Camel Cigarettes

Camel cigarettes were introduced by the American company, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, in the summer of 1913, using Turkish tobacco that had a darker, browner smell to the smoke when burned as compared to other cigarettes. The name was chosen because in the early 20th century travels to far away places were in vogue and a camel symbolized that nicely.

The cigarettes were advance promoted, prior to official release, by a careful advertising campaign that included "teasers" which merely stated that "the Camels are coming" (a play on the old Scottish folk song, "The Campbells Are Coming"). The brand's catch-phrase slogan, used for decades, was "I'd walk a mile for a Camel!"

Camel regulars achieved the zenith of their popularity through personalities such as news broadcaster Edward R. Murrow, who smoked up to four packs of Camels per day, in effect using a Camel cigarette as his trademark.

Of trivial interest is the image of the camel on the packet itself. According to legend, the artist who drew the image of the camel didn't like the marketing manager from R.J. Reynolds so he placed on the upper part of the front leg the shape of the peeing boy. Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the city where R.J.R. was founded, was nicknamed "Camel City" at one time because of the brand's popularity.