Thank You For Smoking
Judith Davidsen -- Interior Design, 3/1/2007 12:00:00 AM
What did we know, and when did we know it? Hard to say.
On January 11, 1964, the U.S. surgeon general announced that tobacco could kill. We didn't think he was lying, but an awful lot of us chose not to believe him anyway. Ashtrays continued to march down the center of conference tables on the pages of Interior Design—occasionally showing up in medical venues as well.
Throughout the lifetime of this magazine, liquor has also had its place. In 1941, an ad offered a combination bar and vanity. Later, innovations included bars on wheels, bars hidden in entertainment centers, and, appropriately, bars built into cocktail tables. There were bars at home and bars at the office. One publishing company had a bar, replete with stools, right off a conference room.
For the most part, the magazine was less racist and sexist than the country at large, but many advertisers still seemed to think they couldn't sell product without the come-hither aid of half-naked women. The editors could be faulted only in thinking it was hip to recommend raunch for teenagers, as in the case of a wall covering that appeared in these pages in 1969—it featured a cartoon reclining nude.
It has always been the job of teenagers to discover vice on their own. Having it handed to them by an adult, let alone an interior designer, pretty much ruins everything.