... and the culture of tobacco

J.L. Tiedemanns Tobaksfabrik (1778 - 2009) can trace its history back to 1778 when the firm was granted a royal charter to produce and sell tobacco. Tiedemann was not only the largest tobacco factory in Norway. For many years Tiedemann was also the largest user, outside the United States, of Virginia dark-fired and air-cured tobacco. The company's operational involvement in the tobacco industry in Norway ended in 1998, and its extensive historical collection of tobacco products and advertising material were given to Norsk Folkemuseum.

The collection

The historical collection consists of more than 2 500 items comprising tobacco products from 1870 to 1998 and a large amount of photos and advertising material. It is a unique blend of cigarette packages and pack designs and objects of art, tobacco packages and boxes, pipe tobacco, cigars, snuff and chewing tobacco throughout the factories’ history as well as ashtrays, pipes and tables furnished for smoking pipes. The archive provides insight into important correspondence, information about all products, price lists, statistics, promotions and sales materials.

Selling the tobacco dream

Tiedemann is seen as a pioneer in advertising, and used many different ways to create awareness about their products. The strategy behind the tobacco commercials was glorifying the habit of smoking. There is something slightly seductive in the commercials to both men and women regardless the social settings. The different brands reached people with different values: the cool one, the elegant and sophisticated, the fisherman, the worker and the director. Working with a wide selection of brands Tiedemann was able to reach people from all social levels.

The law forbidding tobacco advertising came in 1975. Today advertisement and sales materials for tobacco belong to our cultural history.


Golden West

Golden West was launched in 1922 by the tobacco company Hartog & Co A/S. Tiedemann bought the company Hartog in 1923. The American singer and actress Jeanette MacDonald (1903-1965) had the leading part in the movie The girl from the Golden West in 1938. She later appeared on Tiedemann’s poster and advertising material for the cigarette Golden West. Photo: Tiedemann/Norsk Folkemuseum 

Famous people often appeared in advertising

Sonia Henie (1912-1969) was a Norwegian figure skater and film star. She won several Olympic and World Champion titles, and was one of the highest paid stars in Hollywood at the height of her acting career. She also posed in advertisements for Tiedemann. Here on post pictures of Cromwell cigarette packages from 1928. Photo: Tiedemann/Norsk Folkemuseum.  

 North State and
South State

South State was introduced on the marked in 1941 as a compensation for North State. South State was the most advertised brand through the 1950’s and 1960’s.  



The Virginia cigarette Teddy was launched in 1914. It was named after U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt – popularly known as Teddy and marketed under the slogan: “Tiedemann’s Teddy everyone’s friend.” Teddy is the Norwegian cigarette brand which has the longest sale history, and went out of production in 2010. Photo: Tiedemann/Norsk Folkemuseum

Polar explorers – Norwegian heroes

The famous Norwegian polar expeditions were supplied with tobacco from Tiedemann - and the company received a letter of thanks in return. This was of course used in advertising for Tiedemanns products. Photo: Tiedemann/Norsk Folkemuseum.

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