“Smoking Camels is a positive aid
to good digestion!”

Smoking Camels cigarettes “sets up a generous flow of digestive fluids. Increases alkalinity. What a sense of well-bring comes to those who smoke Camels at mealtime!”

Yeah! Right! This was one of the claims the R.J.Reynolds Tobac­co Com­pa­ny declared in adver­tis­ing Camels cig­a­rettes. To lend cred­i­bil­i­ty the claims were made by, among oth­ers, a socialite, an ath­lete, a fash­ion design­er and a deep-sea div­er: they were all celebri­ties and they all endorsed Camels in mag­a­zine adver­tis­ing in the 1930s.

The socialite smoked them because “Camels give me a grand ‘lift’… makes me feel glad I’m alive as my ener­gy snaps back.”

The ath­lete smoked them because “They don’t get your wind.”

The fash­ion design­er smoked them because “I work hap­pi­ly when I’m smok­ing and Camels are so mild they nev­er tire my taste.”

The deep-sea div­er smoked them because “a diver’s nerves must always be in per­fect con­di­tion. That why I smoke Camels —they nev­er upset my ner­vous system.”

The Socialite, Joan Belmont

Camels andorser Miss Joan Belmont

The Amer­i­can Home, June 1937  Joan Bel­mont was the daugh­ter of Mor­gan Bel­mont, senior part­ner in the New York invest­ment house of August Bel­mont & Co. found­ed by her grand­fa­ther, August Bel­mont, the founder and name­sake of the Bel­mont Stakes, third leg of the Triple Crown series of Amer­i­can Thor­ough­bred horse racing.

 The head­line and sub­head of this post orig­i­nat­ed in the copy block beneath the black and white pho­to in this adver­tise­ment above.  “Enjoy­ing Good Food at the Ritz in New York.” 

 The adver­tise­ment also lists “dis­tin­guished women” from New York, Boston, Philadel­phia, Vir­ginia, Bal­ti­more, Pasade­na and Chica­go, who were among those who pre­ferred Camel’s del­i­cate flavor. 

So, as sug­gest­ed in the slo­gan at the bot­tom of the adver­tise­ment “For Digestion’s Sake — Smoke Camels”

The Athlete, Big Bill Tilden

CAmels endorser Big Bill Tilden

For­tune, Sep­tem­ber 1935  The adver­tise­ment refers to Big Bill Tilden as the “Iron Man of Ten­nis” with “a long record as a Camel smok­er” who smoked Camels for years because “They don’t get my wind or upset my nerves.”

William Tatem Tilden II was con­sid­ered one of the world’s great­est ten­nis play­ers. He won 14 Major sin­gles titles, includ­ing 10 Grand Slam events, one World Hard Court Cham­pi­onships and three pro­fes­sion­al majors. He was the first Amer­i­can to win Wim­ble­don, tak­ing the title in 1920 and again in 1921 and 1930. He won the French Open in 1927 and 1930 and he also won a record sev­en U.S. Cham­pi­onships titles.

Tilden was the world No. 1 ama­teur for six years from 1920 to 1925 and world No. 1 pro from 1931 to 1933. He was named the great­est ten­nis play­er of the first half of the 20th cen­tu­ry in a 1950 Asso­ci­at­ed Press poll and was induct­ed into the Inter­na­tion­al Ten­nis Hall of Fame in 1959.

The four black and white pho­tographs car­ry fur­ther endorse­ments in sup­port of what Tilden has to say about Camels cigarettes.

Mrs. James B Fee­ley, home­mak­er, says “Famous ath­letes approve Camels so they must have real mild­ness. They are gen­tle to my throat, and when I’m tired I get a ‘lift’ with a Camel!”

Charles A Petersen, accoun­tant, says “Camels do not fraz­zle my nerves or upset my ‘con­di­tion’ and that Camel taste is just what I want…mildness cou­pled with full rich flavor!”

Eileen Tighe, writer, says: “Life’s more fun when you keep fit! So you see why I, too, smoke Camels. I’ve smoked them for ages, and no mat­ter how many I smoke , they don’t affect my wind”

Dick Hunger­ford, reporter, says: “I fol­low Tilden, Sarazen, Gehrig, and oth­er sports stars in smok­ing Camels. I smoke Camels steadi­ly, They nev­er get my wind”

The Fashion Designer, Elizabeth Hawes

Camels endorser Elizabeth Hawes

The Amer­i­can Home, June 1939  This adver­tise­ment is notable for what it doesn’t say.  Just who was Eliz­a­beth Hawes?

From the New York Times: The Most Bril­liant Amer­i­can Fash­ion Design­er “genius writer, wry cul­tur­al com­men­ta­tor, per­verse humorist, gift­ed artist and tru­ly mod­ern think­ing. You’ve nev­er heard of her.”

From Glam­our Daze: The Fash­ion Anarchist—Visionary design­er fore­run­ner to Dior “an author, a jour­nal­ist, a polit­i­cal activist and union organ­is­er with the fore­sight of Chanel and Dior and a razor sharp wit that made her the Dorothy Park­er of fashion.”

The adver­tise­ment does say that Miss Hawes is tiny, young, and ener­getic. Her work­ing mate­ri­als include the inevitable pack­age of Camels. “When I feel myself get­ting tense and irri­ta­ble I say to myself: Eliz­a­beth Hawes, have a Camel. I’d feel like a wreck at the end of the day if I didn’t ease up now and then and enjoy a Camel. It’s a grand way to rest the nerves.”

Read­ers are encour­aged to smoke 6 packs of Camels and find out why they are the largest-sell­ing cig­a­rette in America.

Final­ly, whose idea was it to include the dog at the bot­tom of the adver­tise­ment? Strange! It seems dogs rest instinc­tive­ly; humans can sooth their nerves with a Camel cigarette.

RELAXED.  The wire fox ter­ri­er is not­ed for its brisk, play­ful spir­it. Appar­ent­ly, always on the go…actually, fre­quent­ly at ease. When he tires, he instinc­tive­ly rests. His ner­vous sys­tem is so high­ly strung! Ours is too.  Our instincts like­wise warn us: Nerves need rest. But will-pow­er and deter­mi­na­tion may prod you to strug­gle on…till you become tense and irri­ta­ble. You want to be pleasant…your want to enjoy smooth nerves. Why not pause fre­quent­ly? Ease the strain. Let up and light up a Camel. Camels are such a pleasure—mild, rich-tast­ing. And smok­ers find that Camel’s cost­lier tobac­cos are sooth­ing to the nerves.

The Deep-sea Diver, Frank Crilley

Camels endorser Frank Crilley

Pop­u­lar Mechan­ics, Novem­ber 1933   Frank William Cril­ley was a Unit­ed States Navy div­er award­ed the Navy Cross and the Con­gres­sion­al Medal of Hon­or, for res­cu­ing anoth­er Navy div­er dur­ing the sal­vage of the USS F‑4 sub­ma­rine off the coast of Hon­olu­lu, Hawaii, in 1915. 

Gunner’s mate, William F. Lough­man, had descend­ed to the wreck lying 304 feet before the sur­face.  When he start­ed his ascent his life­line and air hose became so bad­ly fouled by this hawser that he was unable to free him­self.  Cril­ley vol­un­teered to go to his aid. He untan­gled the snarl of lines and cleared his imper­iled com­rade who was brought, still alive, to the surface.

It is that event that is ref­er­enced in the adver­tise­ment.  Cril­ley is quot­ed: “Deep down under 300 feet of water, work­ing fever­ish­ly under ter­rif­ic pressure—no place for a ner­vous man!”

Add to those claims the asser­tions that  “More Doc­tors smoke Camels than any oth­er cig­a­rette” and “Camels promised more puffs