CIGAR HISTORY   1878-1915  Golden Age

Cigar History Museum Exclusive 

© Tony Hyman



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Previous Highlights

1868  US requires to be printed or branded on all cigar boxes the name of factory owner, state and tax district in which the cigars were made and the number of cigars in the box  (‘factory ID’). For regulations and examples, go <here>.

1868  US requires “Caution Notices” pasted on boxes forbidding reuse of the box and stamp. For regulations and examples, go <here>.

1878  US issues “March 3, 1878” tax stamps, printed in black ink on blue paper. With 3 date changes this size and design tax stamp will be used until 1910

1876  United States’ 100th Birthday. The Centennial celebrated. Three dozen tobacco and cigar companies exhibited at the Centennial.

The Golden Age of Cigars

1878  US Government allows novelty packaging. Cigar industry responds with great inventiveness.

1878  M.C. Killian opened a cigar factory in Reamstown, PA. a decade later he was advertising LITTLE REBEL and MEXI FLORA as “Special 5¢ Brands.”

1878  Because of his role in the 1877 strike, Samuel Gompers is blacklisted and unable to find work for four months in a city with nearly 1,000 cigar factories. Puts severe strain on pregnant wife and four kids.

1878  Advertising circular from British importer quotes a government document claiming that many so-called Havana cigars "are composed of 'sugar, alum, lime, meal, rhubarb leaves, saltpetre, fuller's earth, chromate of lead, peat, moss, common burdock leaves, salt, lamp black, and dyes,' and are occasionally steeped in strong tobacco water to give them a flavour."

1878  British publication lists their selection of “the best Cuban brands”: Partagas, La Intimidad, Cabañas, Villar y Villar, El Gaucho, Henry Clay, H.Upmann, Caliope, Paz de China, Confederacion Suiza, La Española, A. Murias y Cia., La Carolina, Ramon Allones, V. Arango, Por Larrañaga, Jose Morales and Cabarga y Cia.

1879  US Government allow cigars to be packed in boxes of 200.

1879  US Government issues long colorful Imported Cigar stamps dated 1879, design used until 1904 but with minor changes in 1895.

1879  Nicholas Witsch and Jacob Schmidt start one of the nation’s more important cigar label companies (1879-1892).

1879  David, David and E.W. Johns start Johns  Bros. lithographic establishment in Cleveland. Company operated from 1879 to 1902.

1879  Herrman Dohm founds litho company that becomes Dohm & Rosa in 1887. (1879-1913)

1879  Inventory taken at Heppenheimer & Maurer, one of the more important New York City lithographic establishments specializing in cigar labels, included 25,000 registered lithographic stones, 7,000,000 cigar labels, 725 different cigar box edgings created by 22 on-the-premises artists plus Mr. Maurer himself.

1879  Yocum Bros. establish cigar factory in Reading PA.  Makers of Y-B cigars for 70+ yrs.

1879  Warren Beck & Brother establish El Mundo Cigar Factory in York, PA, to make exclusively for the jobbing trade. Nickel cigar brfands included:  YORICK, CINGARO, PERSUADER, 5-A, SUNSET LIMITED, LITTLE YORKER and custom brands. Dime brands included: DUKE OF WESTMINSTER, ADMIRAL GHERARDI, GEN. WARREN, MARCANA, LA RESPONDER, LA CANTIDAD and various custom brands. Exhibited at the 1904 St. Louis Louisiana Purchase Exposition.

1879  Somers Bros. takes out patent on process for lithography on tin.

1879  Cigar tobacco production in Pennsylvania hits 36,900,000 pounds, making PA the largest grower of cigar tobacco and third largest tobacco growing state.  New York state added another 6,480,000 pounds to the nation’s cigar tobacco crop.

1879  Ernesto Pugibet, a French entrepreneur, migrated to Mexico where he founded EL BUEN TONO cigarette company in 1884. Company closed around 1961. Known for mored than 1500 different packages with fototipias (photographic cigarete cards) of celebrities.



1880±  US Government requires reworded longer Caution Notice, emphasizing destruction of the stamp.

1880  Tobacco tax accounted for one-third of Federal revenue. 50% of the collections came from smoking and chewing tobacco, 40% from cigars and cheroots, 8% from snuff and less than 2% from cigarettes.

1880  Canadian Government issues new series of strip tax stamps, doing away with diamond and square shapes. Stamps now color coded in green, red, black or blue according to where the tobacco came from. Also requires Caution Notices to be added to cigar boxes. See Dating Canadian Cigar Boxes for more detail.

1880  Boston repeals its ban on smoking cigars on the streets.

1880  Cigarette consumption rises to half billion against six billion cigars. During this decade, cigarettes made with Turkish tobaccos blended with U.S. burley overtake Cuban cigarettes in popularity in Europe because they were cheaper and more available. Cuban tobacco was always a premium item in limited supply made worse by the Cuban ten years war (1868 - 1878).

1880  Joseph R. Otto founds cigar box making and label printing company in Syracuse, NY. (1880-1885).

1880  Henry E. Weidemeyer opens a two-man cigar factory in Marysville, KS, which lasts until 1951.

1880  E. L. Allen founds one-man cigar factory at 107 Water St. in New York City. The company is still in business 30 years later, making 14 sizes of ETA WANDA cigars. Have 1911 price list.

1880  Illinois factories roll 132,500,000 cigars and 2,000,000 cigarettes.

1880  Cigar Maker’s Union (CMIU) introduces the Union “Blue Label” a stamp to be applied on boxes of Union made cigars. Blue was a compromise between the white label used in San Francisco and the red label used in St. Louis. Believed to be second National Union label. See examples in Dating.

1880  The Gremio de Fabricantes (Manufactuer’s Union) was organized in Havana. See 1884.

1880  Cuba: Don José LaMadrid Piedra and his brother Vicente start a  cigar factory which within 20 years was the best known Cuban brand outside of Cuba itself. Principle market was the U.S. though sold worldwide. Sold and known on every continent except Antarctica.

1880  Christian Swartz co-founds OLD WELL Cigar Co. (and brand) in Norwalk, CT. Brand lasts 50 years.

1880  Joseph Samuel & Son begin importing Cuban and Philippine cigars, Fenchurch St., London, Eng.

1880  Ernest Taylor founds the Breeze Lane Works in Liverpool, England, specialists in high class decorated tins for the cigarette and tobacco trade. They advertised “oblong, square and round tins, decorated and plain, in an exceptionally large range of shapes and sizes.”

1880  Macdonald Manufacturing Company becomes Canada’s second important maker of tin tobacco and other cans.

1880±  William Tyler begins making cigars after purchasing the factory formerly operated by R. & D. Underwood on Pelham Street in Nottingham, England 1880  US Government requires reworded longer Caution Notice, emphasizing destruction of the stamp. Wording  of the new Notice ends “ such cases.” That wording is used unchanged until the late 1950s when tax stamps are no longer required.

1880  Tobacco tax accounted for one-third of Federal revenue. 50% of the collections came from smoking and chewing tobacco, 40% from cigars and cheroots, 8% from snuff and less than 2% from cigarettes.

1880  Canadian Government issues new series of strip tax stamps, doing away with diamond and square shapes. Stamps now color coded in green, red, black or blue according to where the tobacco came from. Also requires Caution Notices to be added to cigar boxes. See Dating Canadian Cigar Boxes for more detail.

1880  Boston repeals its ban on smoking cigars on the streets.

1880  Cigarette consumption rises to half billion against six billion cigars. During this decade, cigarettes made with Turkish tobaccos blended with U.S. burley overtake Cuban cigarettes in popularity in Europe because they were cheaper and more available. Cuban tobacco was always a premium item in limited supply made worse by the Cuban ten years war (1868 - 1878).

1880  Joseph R. Otto founds cigar box making and label printing company in Syracuse, NY. (1880-1885).

1880  Henry E. Weidemeyer founds two-man cigar factory in Marysville, KS, which lasts until 1951.

1880  Christian Swartz co-founds OLD WELL Cigar Co. (and brand) in Norwalk, CT. Brand lasts 50 years.

1880  Simon Sanders established Simon Sanders & Co. at 211 West Main St. in Trinidad, CO, as wholesale dealers in liquor and cigars. In 1907, Joseph Sanders also on their letterhead. That year, a 52 Gallon barrel of claret cost $23.65.

1880  Joseph Samuel & Son begin importing Cuban and Philippine cigars, Fenchurch St., London, Eng.

1880  D.D. Mick opened  cigar factory #166 in Jersey Shore, PA. His principal salesman was Frank S. Jones, whose name appears POB on FREE AND EQUAL. By 1886, Mick had a partner named Seeley and 15 rollers.  FREE AND EQUAL, FRANK S. JONES AT HOME. The latter box appears to announce a wake.

1880  E. L. Allen founds one-man cigar factory at 107 Water St. in New York City. The company is still in business 30 years later, making 14 sizes of ETA WANDA cigars. Have 1911 price list.

1880  Illinois factories roll 132,500,000 cigars and 2,000,000 cigarettes.

1880  Cigar Maker’s Union (CMIU) introduces the Union “Blue Label” a stamp to be applied on boxes of Union made cigars. Blue was a compromise between the white label used in San Francisco and the red label used in St. Louis. Believed to be second National Union label. See examples in Dating.

1880  The Gremio de Fabricantes (Manufactuer’s Union) was organized in Havana. See 1884.

1880  Cuba: Don José LaMadrid Piedra and his brother Vicente start a  cigar factory which within 20 years became the best known Cuban export brand worldwide. Principle market was the U.S. though sold and well known on every continent except Antarctica.

1880  Ernest Taylor founds the Breeze Lane Works in Liverpool, England, specialists in high class decorated tins for the cigarette and tobacco trade. They advertised “oblong, square and round tins, decorated and plain, in an exceptionally large range of shapes and sizes.”

1880  Macdonald Manufacturing Company becomes Canada’s second important maker of tin tobacco and other cans.

1880±  William Tyler begins making cigars after purchasing the factory formerly operated by R. & D. Underwood on Pelham Street in Nottingham, England.

1880  Top 5 cigar producing states: (5) California 2.7million cigars, (4) Illinois 3.1m, (3) Ohio 5.5m,

(2) Pennsylvania 10.7m, (1) New York 21.9m.

1881  Cigar Maker’s International Union membership reaches 10,000.

1881  American Federation of Labor (A.F. OF L.) founded.

1881  TOBACCO WORLD magazine founded.

1881  TOBACCO journal founded in London, United Kingdom, as a paper for manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and retail tobacconists.

1881  E. Goldberg, Kalamazoo, Michigan begins producing LITTLE BEAUTIES.


1881  Jerome P. Updegrove joined his brother’s 6 year old lumber business and the firm became William E. Updegrove & Bro.

1881  James Bonsack invents efficient cigarette-making machine that, with minor improvements, could, by 1884, make 120,000 cigarettes a day, production equivalent to 40 better paid expert hand rollers.

1881  James Buchanan Duke goes into the cigarette business in North Carolina, hiring 125 rollers from New York City. Makes just shy of 10,000,000 his first year.

1881  TOBACCO WHIFFS magazine calls out the resurrection of the “curios habit of torturing English names and streets into ridiculous Spanish translations in order to veil their identity from the uninitiated.”

It goes on to decry the outright copying of prominent labels.

1882  US Government passes Chinese Exclusion Act.

1882 LA CORONA brand and factory sold, soon thereafter resold. Eventually bought up by the American Tobacco Trust. numerous boxes, ads, brochures, articles

1882  F.P. (Francisco Perez) Del Rio founded in Cuba, maker of LA LEGITIMIDAD and numerous others.

1882  GARCIA y VEGA brand of cigars founded. Numerous boxes

1882  William K. Gresh opens a second factory in Norristown, PA, takes his two sons into the business as partners, and changes the Company name to W.K. Gresh & Sons. By the end of the century the company had 75 employees and rolled 4,000,000 cigars a year.  Boxes.

1882  J.B. Budding, cigar manufacturer, founded in York, PA. Factory 1503, 9th Dist. PA, made PATRICK HENRY for 5¢, and JOSEPH REED and MONARCH at a dime. Could make 100,000 cigars a day. Gold medal winner at 1904 St. Louis Exposition.

1882  E.C. Franke & Co., leaf tobacco dealers, established in Kentucky. Still operating in 1936.

1882  Bennett, Sloan & Co, New York and Philadelphia, creates COUNTRY GENTLEMAN cigars [?] See also 1887: conflicting data exists.

1882  Charles Schiege Jr. builds a small one-room cigar factory behind his home in Round Top, PA, where he produced TEXAS STAR, LA ROSA SUPREMA, GREAT SPORT, and BOSS. In 1932 he celebrated his 50th anniversary making cigars with a specially packaged BOSS, then shut down.

1882  W.W. Stewart opens PA factory exclusively using PA tobaccos. Best seller was John Hay, brand made by his descendents 125+ years later. 

1882-1960, 1987-  BELINDA registered in Havana, Cuba, by Francisco Menendez MartinezBox.

1882  M.C. Carathanassis & Co. start operations on Island of Samos as maker of Turkish cigarettes and international dealers in Turkish tobacco.

1882  Spain lifts government monopoly over tobacco growing, sale, and manufacture in the Philippines, effective January 1st of 1883.

1883  US Government lowers taxes and issues cigar tax stamp series of 1883, used until 1898 making it the longest-used-without-changing excise tax stamp in US. Design is the same as the 1878 issue, but with a changed date. See Dating Revenue Stamps.

1883  Canadian Government issues new series of tax stamps, used until 1897.

1883  F.M. Howell, cigar box maker and cigar label printer, founded in Elmira, NY. Specialized  colorful custom labels small factories nationwide, but began with horse-barge-rail delivery to the tens of thousands of shall cigar makers in NY, PA, and OH. One of first printers to extensively use zinc plates rather than limestone. One of the first to provide customers with custom photographic labels. Once a major supplier of cigar bands to those markets. Howell remained successful, ultimately outlasting the U.S. cigar industry, and is still around today.

1883  Conover Litho Co, founded in Coldwater, Michigan, as cigar box label printer. (1883-1931).

1883  More than 5,000 U.S. cigar factories rolled 3,200,000,000 cigars using 284,000,000 pounds of domestic tobacco and 13,800,000 pounds of leaf from Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Sumatra. That’s less than one-half of one percent. The word “Havana” on cigar boxes usually refers to a strain of domestic tobacco and DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN the cigars contain imported tobacco.

1883  George M. Wechter, manufacturer of cigar boxes, shipping cases, labels, edgings, ribbons and cigar manufacturers’ supplies, established in Akron, PA.

1883  According to the CMIU, 75,000 cigar rollers worked in the U.S., the largest cigar factory employing 2,000 people. They don’t say where it was located, though NYC and Baltimore would be prime candidates.

1883  The suction board was invented and patented; it was soon elaborated into the suction rolling table. Held wrapper leaf in place so movable die could cut it accurately depending on the size and shape cigar being manufactured. Huge innovation leading to greater uniformity and faster production.

1883  John Player begins manufacture of PLAYER’S cigarettes in England.

1883  Total number of English cigar, cigarette and smoking tobacco factories reached a never-again-equalled high of 444. To put that number in perspective, that’s slightly more than the number of cigar factories operating in California that year.

1883  Lifting of the Spanish monopoly results in LA INSULAR cigar and cigarette factory established in Manila, Philippine Islands.

1883  House of Rinaldo cigar distributors founded in San Francisco. Company lasts 50+ years.

1883  A. Sauer sets up a one-man cigar factory in Huron, So.Dak. Lasts 30+ years. COMMANDERY

1883  J.U. Fehr & Son and George N. Fehr, establish dealership in Havana, Sumatra and domestic tobacco in Reading, PA. They specialized in Connecticut wrappers and seconds, Pennsylvania tops and B’s, and Wisconsin Binders.

1883  Taylor Brothers, Inc. established in Winston-Salem, NC, as dealers in all types of Southern tobacco.

1883  EL FARO cigars established in Oriente province, Western Cuba. Have photo

1884  Julius Fecht  starts factory in Ottumwa, IA, maker of “shaped” THREE STAR, UNIVERSAL brands. Lasts 70 years, closing its doors in 1953.

1884  Walter S. Barre opens factory in Lititz, PA, maker of THE DOCTOR.

1884  Brothers M. and A.M. Frankle open a 3 man cigar factory and cigar brokerage at the corner of West Federal and Phelps Streets in Youngstown, Ohio. Business thrives. Among their brands were REVELATION and ABBEY Letterhead 1908, 8x10 of delivery, biz card w/factory

1884  Date of earliest cigar box in the NCM collection featuring de-nicotinized tobacco.

1884 1885  Frederick D. Grave founds New Haven, CT, cigar company, which becomes F.D. Grave & Son in 1911. The company is still family run more than a century later. The company’s website gives their founding date as 1884, but a 1937 F.D. Grave & Son’s JUDGES CAVE cigar box lists the founding as 1885 (on the label and as part of the frontmark).

1884  Angel LaMadrid Cuesta, senior, opened a three roller cigar factory in Atlanta, Georgia. In conjunction with Peregrino Rey, and started the brand CUESTA-REY.

1884  Knights of Labor issue a Union Label for “all goods” having their endorsement. Concept fails, and they shortly established labels for specific trades, including cigars. The C.M.I.U. refused to recognize their label.

1884  In Cuba, the Union de Fabricantes de Tabacos de la Habana was founded as a successor to the Union established in 1880. See 1896.

1884  India’s tobacco harvest is huge, 2nd only to the US worldwide.  340,000,000 pounds, mostly made into cigars and cheroots. Chief markets were India, South East Asia and England.

1884  William Steiner and Isaac Rosenthal found cigar label lithographic company. See 1896.

1884  J.B. Duke patents the cardboard push pack used for 10 cigarettes or small cigars.

1885  Canadian Government allows boxes of 10 cigars (12 years before the U.S.) and issues strangely long 10 denomination stamp.

1885  Oscar L. Schwencke and Henry Pfitzmayer found one of nation’s more important lithographic company. Moves from NYC to Brooklyn in 1902±, and becomes Moehle Litho in 1908. (1885-1930).

1885  Harry Mortimer founds what becomes Sattler & Lee (1887) in Spring Valley, MN.

1885  Brooklyn, NY, is home to more than 800 cigar factories, only 30 of which have more than 10 employees.

1885  F. Garcia & Brothers rolls its first cigar in Tampa on June 7th. Later moves to New York.

1885  First cigar factory opened in Seattle, Washington Territory. At peak had 9 rollers, packer, stripper. Down to one man, it continues for more than 50 years, closing in 1941.

1885  P.P. Martinez founds cigar company responsible for MEXICAN COMMERCE cigars in Dallas.

1885  P. Lorillard operates a free 8,000+ volume library, game rooms and school for the 4,000 employees of the Jersey City plant. The school has ten teachers and can accommodate 350 children.

1885±  Miller & Markley are licensed as cigar Factory 255 in New Oxford, PA, to make cigars for the wholesale and jobbing trade. Their slogan could be that of 10,000 other companies around the country: “We make just what you want.”  No single statement better summarizes 3/4 (±) of all U.S. cigar factories (1776 - 1976). No slogan better explains why there is so much incredible diversity of brands and images.

1886  About 40 NYC cigar manufacturers met to discuss the city’s labor and other troubles. They planned  to travel to and meet with leading cigar makers in St. Louis, Chicago, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit, Buffalo and Milwaukee, among other cigar making centers, to also discuss formulating laws to protect trade marks and labels, “which have come to be of great importance.” Plagiarism and knock-offs were widespread.

1886  Cigar Maker’s Union membership reaches 24,000.  Samuel Gompers becomes International vice-president.

1886  The Pacific Coast Co-Operative Cigar Manufacturing Company founded in San Francisco as part of anti-Chinese movement. See White Labor exhibit in the NCM.

1886  Fourteen of the largest manufacturers in NYC combine to fight the strike by the radical “Progressive Union.” Some factories hire rival Knights of Labor union members. “Many jobbers in the country have become tired of waiting for the members of the Manufacturers’ Association to resume work, and are sending their orders to Boston and Philadelphia,” according to the NY Times.

1886  Red Lion, PA, boasts 30 cigar factories, large and small, which paid $500,000 in federal taxes.

1886  Jacob Obrecht opened Baltimore factory making 60,000 cigars a week. He joined 640 other Baltimore cigar factories. Approximately 60 other Baltimore factories made cigarettes, chew and smoking tobacco.

1886  Goldsmith, Silver & Co. established in Boston as “manufacturers of fine cigars,” one brand of which was named 108.

1886  Saml. I. Davis y Ca., makers of clear Havanas and other cigars, founded. 1901 Brands include:  EL SIDELO, GEN. GOOD, CHARLE CARROLL, SEGUNDOS and other brands.  520 & 522 East 81st St. (corner East End Avenue) in New York. Incorporated 1907. By 1909, had factories in New York City (Fact.993, 3rd Dist. NYC), Western New York (14th Dist.) and Tampa (Fact.277, Dist. Florida). 

1886  Krueger & Braun founded as cigar label printers in NYC. Taken over in 1915 by William Steiner & Sons.

1886  Cornell Printing Co. founded in Elmira, NY. Printed cigar labels 1886-1900.

1886  Daniel Eyster maker of JIM TURNER, HAP WARD, JUDGE MARSHALL and private brands established in York New Salem, PA.

1886  A. Santaella & Co., makers of OPTIMO, established in Key West. Later opens in Tampa. A strong marca, the brand was popular 70 years later in the 20+¢ market, offering a dozen sizes and shapes.

1886  Charles Shonk established tin lithographic business in Chicago.  (1886-1907).

1886  Dimitrino & Co. founded in Cairo, Egypt, as maker of Egyptian style cigarettes.

1886  TOBACCO Magazine founded.

1886  Manhattan was home to 1,960 cigar factories of which 3.9% employ 100+ rollers.  California was home to 385 cigar factories of which 3.8% employ 100+ rollers. In contrast Florida was home to 154 cigar factories of which 30.5% employ 100+ rollers (the highest percentage of large factories among states). Illinois ranked 3rd in number of cigar factories with 1,197 but only 3 (1/5 of 1%) employed 100 rollers.

1886  Thorpe & Ricks founded in Rocky Mount, NC, as buyers, packers and exporters of bright tobacco.

1886  A business Directory for the city of St. Louis, Missouri, lists 59 brands of cigarettes available through one distributor in that city. Brands include Between the Acts, Catarrh, Cinnamon, Lawn Tennis and Polo.

1886  Parliament permitted experimental tobacco planting in England but the 1887 crop proved to be "rank in flavour and of poor quality, being inferior to the commonest varieties of leaf imported into this country."

1887  Canadian Government  issues strangely long 3 and 6 denomination stamps.

1887  U.S. Congress passes Instate Commerce Law regulating railroads.

1887  NYC cigarmakers donate seven times as much money to the Hospital fund drive as all the city’s churches and synagogues combined, according to a NY Times report. No other industry donates more.

1887  George W. Van Slyke of Albany, New York, begins manufacturing PETER SCHUYLER cigars.

1887  Bennett, Sloan & Co. begins manufacturing the COUNTRY GENTLEMAN cigar in NYC. By 1903 they were also making RED OLAS and HAVANA LIGHTS.

1887  Iowa’s first wooden cigar box factory established in Ottumwa, IA. Output 1,000 boxes a day, reaching twice that by the 1920’s.

1887  Buffalo, NY, cigar maker Henry Breitweiser advises in his catalog “If you think smoking is injurious to your health, stop smoking in the morning.”

1887  In San Diego, A. Sensenbrenner opens  what would become top California maker of qualitycigars

according to their 1930s boxes.

1887  Otto Berndt & Sons, cigar makers, establishes Fact. 1088, 1st tax District of Illinois, at 2010 N. Halsted Street in Chicago. Their phone number in later years was Lincoln 1209

1887  Estabrook & Eaton begin manufacturing MARGUERITE, selling for 10¢.

1887  John H. Witter, goes into the Havana cigar manufacturing business in Newmanstown, PA. Still rolling in 1920.

1887  The Tobacco Manufacturers’ Manual published in London contains 16 pages of formulae for flavoring cigars and for making cigar boxes smell like they’re made of cedar.

1887  V.M. Ybor’s Key West factory burns down. He moves EL PRINCIPE DE GALES to Tampa.

1887  Charles Cusick & Son established in Weedsport, New York, specializing in Onondaga tobacco.

1887  W. Sheinker & Son, maker of fine flavoring materials for cigarette, cigar, pipe and chewing tobaccos, established in New York City. “Send us your flavoring problems.”

1887  The Bagley Co. goes into business in East Liverpool, Ohio as wholesaler of fruit, produce, grocer’s and confectioner’s supplies and “special jobbers in tobaccos, cigars and confections. Foreign  & Domestic Nuts a Specialty.”

1887  Schwencke & Pfitzmayer becomes O.L. Schwencke Litho., NYC.

1887  San Francisco Cigar Makers’ International Union Local 228 issues dark blue stamp as part of the anti-Chinese movement in California. See White Labor exhibit.

1887  D.L. Trujillo moves his New York City factory to Key West. Pictured.

1888  John  & Harry Swisher form Swisher Bros. in Ohio. Ultimately moves to Florida and becomes huge maker of machine made cigars. RED RANGER, KING EDWARD, SWISHER SWEETS, other.

1888  W.A. Davis went into business at 120-124 South Clinton St. in Syracuse, NY, as importer and wholesale distributor of cigars, cigarettes and tobacco.

1888  Francisco E. Fonseca opens his first cigar factory in New York City. Three years later he would also start one in Havana. Great packaging innovator. See NCM exhibits of Cuban chests and of book-shaped boxes.

1888  Mike Glaser begins horse and wagon peddling of cigars and notions. Later joins with brother Arnold to form Glaser Bros., a San Francisco firm which by the 1950’s was nation’s largest distributor.

1888  Herman Stein opens stogie factory in Lancaster, PA, specializing in private brands for the jobbing trade. Capacity, in 1905, was 100,000 stogies daily. Made many dozens of brands.

1888  H. Marwill "manufacturer of cigars, and dealer in leaf tobacco" operated in Albany, NY.

1888  Western Cigar Co’s factory established in Denver, Colo.  PIONEERS

1888  Tom Pallister founds Pallister Bros. in Ottumwa, IA. Made cigars and cigar boxes and distributed candy. Company closed in 1928 after 40 years.

1888  Charles Reiner established the Crescent Cigar Box Factory in Evansville, Indiana.

1888    Bock y Ca. of Havana Cuba introduces the Panatela vitola (frontmark)(size-and-shape). A dozen years later it was one of 2,000+ brands and vitolas owned by the Tobacco Trust. Bock himself went on to fame and continued business success working for the Trust, often as spokesperson. The long respected history of the Bock name and (of course) it’s sales figures worldwide made it one of the clear Havanas to survive the Depression. Only La Corona (also owned by the Trust and American Tobacco) was more known favorably around the world.  Panatela would go on to be the Company’s biggest selling vitola for 70+ years. Manufacture was moved to New Jersey in the 1930s. I smoked them occasionally in my 20s in California in the 1960s. I remember them as being 35¢.

1888  ANTONIO Y CLEOPATRA brand established. Also later owned by the Trust, split to American Cigar Co. in the great 1911 breakup. Still very popular in California in the 1950s when it was found in most counters, usually available in more than one Frontmark (vitola). 

1888  The Foster, Hilson Company cigar factory at First Ave and 39th St. in NYC burns down, putting 500 people out of work The Lichtenstein factory next door was protected by a fire wall and survived. None of the workers in either factory was injured. 

1888  A. Cerezo begins manufacturing FLOR DE CEREZO in Havana at San Nicolas 264.

1888  LIFE magazine publishes a poem about cigars in it’s May 10 issue.

1888  THE CIGAR AND TOBACCO WORLD publication founded in London. Ultimately incorporates THE TOBACCONIST, another British trade publication.

1889  Herrmann Fendrich dies. Firm taken over by his son John who renames the company H. Fendrich.

Sometime shortly thereafter he ads LA FENDRICH to DIAMOND JOE as company’s main brands.

1889  A.B. Hess Cigar Co., makes of Havana and domestic cigars, established in Lancaster, PA.

1889  G.W. Van Slyke & Horton, Albany, NY, begin producing PETER SCHUYLER cigars.

1889  [A.B.] Bogert & [Clark] Heydon, 204 Franklin Street near Washington, in New York City, advertised they made ROBERT FULTON, CROWN JEWEL, SPECIAL SALE, CLARK JR. CONCHAS,  B & H SHAKESPEARE, LINCOLN, HENRY CLAY, LA DIPLOMA, SO SO, BANNER, 1887, OUR QUEEN, VIETTA, P-B-H SPECIAL, and GRAND cigars.

1889  Weidman Bros. & Moyer became cigar box manufacturers specializing in gold embossing on wood as well as printing cigar labels. In 1909 they operated factories in Womelsdorf and Sinking Spring, PA.

1889  C.E. Akins, maker of felt mats for the cigar trade, established in New York City.

1889  Comas Cigarette Machine Co., established in Salem, Virginia, maker of tobacco stemming machines and all sorts of specialized machines for the cigarette industry.

1889  Wisconsin cigar tobacco crop reaches 19,123,000 pounds, mostly binder leaf.

1889  Cigarette consumption more than 2,000,000,000 a four-fold increase in 8 years. Three-fold reason: better tobacco, better packaging, better marketing.

1889  T.S. Williamson & Co., dealers and exporters of all grades of bright Virginia, dark fired Virginia and Kentucky tobaccos. established in Danville, Virginia.

1889  The brothers San Miguel go into business as packers, strippers and exporters of Puerto Rican leaf.

1889  Boyd & Co., cigar label printers (1881-1889), bought out by Heffron & Phelps.

1889  Bruns & Son, cigar label printers (1889-1896) open for business.

1889J.B. Duke, et al., begins formation of what becomes known as the Tobacco Trust (American Tobacco Company) with intention to take over the cigarette, snuff and smoking tobacco industries, a goal at which they succeeded beyond all dreams of avarice.

1890  Duke’s proposed merger of five makers of cigarettes was completed in January, 1890: W. Duke, Sons & Co. of Durham, NC and NYC, Allen & Ginter of Richmond, VA, Kinney Tobacco Co. of NYC, Wm. S. Kimball & Co. of Rochester, NY, and Goodwin & Co. of NYC. Later that same year the country’s largest maker of Oriental (Turkish and Egyptian) brands, S. Anargyros Corp. of NYC, was absorbed into the fold. By the end of the decade American Tobacco Co. controlled 90% of U.S. cigarette production, making more than 2,500,000,000 cigarettes a year.

I’d like to quit and go back home.

1890  H.C. Pfaff founded cigar factory in Baltimore; bought in 1929, stays in business until 1963 when bought out by T.E. Brooks Company of Red Lion and closed.

1890  E.S. Sechrist, maker of EMORY MARTIN and numerous private labels founded in Dallastown, PA. Capacity 20,000 per day.

1890  T.S. Albright, maker of PURA PULLMAN, UNCLE OWEN, and ROYAL AMERICAN opens at 1330 No. 10th St, Reading PA

1890  R.T. Smith maker of special brands of domestic cigars established in Red Lion, PA. (Fact. 1041)

1890  Joseph Winterhalt establishes cigar factory in Berlin, Ontario, Canada.

1890  The Lukaswitz-Weaver Co., packers and dealers in Ohio leaf tobacco, established in Dayton.

1890  Cigar Makers’ Union establishes 8 hour day long before attained by workers in most other industries.

1890  A midwestern cigar maker makes approximately $9/week. A Canadian cigar maker about $6. Keeping cigar rollers is a problem for many Canadian factories. California rollers make about $7, Chinese about $5.

1890  More than 12,000 U.S. cigar factories employ 150,000 people.

1890  Consumption of chewing tobacco reaches an all-time  high. Urbanization, the automobile, and alternate ways of using tobacco (the cigar and cigarette) cause a steady decline in chewing.

1890 The Philippine Islands have about 22,000 cigar rollers, all but 1,500 of whom are women.

1890  The U.S. PHARMACOPOEIA, the official listing of drugs published by the government, included tobacco as a dangerous drug.

1890  US Government passes the McKinley Tariff raising taxes on cigars and Cuban tobacco to the highest level ever. This high protectionist tariff also charged $2 a pound on Sumatran tobacco, leading to increased sales of domestic wrapper.

1891  US Government requires imported items, including boxes of cigars, to be marked with country of origin.

1891  US Government allows salesmen’s sample size boxes of 12 and 13, and issues stamps accordingly.

1891  Canadian tax officials require new Caution Notices with numbered provisions.

1891  FLOR DE FONSECA started by packaging innovator Francisco Fonseca in Havana, three years after a 19 year old Fonseca opened a factory in New York City. Brand lasted 100+ years.

1891  Eagle Cigar Co. established in Wells, Minnesota. Still around in 1930s. HAVANA ROPES box

1891  LA FLOR DE CANO brand created by Tomas and Juan Cano (who had started the factory 7 years earlier).

1891  Best & Russell Incorporated as wholesale tobacconists, cigar manufacturers? and importers of Havana cigars.

1891  Abraham Fader opened Baltimore, MD, cigar factory with 80 rollers, closed 1971.

1891  James B. Duke, head of American Tobacco Co., takes over the smoking tobacco industry the same way as he had taken over cigarettes the previous year. He purchased 15 going concerns including National Tobacco Works of Louisville, KY, Marburg Brothers, G.W. Gail & Ax of Baltimore, and Drummond Tobacco Co. of Missouri. He controlled such important brands as NEWSBOY, AMERICAN EAGLE, OLD BOUBON, PIPER HEIDSIECK, PLOW BOY and BATTLE AX as well as a great many others.

1891  James B. Duke buys his first cheroot factory, Philip Whitlock’s OLD VIRGINIA CHEROOTS.

1891  George and Charles Whelan buy out the Syracuse cigar factory of John P. Hier and begin making, retailing and wholesaling cigars and tobacco. Becoming very successful, they soon opened other stores including one in Manhattan in 1901, when they changed the name to United Cigar Stores.

1891  Charles Maurer opens NYC lithographic company as label and illustration printer 1891-1902.

1892  Photography and lithography were integrated by a screening process which broke the photo into a series of dots, making it possible to add photographic images to stock cigar labels. This is the Ben Day process, named after the man who invented it. See NCM exhibit of Vanity labels using this process.

1892  American Litho formed from merging of numerous major US cigar label printers including Harris, Heppenheimer, Schumacher & Ettlinger, Witsch & Schmidt, Donaldson Bros. and others.

1892  Independent Calvert Litho in Detroit (1864-1970) operated 22 steam presses, 50 hand presses, employed 300+ workers and had sales offices throughout the US.

1892  G.B. Perkins takes over from Adolh Strasser as President of Cigar Maker’s International Union. His signature on C.M.I.U. labels is found 1892-1926.

1892  W.H. Kildow Cigar Company, large maker of 3/5¢ and 2/5¢ cigars was founded in Tiffin, Ohio. Big user of 250 drop-front boxes.

1892  F.M. Meads opens factory 1392 in Windsor, PA, to make special brands of domestic cigars.

1892  Ben Haverkamp establishes cigar factory (Fact. 50, Dist Oregon) in Tacoma, Washington Territory, to make FLOR DE VALDEZ, OLYMPIC, STATE SEAL and LITTLE DUKE cigars.

1892  Coony Bayer Cigar Co. established in Fort Wayne Indiana. Still around in 1920’s. Photo.

1892  Tobacco taxes amount to 15% of total US Government’s net receipts.

1892  The first Cuban Cigar Workers’ Congress was held.

1892  The Philippines ships $24,000,000 in goods to Spain: tobacco, coffee, sugar and indigo.

1892  Electric street lights debut in New York City.

1893  Edward F. Noll’s Cuban Star Cigar factory founded in Dallastown, PA. 1905 capacity 30,000 a day, by 1910 was 50,000 cigars a day. Makers of LORIMER and SILVER PRINCE and numerous custom brands.

1893  Henry Gugler founds Western Label Co. in Milwaukee (1893-1896).

1893 A.L. Cuesta moves his small Georgia cigar factory to Tampa.

1893  Petre, Schmidt & Bergman form NYC box label printing company which lasts into the 1940’s after name change to Petre Litho Co. in 1925.

1893  Cigar giant Kerbs, Wertheim & Schiffer formed from merger of already large manufacturers. Company later buys cigar giant Straiton & Storm (then called the Owl Cigar Company), maker of Robt. Burns and Owl, and possibly the nation’s largest maker of custom brands.

1893  Leon S. Boucher Cigar Co. founded in Joplin, Missouri as maker of FLOR DE LEON and other “High Grade Cigars.”

1893  John N. Snell Co. established in Herkimer, NY, as wholesalers of Key West and domestic cigars and all forms of confectionery, juice, candy and chocolate.  Incorporated in 1915.

1893  RED INDIAN cut plug is introduced.

1894  US Government passes the Wilson-Gorman Tariff which wreaks havoc on the Cuban economy by removing sugar (Cuba's largest export) from the tax free list and applying a 40% tax. Cuban exports to the U.S. fell by 50% leading to socio-political strife on the Island, ultimately resulting in yet another revolution and, ultimately, the Spanish American war.

1894  S. Hernsheim, New Orleans cigarmaker of LA BELLE CREOLE claims to have the largest daily output in the U.S. Dwg of factory, box

1894  Petre, Schmidt & Bergmann, lithographers, engravers and printers located at 227-231 Bleecker St. and 16-20 Carmine St. in New York City incorporated. [1911 letterhead].

1894  New President George Perkins orders Cigar Maker’s Union stamp reworded with positive message. Negative “coolie” text, which he personally hated, was no longer authorized.

1894  M. Feldman & Son open the Buckland St. Box Works (on, appropriately enough, Buckland Street, London, England) specializing in cardboard boxes for the cigar and cigarette trade.

1895  US Government redates and makes very minor changes to long colorful 1879 import stamps. The 50 denomination changed from green to red. See Dating Tax Stamps for details.

1895  40,000+ cigar factories in operation in the U.S., including buckeyes and chinchalles, officially designated as factories with less than 10 workers.

1895  J.C. Newman founded M & N Cigar Co. at 125 Bank St. (Fact. 270, 18th Dist.) in Cleveland, Ohio.

1895  Charles G. Stachelberg, age 30, takes over the large New York cigar making firm of M. Stachelberg & Co. which employed more than 300 making clear Havanas at their factory at 154 S. 5th Avenue and imported cigars from Cuba. Charles would die suddenly only 5 years later.

1895  Raymond E. Heacock opens cigar factory in Kearney, Nebraska. Still open in 1936.

1895  Key West cigar maker R.J. Seidenberg establishes retail outlet in Buffalo. Eventually became a chain of 15 retail outlets in 9 Eastern cities. He died in 1931.

1895  M. Weigman & Co., makers of high grade Turkish tobacco and GOLDEN HORSE cigarettes, begins production in Philadelphia.

1895  Stephano Bros., Inc. of Philadelphia begin producing high price RAMESES cigarettes. Most brands sold 10 for 5¢ whereas these sold 10 for 20¢.

1895  R.P. Watson Company, dealer in Virginia and Carolina leaf, opens business in Wilson, NC.

1895  William B. Beach & Co., buyers, packers and exporters of leaf tobacco, opens in Petersburg, VA.

1895  O.C. Taylor & Co. established in Burlington, Vermont, as wholesale tobacconist.

1895  Chas. W. Jacob & Allison established in NYC as importers, exporters and manufacturers of a wide range of tobacco flavoring materials, glypho, tonka beans, licorice, maple sugar, powdered peaches, deer tongue, honey beans, and sprayers for making boxes smell like cedar. By the 1950’s the company was known as Wm. M. Allison & Co.

1895  G. Stalling & Co. established as packers, dealers and exporters of bright and dark-fired Virginia tobacco in Lynchburg, Virginia.

1895  The Royal Dutch Cigarworks Smit & Ten Hove founded in Doesburg with 40 workers. Later moved the cigar-making center of Kampen, employed 350 and had monthly output of 65,000,000 cigars. Makers of WHITE ASH and BALMORAL.

1895  William Tyler moves his cigar factory from Nottingham to Castle Gate, London.

1895  Yet another war starts in Cuba.

1895-1921  Cigarettes were banned from being sold in 14 states. By 1927 all such bans were lifted.

1896  The Rothschild family smoked HENRY CLAY Sobranos, at 5 shillings each, which they ordered wrapped in gold leaf about 40,000 at a time.

1896  LA PALINA brand established. Mother of William Paley (future head of CBS) poses as Spanish lady for the label.

1896  E. Snyder (& Son), maker of HAPPY HEINE, founded in Hampstead, Maryland.

1896  Sam, Max and Meyer Bayuk founded Bayuk Bros. cigar factory in a rented Philadelphia attic with a capital investment of $325. Their first brand, PRINCESS BONNIE is sought by the Musuem.

1896  George & Henry Hochstein opened Hochstein Bros. at 348 East Water Street in Milwaukee, WI. By 1923 they also owned warehouses in Dayton, OH, and Hartford, CT. as importers and packers of cigar leaf tobacco

1896  Wm. Steiner & Sons, Lithographers, formed from Steiner & Rosenthal (started 1884).

1896  Gabe Cohn, founds first retail cigar store in what would become a chain of 13, mostly in the San Francisco Bay area. A popular and colorful sportsman, Cohn, who died in 1931, specialized in custom brands.

1896  The Cuban tobacco manufacturing Unions were combined  into the Union de Fabricantes de Tabacos y Cigarros de la Isla de Cuba, a name shortened in 1933 to Union de Fabricantes de Tabacos y Cigarros de Cuba.

1896  World cigar consumption estimated at 40,000,000,000. Yes, 400 Billion (about 7 billion of that in the US).

1896  A Kretzschmar & Co., cigar box makers and specialists in half-tone (photographic) labels opens in Philadelphia.

1897  US Government allows boxes of 10 & 20 small cigars (cigarette sized weighing less than 3 pounds per 1,000) but not large cigars.  Salesman’s sample size boxes of 12 cigars become popular with retailers and customers.

1897  Canadian Government issues new series of tax stamps, still color coded.

1897 The two largest cigar making firms in the U.S. merge. Straiton & Storm and Kerbs, Wertheim & Schiffer will abandon some of their older factories and move to East 53rd St. Their new plant will employ 4,000 and produce 100,000,000 cigars a year. Twenty years later other mergers would result in them becoming General Cigar Co.

1897  Chas. M. Yetter & Co, makers of high grade union label cigars exclusively opens in Reading, PA. JOHN MITCHELL one of their brands.

1898  US Government redates 1883 tax stamp to “Series of 1898” changing the location of the date on the stamp.

1898  US Battleship Maine blows up and sinks in Havana harbor. Although much later discovered to be the result of a design flaw storing ammunition too close to the boilers, the war-hawks in Congress, urged on by William Randolph Hearst's yellow press, call for war. The US conducts a short-lived one-sided war driving Spain out of Cuba and the Philippines after 400 years of their control. The US takes over those two countries along with Puerto Rico and Guam. American money becomes the monetary standard. US architects and builders pour into Cuba as do the purveyors of ideas, the preachers and school teachers.  American wagons, trucks and automobiles replaced the ox carts, wagons and carriages. Roads were finally built for the convenience of business. US invested $200,000,000 in Cuba during the following 6 years. England, France and Germany added another $75,000,000 while acquiring “their share” of the Cuban economy. Cuba was thoroughly Americanized. See History of Cuba exhibit.

1898  El Credito cigar and cigarette factory begins operation.

1898  D. Emil Klein begins making cigars at 444 East 91st St., Fact. 63, 3rd Dist. NYC.

1898  G. Van Slyke & Horton, Inc., of Kingston, NY, begin making PETER SCHUYLER cigars.

1898  American Tinplate Co. formed. Becomes part of American Can Co.

1898  Luis Toro founds Toro & Co., makers of EL TORO, which was 2/3 taken over by American Tobacco in 1900 and renamed Porto Rican-American Tobacco  Co.  Upon dissolution of the Trust in 1911, Toro headed the Company, one of the 16 split from the Trust. In 1927 Toro announced buying Congress Cigar Co, for $12,500,000 followed in 1929 by acquiring Waitt & Bond. He retired in 1931.

1899  Total US tobacco consumption averages to 5 pounds per person per year, making the United States the second heaviest tobacco user. Heaviest was the Netherlands at slightly more than 7 pounds each per year. If total Dutch consumption were averaged only among that country’s smokers, average would become a half pound per smoker per week. Children as young as six in the Netherlands are described as smoking “big black cigars.” 

1899  Federal tax officials confiscated 250,000 cigars from the largest factory in San Francisco that employed Chinese labor. The factory was re-using boxes and applying counterfeit Cuban stamps.

1899  In a suit brought by a West Virginia cigar manufacturer against Joseph Engle of Boston, a U.S. circuit court judge ruled that “articles sold as Wheeling Stogies could not be manufactured in Boston or elsewhere than Wheeling, W.Va.” A business newspaper reporting the decision gave the opinion the ruling could be applied to the widespread use of Key West in cigar brand names and advertising.

1899  Peninsular Cigar Company, maker of EL PLANO cigars, opens in Tampa, Florida.

1899  Five Chicagoans, including a printer, salesman, and tenement house factory owner were arrested and jailed for producing and using counterfeit Union Stamps. Other warrants are outstanding.

1899  Children under 10 are banned from smoking in the Philippines, a land in which smoking is nearly universal.  Philippine cigar tobacco is close to Cuban quality. Manilla cigars frequently cost more than their Cuban counterparts in world market.

1899  Durlach Brothers go into tobacco packing business in Caguas, Puerto Rico.

I’d like to quit and go back home.

1900  Average cigar production per U.S. factory was 4,000 boxes a year. But there were 27,366 factories, the largest of which could produce 20,000 or more boxes of cigars a day.

1900  The highest concentration of cigar factories in the world was 2½ miles long and ¾ of a mile wide and called Manhattan. Manhattan produced more cigars than 45 of the states, including Florida. Manhattan produced 6 times as many cigars as Newark-Hoboken-Passaic. Economic shifts would make the two regions equal by 1920.

1900  Federal Industrial Commission estimates ethnic make-up of NYC cigarmakers to be 33% German, 30% Bohemian, 20% Russian Jews, 17% all others, with the number of Germans and Bohemians on the decline and number of Jews and Italians on the rise. Almost no native-born men or women are employed in the cigar industry.

1900  More than 60 distinct varieties of cigar tobacco are grown in the US. More than 50 other cigar tobaccos are imported from Cuba, Sumatra, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.  Add a few dozen types of flavoring... and more than 2,000 “standard” shapes and sizes for which moulds were available... The possibilities for what a man could smoke were almost endless. To that variety add the capability of maker, wholesaler, retailer and consumer to pack those cigars in a box depicting limitless number of images labeled with words selected from billions of possible word combinations. No brand-name product in history has been shipped in greater variety.

1900  Consumption Statistics:  Last year “Uncle Sam used more tobacco than any other nation, consuming 200,000,000 pounds; but the per capita consumption was far below that of Belgium, which led the world with 110 ounces to each person, to our 43. We stood fifth in per-capita use of tobacco.

1900  Morgan Cigar Co. founded in Tampa, Florida.  Makers of JUAN DE FUCA and others.

1900  Thomas E. Brooks joins with D.A. Horn, S.S. Sechrist and Fred Smith to form the Porto Rico Cigar Co., which lasts for 5 years.

1900  The Jamestown Stogie Company of Jamestown, New York, relocated to Pittsburg because of their "inability to get satisfactory employees in Jamestown.”

1900  The Syracuse Cigar and Tobacco Company has decided not to remove their factory to Binghamton as they have settled their differences with the CMIU.

1900  Detroit's Brown Bros., makers of DETROIT FREE PRESS and many others, has voluntarily given their 900 employees a 10% raise, and are looking to hire 200 more hands.

1900  H. Willey, manufacturer of cigars and wholesale tobacconist, operated in Norwich, CT, where they made WILLEY'S YARA, LITTLE YARA, WILLEY'S PROCLAMATION

1900  Experiments with CT shade leaf begin. Sumatra seed fails. But after a few years, Cuban shade seed succeeds. This results in Shade-Leaf, the third important cigar tobacco to be grown in Connecticut. See 1833 (broadleaf) and 1870 (seed leaf).

1900  Ohio cigar tobacco production around 45,000,000 pounds annually.

1900  Sumatran tobacco imported at the rate of 5,000,000 pounds a year and rising. Protectionist tariffs of $2/pound were applied but Sumatran remained the most popular and cost-effective wrapper.

1900   H. Duys & Co. opens in NYC as importer of Sumatra, Java, Havana and Connecticut tobacco.

1900  David Kleckner & Son, importers and manufacturers of gum tragacanth, open in Ozone Park, NY.

1900  The Merchants Cigar Box Co. organized in Dallastown by a number of York County, PA, cigarmakers seeking a local box maker to serve their needs. The company specializes in BN and SBN boxes, claiming ”If it’s wood, we make it.” Output is 25,000 boxes a day.

1900  James Buchanan Duke’s American Tobacco Company has absorbed more than 250 other companies and  controls 90+% of US cigarettes, 80% of snuff, 62% of plug and 60% of smoking tobacco. He’s not done.

1900  British Government collects £11,000,000 sterling in tobacco taxes. England had 502 licensed cigar and tobacco makers. During the next decade 140 cigar makers closed shop.

1900  Tindeco (Tin Decorating Company) founded in Baltimore.

1900  José Bances retires, turning PARTAGAS over to Ramon Cifuentes Llano and Jose Fernandez, who together controlled RAMON ALLONES, LA INTIMIDAD and 20+ less important brands. Company called Cifuentes, Fernandez y Comp. in ads.

1900  Italian soldiers given two cigars a day as part of their rations.

1900  In Mexico, cigars are smoked by judges, lawyers, and juries during trials.

1900  “All France smokes.”  A 1900 journalist wrote: “The cigarette is universal in France” because “French tobacco is too utterly vile for a pipe.” One-hundred years later, the French, especially women, continued to debase the quality of their food and wine for tourists by chain smoking in restaurants.

1901  US Government re-dates 1898 tax stamp to “Series of 1901” keeping date location the same.

1901  The "powerful, rapacious, monopolizing and unscrupulous" American Tobacco Trust invades England. Thirteen leading British manufacturers combined to form the Imperial Tobacco Company of Great Britain and Ireland and fight a bitter and expensive price war against American.

1901  President McKinley provided for the repeal of the tobacco export duties on Cuban leaf and manufactured tobacco.

1901  About 19,000 people are employed in the tobacco industry in Havana, fewer than the number in Manhattan. In May of 1901 there were 116 cigar, cigarette and tobacco factories in Cuba plus 51 “manufac-turers on a small scale” which by law could not export goods or employ more than 7 workers each.

1901  Connecticut produces 19,000,000 pounds of cigar tobacco, achieving 2½ times national output per acre.

1901  Six billion legal taxed cigars sold; Three and a half billion cigarettes.

1901  The firm of Hirschhorn, Mack & Co. consolidates with Straiton & Storm and Kerbs, Wertheim & Schiffer under the name United Cigar Manufacturers. The firm will operate 11 factories, four of which are in New York City. The purpose of consolidation, says the company, was to lower the cost of importing raw material from Cuba and Puerto Rico. The real strategy was to control most of the Western tobacco trade and force the Tobacco Trust to negotiate favorable terms. It worked.

1901  C.A. Whelan & Co., a successful retail chain selling tobacco and sundries which had been  founded in Syracuse a decade before by Charles A. Whelan and George J. Whelan, sets up its first store in Manhattan at 84 Nassau Street and changes its name to United Cigar Stores. In contrast to the small, dark, often dingy operations of small local tobacconists, United’s well-laid out stores were clean, bright, well-stocked and more-often-than-not located on street corners of a town’s important intersections for maximum visibility and accessibility. United Cigar stores began rapid expansion and became the world’s largest retail chain.

1901  American Can Co., formed by mergers of smaller companies, began operation this year.

1901  Heekin Can Co., Cincinnati, founded.

1901  H. Fendrich introduces CHARLES DENBY cigars. See Fendrich History.

1901  US Government acquires land in and around Guantanamo Bay by means of one-sided treaty. Part of the Platt Amendment calling for Guantanamo to be vacated only upon agreement of both the US and Cuba.

1901 - 1905  Tobacco Trust (operating under various names including American Tobacco Co., American Cigar Co., Havana Tobacco Company and Henry Clay & Co.) has acquired 291 major and minor Cuban brands including La Corona, Cabañas, Henry Clay, Bock y Ca., La Carolina, La Africana, La Vencedora, La Intimidad, Villar y Villar, La Meridiana, M.Garcia Alonso, Flor de Naves, El Aguila de Oro and J.S. Murias. It is estimated that these companies represented as much as 90% of the Cuban export business. During the decade the Trust closed sixteen factories and production was centered in seven, headed by the massive La Corona factory at 10 Zulueta Street.

1902  US Government gives control of Cuba to its newly elected President Palma. Sort of. Palma took over a country in which nearly all banks, sugar plantations and mills, tobacco vegas, railroads, telephones, electricity, water, ports, utilities, factories, and many of the most famous names in cigars, La Corona itself, were in foreign hands.

1902  The Treaty of Reciprocity between Cuba and the United States signed this year, granted preferential tariff duty on tobacco as well as on other products of Cuban soil.

1902  H. Fendrich of Evansville, Indiana, introduces CHARLES DENBY cigars.

1902  Soon after the United Cigar Manufacturing Company was formed, it was bought out by the Tobacco Trust for $10,000,000, a profit for United of $3,000,000 in less than a year. The Trust made a good buy as United’s production was 1,000,000 cigars a day, and even then they couldn’t keep up with demand or OWL .

1902  Paolo Cannizzaro begins manufacture of Toscani and Napoletani cigars at 438 Broome St. in New York City. By 1922, Pietro Cannizzaro had joined him in the business as Secretary & Treasurer.

1902  Coronation Cigar Co. founded in Tampa as manufacturer of clear Havana cigars. Leading brand fifty years later was TAMPA LIFE.

1902  British American Tobacco formed around the recently created Imperial Tobacco Company of Great Britain and Ireland and the American Tobacco Company. The two combines were losing so much revenue thanks to a  brutal year-long price war that they decided to merge American, Imperial and Ogden's as British-American Tobacco Company, which by 1910 controlled 75% of British production.

1902  The National Grocery Company founded in Seattle, Washington. Within ten years becomes one of Northwest’s largest distributors of cigars.

1902  Duluth Paper Box Co. established, specialist in machine-formed folding cardboard boxes, just in time for the 1910 boom in cardboard 5 packs.

1903  Interesting cigar production figures for 1903 (rounded to nearest 100k):

                Manhattan shipped 589,600,000 cigars

                Tampa shipped 94,800,000 cigars

                Key West shipped 32,600,000 cigars

                Puerto Rico shipped 29,900,000 cigars

1903  Jacobus Heesterbeek founds what ultimately becomes the HOFNAR cigar factory in Valkenswaard, the Netherlands. HOFNAR becomes a prolific user of interesting tin boxes.

1903  Bayuk Bros. expands operations into Lancaster County.

1903  Morton “The Boy Cigar Maker” Edwin establishes one-boy factory in New York City. Ultimately builds a mail-order empire.  Boxes, can, lighter, paper, book

1903  In St. Cloud, Minnesota, the 30+ workers in Julius Adams’ cigar factory produced 1,000,000 cigars a year, sold under 20 different brand names including IDELA and BELLE OF ST. CLOUD..  [St. Cloud Historical Society]

1903  American Lumberman magazine reports Updegrove & Bro. Lumber Co. supplies the wood to box approximately 8 million cigars a year, roughly one in every ten made in the U.S.

1903  Henry Clay & Co. Ltd. was created as an arm of the Tobacco Trust (American Tobacco Co.). The company controlled 291 brands of Cuban cigars and 85 brands of Cuban cigarettes.

1903  Royal Warrant Holder George Zafirides establishes offices on Liberty Street as dealer in and blender of American bright and Turkish tobaccos exclusively for the manufacture of cigarettes. Also deals in used cigarette-making machinery. “Supplier to Foreign Tobacco Monopolies.”

1903  G. Bruning Tobacco Extract Co., “manufacturers of a pure tobacco extract flavoring suitable for use in the manufacture of chewing tobacco and snuff” established in Lynchburg, Virginia.

1903  Jose “Pepin” Rodriquez Fernandez, former head of Cabañas and now owner of Rodriguez, Arguelles y Cia., buys ROMEO Y JULIETA and begins active promotion of the brand, especially to Europe’s wealthy. He ultimately produces more than 2000 personalized sizes, bands and/or boxes for the rich and prominent, including Winston Churchill.

1903  LA AURORA cigar factory established in Guazumal by Eduardo Leon Jimenes as the first cigar manufacturer in the Dominican Republic. Three rollers began the company that lasted a century.

1904  US Government radically redesigns import stamps; now short, white, and dated 1904.

1904  Cuba exports 205,240,000 cigars, 45% to England, 22% to the US, 14% to Germany, 19% to the rest of the world. Note that Cuba’s entire export is only a little more than one-third of Manhattan’s production.

1904  The firm of Heine, Perez & Ladrero formed in New York City to make clear Havana cigars.

1904  William K. Gresh, age 70, run over by a team of horses and killed while crossing the street. His sons, already partners, take over the business, keeping the name W.K. Gresh & Sons.

1904  New York City has 25,449 people engaged in making cigars, cigarettes and to a much lesser extent smoking tobacco. That represents 16% of all people employed in the tobacco industry nationwide. New Jersey has 6,508 tobacco industry employees, almost all making cigars, or 4% of U.S. total.

1904  J.M. Martinez factory in Tampa burned down on April 4th, temporarily relocated April 5th, pledges brand new factory will open in July.

1904  United Cigar Stores begins giving customers coupons which could be redeemed for “prizes,” typically useful household items. Expands enormously for the next quarter century.

1904  I. Redstone begins manufacture of Turkish cigarettes and tobacco in London, England.

1904  At urging of the Tobacco Trust, cigar-branch head Gustavo Bock defends the Trust’s centralized blending and other practices in the bilingual booklet THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HAVANA CIGAR MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY.

1905  United Cigar Stores hires C. W. Rattray who had been an office manager of Floradora Tag Company, the largest premium and coupon concern prior to United’s offerings. He quickly became head of premium operations for United, personally negotiating contracts with companies who wanted their products offered as premiums in United catalogs.

1905  US Government invades Cuba for a second time. President Teddy Roosevelt appoints Charles Magoon, former governor of the Canal Zone, to govern Cuba.

1905  US population has doubled since 1865. Cigar consumption has multiplied 7 times.

1905  Jose Aguirre responds to Gustavo Bock and attacks the Trust in another bilingual THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HAVANA CIGAR MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY. Non-Trust factories refer to themselves as the Independientes. Trust share of Cuban exports dropped from 90% to slightly more than 50%.

1905  Census data reports 5,274 children under the age of 16 are working in U.S. cigar factories, up 60% from 1890.

1905  PERFECTO GARCIA established in Tampa, Florida. Company advertises they make 65 different sizes and shapes of cigar.

1905  British American Tobacco Company, Limited, formed to stop cut-throat competition.

1906  San Francisco earthquake and fire.

1906  US Government passes the Pure Food and Drug Act. The Food and Drug Administration is established. In exchange for supporting the Act, tobacco lobbyists get tobacco dropped from the Pharmacopoeia, thus removing nicotine from regulation by the FDA.

1906  The largest 106 cigar factories averaged 23,376,859 a year and accounted for 1/3 of all cigars made in the US. Only 2% of all cigar factories were large enough to roll 2,000,000+ cigars a year (that's 50,000± boxes) but that 2% combined to account for 60% of all US cigar sales. The remaining 98% of factories (a whopping 25,283 of them) averaged only 113,865 cigars each and combined to make 40% of US cigars. It should be obvious why there were more than one million different cigar brands offered between 1890-1920.

1906  Thomas E. Brooks buys out H.L. Haines and F.J. Holtsinger, forming, for 8 years, the precursor of T.E. Brooks & Co.

1906  American African Tobacco Corp established in Paducah, KY, as exporters of U.S. burley and bright tobacco to Africa.

1906  Cigar wholesaler Bromley & Demeritt of Plattsburgh, NY, becomes Bromley & Ricketson.

1906  Emil Steffens lithographic company becomes Steffens, Jones & Co. from 1906-1920,

1906  Benson & Hedges comes to Canada, opening branch in Montreal.

1906  Phillips & King, distributors of cigars and accessories opens in City of Industry, CA. Lasts 93 years.

1907  Twenty percent of adult Americans could neither read nor write in any language. Average wage was 22¢ an hour. The typical worker made between $200 and $400 a year. Only 8,000 automobiles were registered to drive on the nation’s 144 miles of paved roads. Eggs were 14¢ a dozen, sugar was 4¢ a pound and coffee cost 15¢ a pound. Marijuana, heroine and morphine were available over-the-counter in every pharmacy. Almost all (95+%) children were born at home. Life expectancy was 47 years.

1907  US Government sues the Tobacco Trust, which controls 90±% of cigarettes, smoking tobacco, snuff and chaw but only 14% of the fragmented more-difficult-to-take-over cigar industry.

1907  York County, PA, is home to 1,200 cigar factories which produce a 300,000,000 cigars per year, most of which sold for 2/5¢.

1908  Moehle Litho takes over Oscar L. Schwencke.  Company closes in 1930.

1908  Canadian Government tax laws changed so that cigars are no longer taxed according to where the tobacco originated. Color coding ends, but stamps not redesigned or redated. Only black stamps now offered.

1908  US Government approves the election of General Jose Miguel Gomez as second President of Cuba and  withdraws again. Sort of.



1908  Rudolph, Hach & Co. established in Clarksville, Tenn, as tobacco packers and inspectors.

1909  US Government revises tariff laws to allow Philippine cigars into US free of import duties. They pour in. This is why so many Philippine boxes are found with 1910-1931 issue stamps.

1909  A. Vander Weele Cigar Co. opened up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, closing in 1968.

1909  J.G. Cohen Cigar Company opens in Seattle, jobbers of EL SIDELO, R.B., FLOR DE MENDEL, NEW BACHELOR, SAM SLOAN, EL SALAGO cigars and 56 cigarettes.

1909  E.L. Golden registers BLUE RIBBON as a brand of cigars. Brand still family-owned 70 years later.

1909  Factories in Boston make 134,000,000 cigars (roughly 2,500,000 boxes).

1910  US Government drops denominations from small white import stamps, now dated 1910.

1910  US Government totally redesigns cigar tax stamps, shortening them to 9± inches.

1910  US Government allows cigars sold in boxes of 5 and 10 regular as well as 5 and 8 small cigars

1910  US Government allows Caution Notices to be printed directly on boxes instead of pasted on.        

Law specifies uniform dimensions & shape. ID now a single line above the Caution Notice.

1910  Gustav Bock, important pioneer cigar and troublemaker, dead of pneumonia, age 74, in Havana.

Bock sold cigarettes & cigars worldwide under EL AGUILA DEL ORO, but smokers asked for Bock’s.

1910  WESTERN TOBACCONIST magazine founded.

1910  LA CORONA (owned by the American Tobacco Trust) was making 40,000 Havana cigars a day.

1910  Cigars and smoking tobacco confiscated by British tax agents were given to "Criminal Lunatic Asylums and to State Inebriate Reformatories."

1910  R.G. Sullivan, Manchester NH, claims to be the country’s largest maker of a 10¢ cigar brand (350 rollers making 7-20-4).

1910  George Weidman and Thomas Fisher found Weidman, Fisher & Co., box makers, in Tampa.

1910  Jose “Mucho” Suarez starts leaf merchant business in Havana.

1910  Bayuk Bros. introduce PHILADEPHIA HAND MADE, which the smoking public shortened to “Phillies,” which ultimately became one of history’s biggest selling cigars.

1910  American Sumatra Tobacco Co. founded.

1910  Peter Giata opens business on Water St. in NYC as dealer in leaf tobacco, specializing in Latakia. Offers services as a tobacco appraiser and dealer in used cigarette machinery. Still around in 1946.

1910  The Independent Retail Tobacconists’ Association (I.R.T.A.) is formed in reaction to the growth of United and other chain stores.

1910  President Taft lights the cigarette of the Russian ambassador’s wife, reportedly the first cigarette smoked in the White House. News reports say “Within five minutes nearly every European woman in the room was smoking.”

1910-1916  Huge quantities of Philippine cigars imported due to favorable tax rulings. Highly prized in Asia; contrary to legend, Philippine cigars were what the Kennedy brothers regularly smoked.

1911  Tobacco Trust broken up: American, Lorillard, Liggett & Myers, RJ Reynolds separated out.

The company’s two-thirds holdings in British American Tobacco were sold.

1911  The last of the Philadelphia wooden Indian carvers, Fritz Decher, passed away. 

1911  La Floridana Cigar Factory established in Tampa. In 1944, the company made RESIL and LA FLORIDIANA cigars.

1911  Statistically every  man, woman and child in the US smoked 78 cigars and 108 cigarettes,

chewed 2 1/2 pounds of chaw, smoked 1 3/4 pounds of pipe tobacco, and dipped 1/3 of a pound of snuff.

In 1941 Americans still dipped a 1/3 of a pound of snuff and still smoked 1 1/2 pounds of pipe tobacco. Chaw had dropped to 3/4 of a pound, cigars were down to 45 and cigarettes up to 1,500 a year.

1911  U.S. Marines invade and occupy the Dominican Republic for six years.

1912  Of the 8,500,000,000 US cigars, nearly half were made in PA and NY. Florida’s output was one-sixth that of PA, but got all the publicity because the city of Tampa produced more Clear Havanas than any other city, closely followed by Manhattan. Florida’s cheap cigars (5¢ or less) outsold Florida’s high-priced cigars (20¢ or more), something they didn’t publicize very often.

1912  If all the cigars manufactured in the United States this year were placed end to end they would go around the equator twenty-two times.

1912  American Tobacco Co. takes over F.R. Penn Tobacco Co.

1912  American Tobacco’s cigar division operates 60 factories (20 of them in Cuba) which sell more than 140 different brands of 5¢ cigar and hundreds of other brands sold at prices up to $1.

1912  American Tobacco owned Anargyros, NYC maker of expensive “Oriental” cigarettes, begins distribution of Indian pattern rugs in packages of cigarettes. Continues for 3 years. Starts silks craze.

1912  H.Fendrich, maker of LA FENDRICH, CHARLES DENBY and many custom brands, opens huge new plant in Evansville, Indiana, capable of 350,000 cigars a day. Claims to be largest cigar factory in the world.

1912  Bayuk Bros. Cigar Co. moves to larger quarters in Philadelphia. Now operates factories in Allentown, Bethlehem and Steelton (PA), Newark and Perth Amboy (NJ) and Binghamton (NY).

1912  A.L. Cuesta of Tampa, FL, buys Cuba’s world-famous EL REY DEL MUNDO brand and opens new cigar factory and warehouse in Havana, primarily to supply Europe and South America. It was cheaper to import raw tobacco and make all Havana cigars in Tampa for the U.S. market.

1912  E. Griswold & Co. manufacturers of fine cigars:  EL FIETO 10¢, DIPLOMA 10¢, EAST TEXAS 5¢, MUTUAL BENEFIT 5¢, JUNIOR DIPLOMA 5¢ operated in Riverhead, NY, as cigar factory No. 21, NY1 and tobacco factory No. 7, NY1.

1912  Clarence Parker and J.E. Winfrey begin manufacturing cigars as Winfrey & Parker in Tacoma, Washington. Makers of WINFREY & PARKER, HAVANA SMOKER, HAPPY MOMENT and LITTLE HAVANA.

1912  The United Cigar Store chain re-organizes after a period of spectacular growth and becomes The United Cigar Stores Company of America.

1912  In the midst of civil war and U.S. occupation, production of LA AURORA cigars was moved from Guazumal to their principal market, nearby Santiago, Dominican Republic. One factor in the move was the horrendous unpaved roads throughout the Caribbean, making shipping tobacco and cigars difficult.

1912  Cuban Government begins use of wide green Guarantee stamp. Text all in Spanish. This replaced the red and black stamp of the Union Fabricantes de Tabacos which had been in use since 1889.

1913  US Government issues first Manufactured in Bond customs stamp. Continued as long as supplies of Cuban tobacco are available (early 1960’s). See Dating Import stamps for detail.

1913  US Government tax laws modified to permit 21 cigars per week per employee to be smoked in the factory “without the manufacturer of cigars being required to pack the same in boxes, or to stamp or pay any internal revenue tax thereon.”

1913:  A cigar makers’ strike involving 700 Cincinnati workers ends August 12 after two months when employers meet their wage demands.

1913  Jno. H. Swisher & Son formed as John buys out brother Harry and brings in his son Carl. Maker of KING EDWARD, SWISHER SWEETS, POM-POM and others.

1913  Charles Beck opens small cigar factory in Belleville, Illinois. Lasted 44 years.

1913  M. Labkoff’s Sons begin wholesaling cigars, cigarettes, patent medicines and fountain supplies in  Philadelphia.

1913  RJ Reynolds introduces CAMEL the “first modern cigarette.”

1914  US Government enacts an increase in taxes to offset the loss of customs duties which  followed the declaration of war between Germany and allied nations in Europe.

1914  Thomas E. Brooks, already a successful PA cigar maker, combines with S.E. Sechrist in forming T.E. Brooks & Co. of Red Lion, PA.  By 1930, the company operated five PA factories.

1914  B. J. Van Huystee and his 16 year old son B.F. Van Huystee, immigrants from the Netherlands, open a cigar factory in London, Ontario, Canada. They made POLLYANNA, R34 and MAMMOTH SMOKERS. In 1922  they moved to Detroit, and B.F. became management in a series of major cigar-makers’ factories.

1914  Continuous ovens first used to dry inked tin, speeding tin lithography greatly, making tin signs,  cans and boxes cheaper, starting two decades of popularity.

1914 The largest 1% of US cigar factories rolled 50% of domestic cigars. The 24% classified as “mid-size” made 40% of the total, whereas 75% of US factories combined to make 10% of the output. Of the 26,000 registered cigar factories, only 50 roll more than 25,000,000 a year.

1914  A Daimler became the first automobile to be manufactured with a built-in ashtray. It would be another 9 years before a Mercedes became the first auto to offer a built-in lighter.

1915  Canadian Government issues new series of tax stamps the same as 1897, but redated and  printed only in black. Small denomination stamps (5 & 10) were redesigned as small horizontals printed in gold-orange, but not color-coded. See Dating Canadian boxes for more detail.

1915  Onandaga County in New York’s finger lakes region cultivates 5,000 acres of cigar tobacco, Drops after WWI. 1931 sees only 1,000 acres planted, and that was up from previous years.

1915  Major mail-order cigar dealer Thompson & Company founded in Florida.

1915  Tampa-Vana Cigar Company founded in Tampa a manufacturer of clear Havanas. Located at 2007 11th Street in 1952.

1915  William Steiner & Sons takes over Krueger & Braun label printers in NYC.

1915  Liggett & Myers reconstitutes CHESTERFIELD into a Camel type “modern” cigarette.

1915  High quality Cuban cigars sell for 35¢ to $2, with top of the line brands and sizes bringing $5 each.

1915  John Hertz founds Yellow Cab Co. By 1925 he owned 2,700 vehicles and a cigar brand had been named after his company.

1915  Tobacco Merchants Association formed. Jacob Wertheim, formerly President of the United Cigar Manufacturing Company elected first president. A Who’s Who of the tobacco industry involved including: George W. Hill, Leon Schinasi, George H. Hummel, John Bagley, George L. Storm, R.G. Sullivan, M. Regensburg, Fred  Hirschhorn, Charles Eisenlohr, Emil D. Klein, Alvaro Garcia, Joseph Cullman, D.A. Schulte and many many more.

1916  US Government shortens all cigar tax stamps to a uniform 4± inches. Portrait dropped.

NCM Home        History of Cigars

  History 1460-1760        History 1760-1860       History 1860-1880

History 1880-1915        History 1915-1962

        Covers Early, High, and Late Golden Age 1880 to 1915.

        Government activities (usually laws) and particularly noteworthy companies are in bold as are brand names. If a box, label or company is on exhibit elsewhere in the Museum, it is printed in claret color. Entries in red are significant social or historic events...and related data.

Light blue is used to highlight more recent entries.  Light blue is also used to call attention to a particular event for various reasons.

        This timeline is under construction. I add dates as I find them. Since the information was gathered over a period of 60 years from more than 1,000 sources <Bibliography>, errors, contradictions or differences of opinion are inevitable. Feel free to write <>.


Tobacco used for cigarettes, snuff, chewing and smoking tobacco is distinctly different from cigar tobacco: who grew it where, how it’s planted, how its grown, how it’s harvested and cured, how it’s sold, the time between seed and smoke, and how the final product is packaged and sold. All different.