JOB cigarette paper

JOB cigarette paper

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Title: Job poster cigarette paper.

Author : ATCHE Jane (1872 - 1937)

Creation date : 1896

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 50 - Width 69.1

Technique and other indications: Colored lithograph.

Storage location: Decorative Arts Museum website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - Bulloz

Picture reference: 00-008693

Job poster cigarette paper.

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - Bulloz

Publication date: October 2011

Professor of contemporary history IUFM and Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1.Head of University for all, Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne.

Historical context

Smoke is in fashion

Since 1843, when the first industrial modules were put on the French market, cigarettes have taken over social space. After manual production by the many workers of the Régie des Tabacs, the production of cigarettes became mechanized in the early 1870s, with the industrial revolution accelerating: the revolutionary machine known as "Gauloise" was presented by its inventor Anatole Découflé to the Universal Exhibition of 1889. However, hand-made cigarettes, known as “hand-sewn”, still represent the majority of the modules sold. Jean Bardou, who filed a patent for invention in Perpignan, joined forces from the start of the IIe Republic to the Toulouse trade representative Jacques-Zacharie Pauilhac and initiates a commercial organization for the sale of paper notebooks: the acronym JB is separated by a diamond which recalls both the arms of Perpignan and the merchant's carrot. Soon the public will read "JOB". A large factory was founded in La Moulasse in Ariège, then in Toulouse. Jean Bardou's own brother, Joseph, creates the paper Le Nil in the same city.

The promotion of products involves the development of illustrated "advertising": you buy better what you see (or think you see). The use of the three primary colors (blue, yellow, red), to which we add black, makes it possible to obtain all the possible tints and shades.

Image Analysis

The advertising woman

The image of women has been used systematically by artists since Chéret's first posters (The Valentino ball, 1869): women set the tone for fashion products. Whether it's to go to the ball, to eat chocolate, or even to make you want to smoke, she sells.

In November 1896 a major exhibition of artistic posters was held at the Cirque de Reims. Celebrities from the world of the arts take part: Alphonse Mucha (Lefèvre-Utile biscuits), Toulouse-Lautrec (Michaël cycles), Firmin Bouisset (Robert baby bottles). The young Jane Atché - she is twenty-four years old -, coming from Toulouse, presents there a young blonde woman, seated, in a straw yellow dress and large black hat, who contemplates the smoke of a cigarette which she is holding in her hand right, while the volutes are concentrated to form a circle, veiling the head of the young lady with a halo. This poster follows that of Firmin Bouisset from 1895 and precedes the two posters Art Nouveau de Mucha from 1897 and 1898. The Toulouse-Lautrec project was not retained, while that of Jane Atché was taken over by the JOB company at the cost of a few modifications: the dress became soft green, matching the background, and the A scarf of smoke now floats around the JOB brand, while the dress features a rewarding phrase, “Hors Concours Paris 1889” (at the Universal Exhibition). The woman who smokes makes men's heads spin. It breaks down the walls of conventions.


The woman smokes

A woman who smokes is not common in a still very intolerant society. The etiquette manuals (that of the Baroness de Staff, among others) point to the impropriety of female smoking. It would be totally inappropriate to buy packets of ready-made cigarettes at the tobacco store. Using paper to roll your cigarette is perhaps a good way to get around the social ban, when you belong to good society, that of women who are neither vulgar like workers, nor emancipated like "lionesses" of the first half of the XIXe century, nor prostitutes like the popular extraction public girls. The distinction goes through the beauty of the garment, the elegance of the gesture, the care of the outfit.

The advertising for the smoke turns on the woman's view. It is certain that the promotion of cigarettes, of the practice of smoking, leads to the social identification of women, mysterious smokers and subjects of male desires.

  • women
  • publicity
  • tobacco
  • Mucha (Alfons)


Bénigno CACÉRÈS, Si le tabac m'être conté…, Paris, La Découverte, 1988. Claudine DHOTEL-VELLIET, Jane Atché, Lille, Le Pont du Nord editions, 2010. Thierry LEFEBVRE, Didier NOURRISSON and Myriam TSIKOUNAS, Quand les psychotropes faire their pub. One hundred thirty years of promotion of alcohol, tobacco, medicines, Paris, Editions du Nouveau Monde, 2010 Dominique LEJEUNE, La France des beginnings de la IIIe République, 1870-1896, Paris, Armand Colin, 1994 Dominique LEJEUNE, La France de la Belle Époque, 1896-1914, Paris, Armand Colin, 1991, Didier NOURRISSON, Cigarette, Histoire d'une tease, Paris, Payot, 2010.

To cite this article

Didier NOURRISSON, "JOB cigarette paper"

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