4 0 c m
actual image size: 24cm x 32cm

"Grocer smoking a pipe, 1949."

Photographic Advertising Limited

© Photographic Advertising/NMeM / Science & Society


"A grocer leans against his shop counter, which is stacked, like the shelves behind him, with bottles and tins. This photograph was used extensively, twice in 'Psychology Magazine', as well as to advertise sugar and biscuits. Smoking is a common theme - in its day, the pipe suggested stability and trustworthiness. Photographic Advertising Limited, founded in 1926, created multi-purpose stock images with the potential for selling a range of products. Whilst enjoying its greatest success during the 1930s, it continued in business until 1977. Their trademark, the staged studio photograph resembling a film still, was its selling point and, later, its downfall. Sophisticated, adaptable and generic, this kind of image gradually fell out of favour as clients increasingly demanded targeted advertising campaigns with specific photographs."



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