Friday, March 10, 2017

VapoRub, the earliest
camel-case brand name?

[H. S. Richardson, “Difficult Sales Problems Overcome by Truthful Advertising.” Associated Advertising (June 1921). Richardson’s father Lunsford Richardson founded the Vick Chemical Company. H. S. explains in this article that “Vick was an old family name, which my father adopted because he felt that it would be easier to remember than Richardson.”]

I wonder: could VapoRub be the earliest camel-case brand name? Wikipedia’s article about camel case has DryIce as its earliest example, from 1925. But here’s VapoRub in 1921. And here’s a 1920 advertisement with the product identified as both Vaporub and VapoRub. Notice in the advertisement below that camel case applies even when the product name is in all caps. The product’s original name was Vick’s Croup Salve — not quite the same modern ring as “the VapoRub.”

[This advertisement is part of the 1921 article. The caption: “Illustrating the policy of avoiding ‘cure all’ copy.” In other words, the claim that VapoRub is good for neuralgia or headache is presented as truthful advertising. This advertisement also illustrates the problem of subject-verb disagreement.]

comments: 0