Jumbo Cigars

A National Cigar History Museum Exhibit

© Tony Hyman

Modified and expanded: February 24, 2011

    The cigars are the novelty, not the box. Eleven inch long “jumbo” cigars originated in the 1880’s though most of the boxes pictured in this Exhibit are 75 years newer. Jumbos were taxed and packed according to different rules than cigars because the Government considered them tobacco novelties, not cigars.

    Jumbos were usually cellophaned, with the bands providing possibilities for a custom touch. Jumbos are commonly sold as souvenirs of places or events, including cities, political conventions, national parks, amusements and attractions, and the like. The most common jumbo brand is COVERED WAGON, though not all COVERED WAGONS are Jumbos.

NCHM Home        Novelty Boxes       

The earliest Jumbo non-cigar cigar

      Looks like a standard box of 100 regular cigars, but the ID says 25 and the Caution Notice reads: “The manufac-turers of this tobacco have complied...” Two clues to the giant size cigars packed side to side within. Made by one of the 100 rollers in the Detroit Cigar Mfg. Co., Fact. 2, 1st Mich., one of the 4 largest of the 230 factories in 1886 Detroit. Fine example of early printing on tin. 

    The “Concha Especial” frontmark is a joke, as Concha (shell) is a name usually reserved for small cigars, about 3.5” long.   [2915]   [2920]


Big Bill Taft jumbo

    Very rare 19” x 9 3/4” wood jumbo box, the only one I’ve seen in 60 years. Made by Wolf Bros. in Red Lion, PA, Factory 1514, 9th Dist. PA.

A big “cigar” created as a “Souvenir of our great President” in 1912 to honor the campaign of William Howard Taft, a man who weighed in excess of 300 pounds.

    The oversize lid was fragile and easily broken, the reason why large wooden cigar boxes that held 25 Jumbos (or 500 or 1000 cigars) rarely survive.   [P0640]