Cigarette etiquette (1916)

Should one hold “cig” in one’s lips or in one’s fingers to give lady a light?

Trotteries and tearooms have a grave new problem.

Its discussion punctuates the rhythmic arithmetic of the dance floor. When a lady asks a gent for a light from his cigarette, should he hold it for her in his fingers or in his lips?

It’s really quite a problem. A waiter last night [in New York] touched Harry Perkins on the arm as he was leaning over his companion’s face so she could get a smoke.

>> Women taking to cigarettes (1897)

“Pardon, sir, but the proprietor asks that you hold your cigarette in your fingers,” he said.

“What the…” Perkins began to explode, but…

“No offense, sir! It’s the rule of the house.”

That’s the new order.

If you don’t like it, you can use a match.


Top image: Ad for Egyptian Deities Cigarettes (1916)

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