Cigarette Pack Collectors' Association

                                              Those Petty Girls



   Undoubtedly, of the many Old Gold ad campaigns run over the years, the 1930’s ‘Petty Girls’ series is among the most memorable.  George Petty, the artist who created the series, was already very well known when he signed on with Lorillard in 1935. He had created a special “pin-up girl” series for the premier issue of Esquire magazine in 1933 which was so popular that the entire press run of 100,00 copies sold out despite its’ relatively high price of 50 cents an issue. Petty continued to work for the magazine until 1954.    



     George Petty was born in 1894 in Louisiana. His father was a fairly well known photographer and young George often worked in his studio where he reportedly learned air brush techniques, a skill which would serve him well throughout his career. His talent for drawing was recognized early as illustrated by the fact that he did all the art work for his high school yearbook. Late in his career, Petty once  told an interviewer that his style was influenced by artists J.C. Leyendecker and Maxfield Parish. In fact, he studied for a time at The Academie Julian in Paris, a school which counted Leyendecker among its’ graduates. He returned to America with the outbreak of war on the European continent and found work as an artist at an advertising agency in Chicago. His first published work for the agency was a cover picture of a stylish skater for a 1920 Marshall Field fashion catalog. His career took off with the Esquire series and contract work for companies such as Jentzen Swimsuits, Ridge Tools, Quaker Stockings, Pepsi-Cola, Atlas Beer, TWA, Bestform Foundations, True Magazine, Ice Capades, and, of course,  Old Golds, followed.   His work was also commissioned  for such diverse projects as a poster  for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair and a design for the hood ornament  for the 1954-55 Nash automobiles.



                                                                                                                1920 Marshall Field Fashion Catalog cover done by Petty


                                                       Tag Lines like "A Swell Package !" accompanied Petty's ads for Old Gold