Cigarette cards made by WD & HO Wills, England
The cigarette cards document the retail activities of a suburban confectionary shop located in Mosman from 1929 to 1938. Their significance comes from their production as a tobacco marketing tool, and their provenance to Turner's Confectionary Shop. The cards reveal the level of competition among tobacco manufacturers, and the sophistication of marketing techniques used to secure new customers and maintain continued sales. This complete series of cards illustrates the level of success of tobacco marketing strategies.
Confectionary and soda shops were a feature of many Australian towns and suburbs by the 1920s. Since the 1800s coffee palaces, oyster saloons, tea rooms, restaurants and cafes had provided food and drink (often alcoholic) for all from the wealthy to the working person in search of a sixpenny cooked lunch. In the 1910s and 1920s, with temperance campaigns gathering momentum, the confectionary and soda shop represented an affordable, fashionable, refreshing and alcohol-free alternative for women, couples and families. As the precursor of the ubiquitous milk bar, they appeared in the city centres and flourished in the many suburban shopping precincts erected in the building boom of the 1920s. These shops were important points through which British and the more recent American popular culture were introduced to Australia through the medium of cuisine. While morning and afternoon tea and cake was always popular increasingly American inspired leisure foods such as ice-creams, sodas and sundaes were consumed. Cigarettes were also sold in large quantities.