Smoking Technology

While the cigarette was invented in 1865, a large amount of inventions surrounding the cigarette came about in the mid 1900’s. The cigarette certainly gained popularity in the 1900’s, and these inventions really help show the power of the cigarette industry. Although cigarettes themselves are arguably a poor invention, many wackier inventions came about in the mid 1900’s surrounding the cigarette.


The vest-pocket ash tray actually isn’t the poorest invention on the long list of inventions surrounding the cigarette. It has a small, subtle design. It was extremely cheap and easy to produce, and was actually somewhat convenient to use. There were however, multiple downsides to the product that are a big part of the reason the it is not still used today. The pocket ash tray could often be a mess. Ash could easily fall out of the tray throughout the day and fall onto the users vest, as well as make a big mess within the inside of their suit jacket. The design was not effective at keeping the cigarette ash from falling out, and held little to no value of convenience if it needed to be emptied after each use.


When a single dose of nicotine isn’t enough to relax the mind you may need this invention. The double-barrel cigarette holder never took off as a popular invention, and certainly did not cause a major increase in cigarette sales, but is still an invention on sale today. Many variations of this type of cigarette holder exist including one that holds an entire pack of cigarettes at a time. The invention truly expresses the lack of knowledge of the health risks of cigarettes, as some thought more cigarettes at a time was only a positive.


I saved perhaps my favorite mid 1900’s cigarette invention  for last. This invention involves a long metal pipe that allows the user to smoke his or her cig without getting smoke in their eyes or face. I personally enjoy the theory, but there are a few issues with this concept. A majority of smoke that ends up in the smokers face comes from their exhalation of the cigarette, not from the cigarette itself. Therefore this invention was not actually helpful at keeping smoke out of ones eyes. Secondly, the invention looked quite ridiculous. I imagine the user would feel ridiculous using the invention, but perhaps in the era of smoking being popular it was not strange to see someone using this invention.

Perhaps the fact that dozens of strange smoking invention came about in the mid 1900’s  provides evidence that smokers did not look silly using these inventions as long as they added convenience to their cigarette use. The 1950’s were the beginning of the peak of cigarette use that held a steep rise in use until 1965, and interestingly, the same decade where cigarettes began to be linked with cancer.The fact that cigarette use only rose after its linkage to cancer only shows how popular and glorified cigarette use was, which makes these abstract invention seem a bit more reasonable.


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