We have a thing called the “vertical file”, a vast collection of newspaper clippings and other oddments that has grown out of control during the last half century to the point that it is difficult to find what you are looking for in its many file drawers and folders.

Our stupendous page Janice Safewright has tackled the daunting task of reorganizing this mass of knowledge into a more usable form. Whenever she finds something that she knows will interest me she brings it to my attention, I scan it and more than likely do a blog post. Here is one from Thursday’s batch.

“Minou” is normally a naughty word, but can also be used as a term of endearment. Look it up if you dare. Note that the article was written by my old friend and now retired Journal managing editor Joe Goodman back when he was a young whippersnapper of a reporter. The camel is reminiscent of the illustration that graced the very first batch of Camel cigarette packs in 1913.

To quote a 1950 newspaper piece by the late Journal reporter Chester Davis: “The first one-humped Reynolds camel was drawn by a Richmond lithographer. This man did very well with mosques and minarets and with palms and pyramids, but he just wasn’t up to camels.

“He drew a sad-eyed, splay and spraddle-footed beast that had a hump like a cat’s arched back. With widespread legs and ground-gripping prehensile toes, this dromedary looked like the sort that didn’t even have any Bactrian friends.

“Just the same, when the Camels came marching out of the Reynolds plants in October, 1913, this very same dromedary graced every package. It was not a pretty sight. The fact that the customers didn’t laugh out loud only goes to prove that they didn’t know a dromedary from a droshky, whatever that is.”

Oh, and a “droshky” was a light, low, horse drawn passenger carriage consisting of four wheels connected by a narrow board. Passengers sat astride or sideways on the board with their feet resting on rails near the ground. The term was later applied to any similar conveyance for hire.

Coming soon, an earlier piece by the same Chester Davis on how the RJR Camel finally got its hump.