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June 21, 2009
Here is probably a part of an ad in the 1920s:

I cropped it, resized it, and changed its colour saturation and contrast to make the Chinese characters stand out.  It’s so old, the Chinese characters are read from right to left.  It goes something like:
      "The two of them say: ‘suck here, suck there and he’s still the best’ "

It may sound "dirty" but in Chinese the words “he” (他) and “it” (它) sound the same and often are indistinguishable.  And the word Chinese use suck (吸)  to mean smoke.  So this is really a cigarette advertisement and was found in a blog by Lisa Boly reviewing Lisa See’s latest book "Shanghai Girls".  See Lisa Boly WordPress review of Lisa See’s latest book Shanghai Girls.  There you can see the cover of the book and another full (uncropped) picture of the above picture advertising for "Hademan Cigarette"  哈德门 (or is it Marlboro).


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