Pictures courtesy of Don Thornton

        When cigar boxes were mandated in 1863, the initial rules regarding their use and manufacture were stringent, especially under the law of 1865 which limited contents to 25, 50, 100, 250 or 500 cigars. At first, only glass and wood boxes were permitted, but in 1870 tin boxes were allowed, and in 1878 the laws were liberalized permitting novelty packaging. Cigar makers, wholesalers, retailers and customers all believed they could design a better, more attractive, or more useful cigar box. Here, with little comment, are a decade and a half’s worth of their good and not so good ideas.

These patent illustrations are courtesy of Don Thornton, the top author - authority in the country on egg beaters and apple parers. While researching patents Don thoughtfully and graciously offered to copy cigar related patents as he came across them. You can see these today because he carried through on his offer.  Don’s eggbeater and apple parer books are interesting for all and a must for dealers and  collectors.  Don’s retiring, selling remaining copies at discount. Go to  <>

Cigar Box Patents

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

A National Cigar Museum Exhibit

© Tony Hyman