Compared to Cuba and the United States, very little is known about the cigar factories of Europe. Business records, photographs and other ephemera are in short supply, no doubt in large measure due to the social and political upheavals that characterized Europe during the period of great cigar industry expansion, 1762-1962.

From the German and Dutch cigar factories destroyed by U.S. bombing raids during World War Two clear back to the battles of expansion and unification that typified the continent during the 19th century, little was written and less survived.

    Ebay has made it possible for collectors worldwide to see and obtain a unique record of the European cigar industry in the form of illustrated business letterhead. The resulting picture is, of course, an unbalanced one, heavily weighed on giant factories proud to display their size as a badge of success and hence of quality. The small factories, which numerically made up the vast majority of factories in the U.S. and probably a substantial percentage of European factories, had no such desire or fiscal willingness to splurge on illustrations of their one or two-room establishments. Like entrepreneurs everywhere, a few cigar companies put their image on postcards as a form of advertising. I have included the few of those I have found. In addition I have included a few cigarette , cigarette paper, and smoking tobacco manufacturers.

    This Exhibit makes no claims of historic certitude; it is nothing more than an attempt to illustrate what is available to be found, and to encourage you to find it.

Since I regrettably speak no European language other than English and a smattering of Spanish, you may find errors in attribution of a factory’s city or country. Please correct me if needed. 

Cigar Factories Depicted

on European Letterhead

and other European tobacco related images

A Cigar History Museum Exclusive 

Text and images © Tony Hyman, All rights reserved

Uploaded  December 10, 2012