Uncle Clyde Hercule Wronski
If you’ve lived in the Big Apple for a while you will no doubt recognize this iconic scene that graced the Broadway streetscape for several years. Uncle Clyde Hercule Wronski—“Smokey” to all who knew him—was a hand model by profession. He was such a heavy smoker though, that at a career turning point an art director discovered him and he became the face of Camel cigarettes; until they moved on to Joe Camel.

Blowing the smoke rings was actually Smokey’s pièce de résistance parlour trick, and the advertising folks worked it into the billboard. They originally were entertaining having the animated billboard flick ashes onto the street. Not real ashes, but confetti ashes. With a five dollar bill falling down every so often to really get the folks on the avenue worked up. “More interactive” is what I hear they were thinking. But, smoke rings it was . . . the rest is history. Actually, HIS story; Uncle Smokey’s, that is.

See all the other Wronski's by going to the sidebar "Oh! Wronski / All My Relations". 

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