An extraordinary, possibly one-of-a-kind 114-page flip book of several different Camel cigarette advertisements translated into 29 languages* for placement in ethnic-language newspapers in New York City. Introduced by RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company in 1913 as a pioneering blend of domestic Burley tobacco and the popular Turkish tobacco, “Camel became was the agent of change for producing the modern cigarette industry,” according to Nannie M. Tilley, author of The R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (University of North Carolina Press, 1985). Its success was due in part to the allure of the phrase “Turkish and Domestic Blend” and to the revolutionary price of a pack: 10 cents, a nickel cheaper than Liggett & Myers’ best-selling brand Fatima made of Turkish tobacco Within two years, Camel was the number one cigarette in America,
Unable to find any English-language Camel advertisement with the same format and text of the non-English language ads in the Camel salesman’s book, I asked University of Alabama computer engineering student Bryce Callahan to create an imaginary version using the English translation of one of the French ads. AB
English translations of the other two French language ads in the book (pages 31-33):
No compromise with excellence! The Camel blend is perfect in every way!
Camels are made for connoisseurs who crave the pleasure of good smoking, and these smokers can be sure that the true quality of the Camels will always be maintained.
Camels were designed and manufactured to develop the pleasure of smoking. The most perfect blend that experts can make is the secret of this marvelous cigarette! The most modern and skillful processes are employed to perfect this delicious cigarette! The finest of all American tobaccos, and the rarest Turkish tobaccos to add aroma! Camels are much preferred by connoisseurs of smoking because they enjoy the delicious flavor of smartly blended, select tobaccos.
When they know the difference, they race to Camels.
Why smokers love Camels
The phrase “I’ve become a Camels fan” comes from a Camel smoker. She represents the opinion of millions of people who through Camels have learned what the pleasure of smoking is.
As the number of smokers increases, one is more and more inclined to consider quality. Novice smokers may not be knowledgeable, but once they get to appreciate the sweetness and unrivaled aroma of the Camel blend, they realize its true superiority. It is for discerning smokers that Camels are made…it is for them that the best tobaccos are chosen…and this quality is maintained for the millions of people who know the real pleasure of smoking.
*The languages of the advertisements are
Arabic (3), Armenian (3), “Belgian” (3), “Bohemian” (6), “Carpatho-Russian” (3), Chinese (3), Croatian (3), Danish (3), Finnish (3), French (3), German (6), Greek (3), “Hollandish” (3), Hungarian (6), Italian (6), Japanese (6), “Jewish” (6), Lithuanian (3), Norwegian (6), Polish (6), Portuguese (3), Roumanian (3), Russian (3), Serbian (3), Slovak (3), Slovenian (3), Spanish (3), Swedish (3), Ukrainian (3).