Ghost signs, ghost ads & other phantoms
- Signs of Times Past and Passing by Lana Bortolot for the Wall Street Journal - Dec 9th, 2011
Available in many gay, colorful and completely new patterns [that] never fades, never curls.
Coutarelli Cigarettes – Maden Supérieur – Alexandria, Egypt – Uptown Correspondent, Iman R. Abdulfattah
I had totally forgotten about it until my friend mentioned it yesterday. I love researching the old companies that are being advertised and reflecting on how much the city has changed over time. - Iman R. Abdulfattah
According to Relli Shechter in Smoking, Culture & Economy in the Middle East- The Egyptian Tobacco Market 1850 – 2000, Coutarelli was the only large-scale Greek producer for the Egyptian tobacco smoking market, opening its business immediately after 1890 [p.80, Shechter]. In early February 1918, cigarette roller strikes occurred in Alexandria where the company was located [p.89]. According to Shechter, Coutarelli…
…began machine production in 1922, when it bought its first three cigarette-making machines. In 1945, an article in La Reforme suggested that Coutarelli employed more than 5,000 persons in production and distribution, thus putting the percentage of persons employed in Coutarelli at slightly less than a third of the total number employed in the business.
Former U.S. Diplomat Henry Precht, who was chief of the Iran Desk at the US State Department during the years of the Revolution and the hostage crisis said the following in a March 8, 2000 interview conducted by Charles Stuart Kennedy for The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Foreign Affairs Oral History Project:
Coutarelli had been the cigarette king of Egypt and had died after marrying a rather disreputable, it was said, Italian lady whom the family disapproved of. She was afraid that her huge house with an immense garden right around the corner from the consulate would be taken away either by the Egyptian government or by her husband’s family. So, she rented it to an American vice consul for his housing allowance in order to safeguard it. And it worked, at least for us certainly.
Looks like two superimposed ads: the Arabic on the left is for a ceramic company; then there is a 7 Up ad in the upper right corner, plus more Arabic that seems unrelated to 7 Up but possibly the beginning of the ceramic company ad. – Iman R. Abdulfattah
Off Gumhuriyya Square
7 Up was created by Charles Leiper Grigg, who launched his St. Louis–based company The Howdy Corporation in 1920. Grigg came up with the formula for a lemon-lime soft drink in 1929. The product, originally named “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda”, was launched two weeks before the Wall Street Crash of 1929. It contained lithium citrate, a mood-stabilizing drug, until 1950. It was one of a number of patent medicine products popular in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. – Wikipedia