Holy Smokes! Footage Of A Women's Pipe Smoking Convention In 1969

Holy Smokes! Footage Of A Women's Pipe Smoking Convention In 1969

Well this is one way to promote feminism. In the swinging year of 1969, the Festival Hall held a women's pipe smoking convention, where '50 puffing ladies' came to join the 'female smoking revolution'.

A typically smarmy British Pathé reel captured the event, as the women moved in 'on the sacred male territory' — everyone from horn-rim-spectacled grannies to groovy gals, getting their fill of shag.

Of course, smoking wasn't exactly a new habit for women in the 1960s. In particular, after the first world war, there was a push to market cigarettes to young women. While in the USA, pilot extraordinaire Amelia Earhart was flogging Lucky Strikes, brands like De Reszke encouraged those in the UK to get a taste for tobacco.

Illustrated London News, 28 June 1919. Image © Illustrated London News Group

The British Pathé clip, perhaps predictably, ends with one of the women as the butt of the joke; 'spewing' over the side of the South Bank terrace into the Thames (just as well there wasn't an EAT down there back then.) We can assume that she had the last laugh, given she dodged a life of hacking coughs, and giving off a general aroma of grandad.

Last Updated 22 January 2019