Cigarette girl (person)

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Burlesque performer dressed as a cigarette girl

Cigarette girl in European and American context generally refers to a person that sells or provides cigarettes from a tray held by a neck strap. They may also carry cigars, and many novelty items like lighted roses, candy, snacks, chewing gum, lighted jewelry, and lighted yo-yo's on their trays.

The most common uniform is a red and black short saloon-style skirt above the knee dress accompanied with a matching pillbox hat,[1] but you will find many in different colors and styles. Another title for a cigarette girl is candy girls. Aside from serving cigarettes and other novelties, the attractive girls acted as eye candy and were often employed to flirt with male customers as well;[1] cigarette girls usually consented with this request with the hopes of getting tips from wealthy businessmen.[1]

The modern image of cigarette girl developed in the 1920s with the urbanization of America.[1] Though largely not seen outside of speakeasies and supper clubs,[1] cigarettes girls were frequently shown in Hollywood films and soon became well-established among the general public.[1] With the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, speakeasies across America closed and cigarettes girls soon found employment in more popular business destinations.[1]

Cigarette girls were a common sight in restaurants, clubs, bars, airports and casinos during the 1930s and 1940s in the United States.[1] From the end of World War II into the 1950s, cigarette girls further expanded into sporting events and in the lobbies of theaters and music halls during intermissions.[1] With the rise of cigarette machines in the mid-1950s, however, venue owners no longer needed to seek out cigarettes girls who worked for a paycheck and the girls largely vanished from the public eye.[1] There were still some casinos and other night club establishments that still use cigarette girls today, especially in Las Vegas, NV and the Algonquin Hotel in New York City.[1][2]

In the arts[edit]

The 1924 film, The Cigarette Girl from Mossel'prom, featured a heroine who worked as a street-corner vendor.[3] The cigarette girl of the night club also became a staple figure of film and theatre.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k History of the Cigar Girl Accessed May 2 2014
  2. ^ Stieg, Bill (10 March 1988). "Cigarette girls bring back romantic flavors". The Hour (Norwalk, CT USA). p. 2. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  3. ^ A History of Russian Cinema -Birgit Beumers - 2009 Page 63 Similarly, Yuri Zheliabuzhsky's (1888–1955) The Cigarette Girl from Mosselprom (Papirosnitsa ot Mossel'proma, "
  4. ^ The Theatre Book of the Year, 1945-1946 -George J. Nathan, Charles Angoff - 1974 Page 148 "All the boys and girls, along with the old night club setting, are again in evidence: the dumb-cluck minor mobster, the love-lorn cigarette girl in the abbreviated costume, the oily head- waiter, the imperturbable night club boss, the slumming .."