Park Drive cigarettes were Ulster manufacturer Thomas Gallaher's response in 1897 to the popularity of Woodbines. Cigarette Land had quirky regional preferences, and cheapo Park Drives were taken up as the fag-of-choice by the men of the Midlands. This was the cigarette I saw covertly cupped in the hands of road roller drivers, clamped in the mouths of hod carriers as they ascended ladders and, in my case, seen left burning on the edges of studio lightboxes and wash basins alike. In Cigarette Pack Art, Chris Mullen talks of the pack design as the most anarchic of the three snout contenders vying for the popular vote (the other two being Woodbines and Player's Weights). "...the swellings of the letters too extrovert in behaviour...". Will packaging archivists of the future talk in such terms of the Francis Bacon style photographs of diseased offal that now grace cigarette packs? "Sovereign upped the stakes with a graphic disembowelling". I love this little blank club card, and the thought of it being used to save for Christmas fripperies down at the newsagent. On the back there's an ad. for Manikin Cigars and a space for writing 'Goods Laid Aside'. Inside, above the columns for cash entries and signatures, it just says 'Park Drive For Pleasure'. Exactly.
A Victorian Computer Revolution
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