Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Marilyn E. Jackler Memorial Collection of Tobacco Advertisements


Collection ID:
Jackler, Robert K.
circa 1898-2017
Collection is in
. Some materials in
, and
Physical Description:
20 Cubic feet
40 boxes, 1 map-folder
The collection documents the history of tobacco advertising in America through print advertisements (magazine and newspaper), emphasizing the deceptive advertising practices employed by the tobacco industry to lure and keep smokers. Many of the advertisements contain images of celebrities, athletes, and other notable persons who endorsed tobacco products as well as ethinic imagery.

Scope and Contents

Scope and Contents
The collection consists of advertisements collected by Dr. Robert Jackler for his "Not a Cough in a Carload: Images from the Tobacco Industry Campaign to Hide the Hazards of Smoking" exhibition. The heart of the collection consists of paper advertisements from national magazines and newspapers dating from 1898-2017. The bulk of these materials are for cigarettes but also include cigars and tobacco. A smaller amount of material are advertisements for holders, lighters and matches, pipes, smokers' drops, and toothpaste. Included among these materials are also some point of purchase displays and ephemera from major tobacco companies.
The material emphasizes the deceptive advertising practices intended to convince people that tobacco use was safe, and the use of doctors, dentists, athletes, opera singers, actors, and others to endorse them. Actresses and actors that appeard in some of these advertisements included Lucille Ball, Madge Bellamy, Constance Bennett, Sam Bernard, Billie Burke, Eddie Cantor, Richard Carle, Sue Carol, Madeleine Carroll, Boake Carter, Charlie Chan, Charlie Chaplin, Ina Claire, George M. Cohan, Claudette Colbert, June Collyer, Betty Compson, Gary Cooper, Clifton Crawford, Myrna J. Darby, Marlene Dietrich, Dolores Del Rio, Sally Eilers, Clifton Fadiman, Douglas Fairbanks, William Faversham, W.C. Fields, Muriel Finley, Sidney Fox, Kay Francis, Janet Gaynor, Bill Haines, Jean Harlow, Miriam Hopkins, Jack Holt, Leslie Howard, Edmund Lowe, Al Jolson, Harry Lauder, Carole Lombard, Myrna Loy, Dorothy Mackaill, Herbert Marshall, Groucho Marx, Norina Matchabella, Philip Merivale, Robert Montgomery, Catherine Moylan, Ramon Novarro, Maureen O'Sullivan, Barbara Stanwyck, Margaret Sullavan, Norma Talmadge, Lawrence Tibbett, William T. Tilden, Spencer Tracy, Helen Twelvetrees, Lenore Ulric, Lupe Velez and David Warfield. Some of the athletes that endorsed tobacco products included Ty Cobb, James J. Corbett, Johnny Farrell, Lou Gehrig, Walter Hagen, Willie Hoppe, Matt McGrath, Vincent Richards, Damon Runyon, Babe Ruth, Earl Sande, Martin Sheridan, Fred Spencer, Jr., Gaston Strobino and Ted Williams. Musicians that appeared in some of the advertisements included Frances Alda, Carl Gantvoort, George Gershwin, Dinh Gilly, Nanette Guilford, Jack Henderson, Helen Jepson, Karl Jörn, Lauritz Melchior, Dick Powell, John Philip Sousa, and Leo Slezak. Other note worthy celebrities included Robert Lee, Amelia Earhart, Georges Fontana, Rube Goldberg, Martin Johnson, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Marjorie Moss, Robert Taylor, Rudy Vallée, Amy Vanderbilt, King Vidor, George White, Florenz Ziegfeld, and Elsie de Wolfe.
To appeal to even wider audiences, advertisements incorporated iconic images such as Mount Rushmore, the American flag, the Statue of Liberty, and Santa Claus. Other advertisements used images of happy times and personal milestones, such as weddings, graduation day, Father's Day, etc., which smokers were told were incomplete without the aid of a cigarette.
Dr. Jackler later donated additional material which includes updated advertisements on modern themes, such as the economy (advertising touting bargain prices); technological changes (hard pack, improved filter, "light" cigarettes); and include more images of minorities. The initial donation had a series of advertisements with images of African Americans, but these additional ads allow researchers access to an even larger and more diverse set of examples of how tobacco was marketed to minorities. Dr. Jackler also expanded his research into much older magazines and newspapers. The addendum features advertisements from defunct, obscure, and short lived brands, in addition to the most popular and familiar ones. This enables researchers to study such themes as why the more successful companies' advertisements succeeded. These materials were integrated with the rest of the collection.
The collection is arranged into twelve series. Series one is cigarette advertisements dating from 1903-2017 and is divided by the media where it appeared in. Series two, contains advertisements for cigars dating from 1901-2017 and is also divided by media. Series three is chewing tobacco advertisements dating from 1898-2010 and is arranged into two subseries magazines and newspapers. Series four through series nine are advertisements marketing non-tobacco products and accessories for smokers. In addition, series ten contains point of purchase displays. Series eleven is born digital content. And finally, series twelve contains other forms of advertising and ephemera created by tobacco companies to assist in the sale of their products.


The collection is arranged into twelve series.
Series 1, Cigarette Advertisements, 1903-2017, undated
Subseries 1.1, Magazine Advertisements, 1910-2017, undated
Subseries 1.2, Newspaper Advertisements, 1903-2004, undated
Series 2, Cigar Advertisements, 1901-2017, undated
Subseries 2.1, Magazine Advertisements, 1910-2017, undated
Subseries 2.2, Newspaper Advertisements, 1901-1958, undated
Series 3, Chewing Tobacco Advertisements, 1898-2010, undated
Subseries 3.1, Magazine Advertisements, 1898-2010, undated
Subseries 3.2, Newspaper Advertisements, 1907-1981, undated
Series 4, Holder Advertisements, 1923-1957, undated
Series 5, Lighters and Accessories Advertisements, 1934-1977, undated
Series 6, Matches Advertisements, 1949, undated
Series 7, Pipes Advertisements, 1920-1971, undated
Series 8, Smokers' Drops Advertisements, 1958
Series 9, Toothpaste Advertisements, 1920, undated
Series 10, Point of Purchase Displays, undated
Series 11, Born Digital Content, undated
Series 12, Ephemera, 1960-2013, undated
Series 13: 2017 Addenda

Biographical / Historical

Biographical / Historical
Dr. Robert K. Jackler was born on January 29, 1954 to Dr. Jacob Marlowe Jackler and Marilyn Epstein. He was raised in Waterville, Maine, and attended college and medical school in Boston, Massachusetts. He moved to California for a residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. In 1985, Dr. Jackler accepted a Neuroethology fellowship at the House Ear Clinic and joined the faculty at the University of California, San Francisco where he remained until 2003. Later that year he became the Sewall Professor and Chair of the Department at OHNS and professor in the Ddepartments of Neurosurgery and Surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Dr. Jackler's medical work exposed him to numerous patients suffering from tobacco-related health problems. In addition, his mother, Marilyn Jackler, died of cancer in 2007. That year he and his wife Laurie founded the research group SRITA (Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising). The purpose of SRITA was to use an interdisciplinary approach to examine the ways in which the tobacco industry targeted minority groups. SRITA also wanted to examine how the industry marketed new products. During this time Dr. Jackler and his wife also began to amass a collection of advertisements and artifacts relating to tobacco products. These effors cumulated in an exhibition of advertising imagery tracing how tobacco companies used deceptive and often patently false claims in an effort to reassure the public of the safety of their products. "Not a Cough in a Carload: Images from the Tobacco Industry Campaign to Hide the Hazards of Smoking" was dedicated to his mother, Marilyn Jackler, who started smoking as a young woman because "it was the sophisticated thing to do" and later was unable to quit. Dr. Jackler received support from Stanford's Lane Medical Library, where the exhibit opened with an accompanying website ( Dr. Jackler has authored numerous papers, textbook chapters, editorials, and books in addition to his teaching, medical practice, and collecting.


Vanessa Broussard Simmons and Craig Orr
Dr. Jackler continues to donate materials to the collection.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated by Robert K. Jackler in 2011.
Existence and Location of Copies
Over 30,000 original tobacco advertisements reside in the Archives Center. SRITA (Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising) maintains an annotated online digital collection of over 28,000 of these tobacco advertisements for use by scholars ( and offers a traveling museum exhibit.
Custodial History
The collection was assembled by Dr. Robert K. Jackler and Stanford University professor, Dr. Robert N. Proctor, for an exhibit entitled "Not a Cough in a Carload: Images from the Tobacco Industry Campaign to Hide the Hazards of Smoking."
Processing Information
Processed by Austin Arminio (intern), Nancy Beardsley (volunteer), Rachel Dean (intern), Thomas Espe (intern), Ann Jones (volunteer), Laura McLester (volunteer); Nancy Mulry (volunteer), Erin Molly (volunteer), Evelyn Strope (intern), Ramona Williamson (volunteer); supervised by Vanessa Simmons Broussard, archivist, October, 2011 and March 2017.

Using the Collection

Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
Preferred Citation
Marilyn E. Jackler Memorial Collection of Tobacco Advertisements circa 1890-2013, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Related Materials
There are several collections relating to the advertising and marketing of tobacco in the Archives Center. The Warshaw collection's series on "Tobacco Trade" consists of nine cubic feet of business ephemera, circa 1850-1950. The N W Ayer Advertising Agency Records contain complete advertising campaigns for over 130 tobacco brands, 1899-1951, for companies such as Fatima, Murad, Pall Mall, Philip Morris, and R.J. Reynolds. The Marlboro Oral History and Documentation Collection documents the development of the Marlboro Man advertising campaign, 1940-1986. The Virgil Johnson Collection of Cigarette Packages, circa 1890-1997, contains over six thousand packages arranged into albums. The Cornelius and Horne Collection of Cigarette Packages consists of seventy three labels collected by a United States Navy captain in the Pacific theatre in 1945.

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