Bears Make Smoke - The Evolution of Cigarette Advertisements (1940's & 1980's)

Hello and welcome to Bears Make Smoke, a project researching Ursinus smokings ads in the Grizzly and Lantern. This project focuses exclusively on the 1940's and 1980's, investigating the contrasts between these two decades. Our goal is to understand the extent to which smoking ads changed in Ursinus texts over these years, and the social trends/advancements that came with it.

In other words, how and why have the advertisements in Ursinus' texts changed throughout time, specifically in the 40’s and 80’s?

Why the 1940's and 1980's?

A question everyone must be wondering, as they seem like quite random time periods at first glance. There are many reasons for this, but possibly the most important was to avoid a tidal wave of information drowning everyone. Focusing on two specific times allows for more information to be found and analyzed, without having to worry about finding sources for every decade or so. But why the 40's and 80's specifically? That's simple - we wanted to show a drastic difference in history, and the 40's and the 80's had this drastic difference.

1940's - A plethora of smoking advertisements year after year after year

1980's - The appearance of Cancer Society advertisements (anti-smoking ads)

Although there were many trends during the other decades, there was the most startling difference between these two specifically. A lot can happen in fourty years, and continuing forward, our goal of this project is to show you exactly what happened during these years. Afterwards, we will then take a look at all our unique advertisements from the 40's and 80's and put it in perspective with both Ursinus College and America. Intersted? Let's take a look.


Michael Raasch, Amy Litofsky, Chase Outcault, Carlo Telesco