Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

August 18, 2017
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Thank you for smoking

Don Draper would’ve been right at home in a new exhibition by the New York Public Library. Not a Cough in a Carload (now through December 26) takes a look at the campaigns tobacco companies used from the late 1920s to early ’50s. The exhibit displays hundreds of ads, many of which made medical claims.

Some, like Lucky Strike’s “Reach for a Lucky, Instead of a Sweet” campaign promoted weight loss, while others professed to have calming or throat-soothing effects. Images of healthcare professionals were also used, with taglines like “More Doctors Smoke Camels than Any Other Cigarettes.” And then there was the endless stream of celebrity endorsements: Lucille Ball, Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Rock Hudson, Ronald Reagan, Babe Ruth and John Wayne. Even Santa Claus made an appearance, shilling for Pall Mall. Admission is free. (212) 592-7000; www.nypl.org.

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