and the UK's own Godfrey Phillips had issued over 20 different series between 1910 and the outbreak of war.
Although there were many different subject matters with the Outbreak of WW1, the Military Badges and Regimental Colours, Uniforms, Medals, Regimental Crests, Warships and War Heroes became the order of the day, especially for the male smokers.
Although during the war there were lots of companies issuing silks, by far the most prolific issuer in the UK was Godfrey Phillips. They issued more silks than all the other UK makers combined. Their B.D.V. Brand was very popular at the time. They also issued as many unbranded or anonymous silks in their other brands of tobacco and Cigarettes and many silks were issued by other tobacco companies after they amalgamated with Phillips. The British Tobacco company included images of the Thai flag to promote their exports to Thailand.
After WW1 there were less issues and by 1922 hardly any in the UK. There was a brief resurgence in the 30's mostly by Wix/Kensitas and Muratti but, apart from the odd trade issue, that was the end of silks.
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