The U.S. and international cigar industry of the 1700’s and early 1800’s was rudimentary at best, a scattering of factories, while most cigars rolled in rural sheds and city apartments. In Cuba, small town and farm factories were allowed to roll cigars only for local consumption until the early 1800’s. Once Cuban cigars were exported, demand grew quickly, becoming a huge fad in Europe and the U.S. by 1830.  Demand for cigars far outstripped Cuba’s ability to supply, leading ultimately to a huge industry develoing in Europe and in the U.S.  By 1860, more than 1,000 US cigar factories (mostly small) were rolling cigars. 

        Whenever a new industry comes into being, a huge network of other trades and professions is affected. In the cigar industry that included tobacco growing, warehousing, curing, flavoring, blending, manufacturing cigars, making and supplying tools, marketing, shipping, delivery, packaging, box making, label design & printing, creating machinery for all those tasks, display, promotion, billing and financing. Plenty of people had ideas how something could be improved. You’ll see many patents issued to Oscar Hammerstein, the father of the composer of Broadway musicals. Hammerstein was issued more cigar machine patents than any man in history.

These illustrations are courtesy of Don Thornton, the country’s top author - authority 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  <>

Here, with little comment, and in no particular order, are some of the good and not so good ideas.


Cigar-related Patents II

A National Cigar Museum Exhibit

© Tony Hyman