1940 Bicycle Advertising Comics: 6-Day Racer Cecil Yates Smokes Camels

by Eric Shalit on August 1, 2010

I found panels for this Camel Cigarettes ad from 1940 and pieced it back together in Photoshop. I hesitate to explain the irony of cycling and smoking. The fact that 6-Day Bicycle Racing appeared in national advertising is testament to the popularity of this lost sport.

Click to enlarge. I believe that's mid-twentieth century wiseguy and hipster George Burns having the final word.

6-Day Bicycle Racing was a hugely popular spectator sport in the US from 1891 until WW2. Madison Square Garden in NYC was one of the major venues. Click here for a Wikipedia page about the sport.

There’s a terrific documentary film about the history of the 6-Days. Here’s a youtube clip of the intro.

Jeff Groman, owner of Bainbridge Island’s Classic Cycles, is one of the film’s producers. You can learn more about the DVD and book at www.sixdaybicyclerace.com.

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