Could Richmond have become ‘Camel City’?

“The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., formerly one of the largest subsidiaries of the American Tobacco Co., contemplates entering the cigarette manufacturing field.

“The main plug and smoking tobacco factories of the company are located at Winston-Salem, N.C., but it has not definitely decided as yet whether or not to locate the cigarette manufacturing end of its business in that city. The uncertainty is due to the fact that a bill framed to prevent cigarette manufacture is before the North Carolina state legislature.

“The company has two large warehouses in Richmond, and in the event of unfavorable legislation in North Carolina, the cigarette manufacturing for the company will be undertaken in Virginia.”

– From “If Legislation is Unfavorable in North Carolina, Plant May Be Located in Virginia” in the Wall Street Journal (Feb. 22, 1913)

I haven’t found details on the proposed ban on cigarette manufacturing, but it must not have turned out to be a problem — just a few months later Reynolds’ Winston-Salem plant would be turning out 425 million Camels per year.


One thought on “Could Richmond have become ‘Camel City’?”

  1. Lew,
    The House Journal for the 1913 Session reports that Rep. D.M. Clark of Greenville introduced a bill on February 1, 1913 titled “An act to prohibit the manufacture or sale, or offering for sale or bringing into the state for the purpose of sale or giving away of any cigarettes, cigarette papers or substitutes thereof.” The bill, H.B. 564, was referred to the House Committee on Health.

    Clark’s bill was reported out of committee on February 12, 1913. Rep. B.T. Cox of Winterville (also in Pitt County) gave the bill an unfavorable report.

    I have yet to find a copy of the bill and I haven’t had a chance to check newspaper coverage.

    Cigarettes, it seems, were the objects of some focus during that session of the General Assembly. Legislation was also introduced to make it unlawful for minors to “smoke or have in their possession cigarettes.” And legislation was introduced to prohibit the sale or giving away of cigarettes in Gaston County’s Cherryville.

    More later.

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