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R. J. Reynolds, a tobacco farmer's son who had started his own tobacco company in Winston, North Carolina, in 1874. The town already had 15 such firms, but Reynolds quickly established his dominance and was the state's richest man by the time he died of pancreatic cancer in 1918. (Smoking cigarettes doubles the risk of getting that disease.) Until 1913 smokers rolled their own cigarettes, but that year Reynolds introduced a pre-packaged brand, which he dubbed "Camel" because it used Turkish tobacco in imitation of the popular products from Egypt. (Indeed, its trademark included a camel, pyramids, and a palm tree. Designed by Fritz Kleesattell, who worked as a camouflage artist in World War I, the picture of the dromedary seems to have a subliminal image of a naked man along its forelegs.) Within a year he sold 425 million packs. Originally Camels were blended to have a milder taste than other brands but because it continued to be unfiltered it became strongly associated with a hyper-masculine image.
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