Thursday, February 7, 2013

Smoke on the water - Time Travel to Versailles: February 1913

The Versailles Chronicle - February 1913

"Good finds and curiosities

Afternoon tea. A whiff of the weed

Just imagine! A new fashion is to be established in France and all is due because we so much love to imitate our neighbors. Lately, the "Gazette médicale de Paris" reported that in New York and the main cities of the United States, the young ladies have now begun to ask to their jeweler for the cigarette or cigar holders made of gold and inlaid with precious stones. They carry these objects at their wrists, attached with a small chain.

The appetite for tobacco is nowadays generalized on the other side of the ocean and women are particularly fanatical about cigarettes, and even about cigars and pipes. On the programs of the many feminine get-togethers, we can frequently read:

'Afternoon tea. A whiff of the weed.'
That is:
'Thé d'après-midi. Une bouffée de tabac' (Afternoon tea. A puff of tobacco)

These ladies smoke at table, lunch and dinner, when desert is served. And men have no excuse left to isolate themselves in the smoking room.

So many women made a habit of smoking in England that one of the most important railway companies, the 'London and North Western Railway' had to reserve a first-class car for women who smoke, 'lady smokers', in every train.

Lastly, we know that, in Europe, a great number of women of the upper class didn't disdain the cigarette, to say the least. The sovereign ladies themselves have been their example: the Queen Margherita of Italy, the dowager Empress of Russia, the ex-Queen Amélia of Portugal, the Queen Maria-Christina are among the known smokers."

The Versailles Chronicle - February 1913

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