The advertising archive of Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken

In 2004, the Museum der Arbeit was given the archive of the advertising department, which is now the marketing department, by the cigarette maker Reemtsma. The collection comprises posters, advertisements, cards, signage, stickers, films, photographs and packaging dating from before the  First World War to the present. In total, the collection comprises around 3,500 posters, 25,000 advertisements, between 12,000 and 15,000 packages and more than 50,000 other advertising and promotional items.

Online research

The archive is undergoing a continual documentation process, and is available for research and exhibitions. A selection of materials from the archive can also be accessed online at:

To date, the adverts and posters used by the company since 1945 can be viewed online. As many of the campaigns included several hundred individual shots of versions, we have not been able to include every single motif; instead, we have chosen a selection that is characteristic of the mood and style of the campaign.

As well as facts pertaining to the motif, the brand being advertised, the dates, the way in which the item was used, the research tool also includes background information. The history of the brands and  the advertising campaigns is explained in specific brand documents, and other documents provide information about the designers, the advertising agencies or the (mostly historical) cigarette companies which originally made the brands or were subsidiaries of the Reemtsma Group.

Users wishing to use the archive have a choice of options:

  • A simple search where you can use a keyword to search the archive (a list of all the key words used can also be viewed, but it is very long)
  • A search mask for looking up brands, advertising campaigns, dates and key words
  • Research lists for the direct selection of other search terms (designers, brand history, cigarette companies, etc.)

There are also several different viewing options for your search results: an image gallery of the motifs, a short list with an image and the main details, a presentation view with all relevant details. The database is continually being extended to include more sections of the archive.

Read more about the collection here.


Smoke Signs – the historical archive of Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken

From tobacco to cigarette

Since 1910, the cigarette maker Cigarettenfabrik Reemtsma has been producing popular brands such as R6, Ernte 23, Peter Stuyvesant and West. Recently, the company’s photo archive moved to the Museum der Arbeit, where it is gradually being made available to the general public. The collection includes pictures of cigarette manufacturing, photos documenting the history of the business, images from the countries where tobacco is harvested, all of which provide an unparalleled insight into how tobacco is grown and processed into an industrially-manufactured mass product.

The Reemtsma Photo Archive can be found at: