strange tales: el buen tono and the arctic radio


Who was this Nordic-looking man and why was he promoting El Buen Tono’s cigarettes? Why would a Mexican tobacco company choose an icy landscape as the backdrop for a product that was grown in the tropics? And what was the connection between radio and the blimp, another invention of the modern era that fascinated Ernest Pugibet? Looking through newspapers from 1926—the year the ad was first published—I was able to uncover a tale that was even more bizarre and even more fantastic than the android cigarette sellers or the radiophonic beer. It turns out the advertisement had to do with a news item that was the talk of the town in Mexico City during the summer of 1926.

In the first days of May of that year, the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, a seasoned adventurer who had been the first man to reach the South Pole, set out on an ambitious expedition to the North Pole.

more from Cabinet here.