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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

African American History Month: Geo W. Helme Company, 1888

WARNING: The below 19th century strip contains racist imagery and language.

Continuing our coverage of African American History Month, we have today another comic booklet by the Geo. W. Helme Co., manufacturer of Railroad Mills Snuff & Tobacco. Published in 1888, only two decades after the end of slavery, this is an example of how advertisers used stereotyped imagery of African Americans to sell their products to white America. As you can see from the page below, it is titled, “Up to Snuff, a Tale not to be Sneezed at, or the Luck of a Fat Little Moke.”

To view a previously posted, earlier Geo. W. Helme comic booklet, click here.

And click here, to find other examples of Victorian Era (plus slightly after) advertising comics.

Doug Wheeler

BlackHistory AdvertisingStrips


Doug

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One Response to “African American History Month: Geo W. Helme Company, 1888”

  1. smurfswacker Says:

    The text page is interesting. It seems to say, “If you’re too lazy to read or too stupid to understand the foregoing story, here’s what it means.” Maybe they figured even 19th-century readers lacked the patience to wade through all that dialect.

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