|Click image for more confusion.|
The makers of Durham Smoking Tobacco wanted you to know that they were the official smoking tobacco of grotesquely large-nosed men of the 1880s.
So, let’s examine this, if we may.
We have here, in this trade card, a well-dressed ginger fellow with an enormous proboscis. He’s standing on a platform in front of an open cabinet and he’s smoking a pipe. Apparently, he’s also engaged in conversation with his friend. But, his friend’s head and body are blocked by a very large package of Durham Smoking Tobacco complete with a golden bull on the front. Why the tobacco is just hovering there remains a mystery.
Honestly, I truly don’t understand the illustration. It’s very odd, and what’s more confounding is the fact that the caption doesn’t help us.
“THAT’S WHERE YOU MAKE YOUR MISTAKE, AND I DO NOT
WONDER AT YOUR TROUBLES,” SAID HIS FRIEND. “NOW THIS IS
THE ONLY TOBACCO THAT A SENSIBLE MAN EVER THINKS OF
SMOKING.” AUGUSTUS TOOK HIS FRIEND’S ADVICE AND HAS
Has what? Has learned the ancient magical levitating arts? Has gotten rhinoplasty? Has had a doctor examine his weird knee? Has noticed his head is as large as his trunk? Has realized his friend is being smothered by a package of tobacco? Has…
We’ll never know. And, that makes me sad.