A National Cigar Museum EXCLUSIVE  
(c) Tony Hyman
These are dates and events which I believe relevant to the history of cigars. This page is always under construction. I add dates as I find them. Since the information was gathered over a period of 50 years from more than 1,000 sources, errors, contradictions or differences of opinion are inevitable. Feel free to write <tony@CigarHistory.info>
Readers are encouraged to submit entries obtained from any source published before 1960. I am especially interested in company openings & closings, cigar-related disasters, market changes, statistics, laws relevant to cigars, labor activity, and riots that you can authentically date from early sources, letterheads, newspaper stories, etc. Technology involving small or large growers, makers, wholesalers and retailers is also of interest. When possible, please include a low res jpg photograph or scan of your source material. Please paste, NOT attach, to your email
This TimeLine starts in 1860, one year before the U.S. Civil War and eight before the ten year’s war in Cuba, two momentous events that helped shape the industry. 1860 marks the beginning of the most important 100 years in U.S. cigar history.
Government activities (usually laws) and particularly noteworthy companies are in bold as are brand names. If an example of a box or label is on exhibit, I have tried to mark it in claret color.
1860  US annual cigar consumption rises to 26 per person.
1860  More than 2,000 cigar factories in US employ 25,000 people. Thirty years later, those numbers would be six times higher.
1860  Machinery for making cigars advertised in popular art magazine. Have ad
1860's  British cigar makers widely adopt the cigar mould. Some reports say it was invented there.
1860's  Difficulty in identifying a cigar once out of the box, British cigar makers began pasting various shapes and colors of stickers called 'tickets' on cigars. Customer complaints about damaged wrapper led to the adoption of 'rings' called bands today.
1860  Francis Asbury starts NYC business making fancy glass cigar boxes and signs. Have ad
1860  As much cigar leaf grown in Ohio (almost 5 million pounds) as in Pennsylvania and New England.  
1860  Cincinnati was 4th leading cigar producing city, behind Philadelphia, New York and Baltimore.
1860  In Chicago, still the wild west, more than 224 cigar factories are in operation.
1860  Lewis Osterweis & Sons founded in  New Haven, CT. Lasts until 1954.
1860  Theobald & Oppenheimer founded in Philadelphia.
1860  Pedro Murias creates LA MERIDIANA in Havana.
1860  Schmidt & Storm (forerunner of Straiton & Storm 1863) founded in NYC. Box for their brand
    CUCKOO claims 1861
1860  Wages for carpenters and masons was 65¢ a day, sunrise to sunset.
1861-1865  US Civil War.
1861  David Swisher receives small Newark Ohio cigar factory as part of debt payment. The beginning of a huge cigar business, still in operation today (in Florida). Numerous examples
1861  Weideman Co. starts in the cigar distribution business in Detroit.
1862  Tansil's PUNCH established in New York City. Full box
1862? 1863  H. & J. Breitwieser founded in Buffalo. envelope, boxes
1863  US Government requires tax stamp on every bundle or box of cigars and issues blank stamps to  be filled in by tax inspectors. See Dating boxes for pictures of all tax stamp issues
1863  Cigar industry makes life miserable for tax inspectors.
1863  Straiton & Storm, one of nation’s most important cigar companies, founded, introduces ROB'T BURNS and eventually OWL., Numerous examples of S & S boxes, pictures of factories
1863  S. Davis, Canada’s largest and most prolific cigar factory, founded in Montreal. Various boxes: FRONTIER, MUNGOES, CABLE, etc.
1863  F.X. Smith, McSherrystown, PA  (still operating 1975).  photo.
1863  The John C. Groub Co. establishes family wholesale grocery business in Seymour, Indiana, maker of Belle Brand products and seller of  BILTRITE cigars. Family business for 60 years.  Letterhead
1863  US Dept. Agriculture sponsors successful experimental plantings of cigar tobacco in Illinois.
1864  US Government issues five colorful new tax stamps based on retail selling price.
1864  Canadian Government requires tax stamps on cigar boxes, issuing square, strip and diamond shaped excise and customs stamps. See Dating Canadian Boxes for more detail.
1864  Cigar industry continues to make life miserable for tax inspectors.
1864  US tax officials admit cigar tax laws are confusing and cannot be interpreted or enforced as written. Have official admission in letter.
1864± Invention of the steam press made color label lithography economical for the first time.
1864  Cigar holder patented that had a removable sponge to add flavoring to cigars.
1864  Thomas Calvert forms important label lithographic establishment in Detroit. Made 2000 impressions per 10 hour day on hand presses.
1864  Cigar Maker’s International Union founded, the “first constructive, efficient, American trade union.”
1864  Jaime Partagas shot and killed on his plantation. Son José  failed in attempted to run business. Sold out to José Bances after a few decades. Date of shooting variously reported as 1868.
1864  First crop of tobacco grown in Sumatra. Made big impact in U.S. after 1876 Centennial.
1864  First white burley tobacco grown in the US, important key in cigarette industry history.
1864  First cigar factory established in Valkenswaard, Netherlands, by the van Best Brothers.
1864  TOBACCO LEAF magazine founded. Important trade journal lasts for a century.
1865  US Government completely reforms cigar tax laws, requires all cigars to be packed in boxes of 25, 50, 100, 250 or 500 and issues new denominational stamps picturing recently assassinated President Lincoln and printed funeral black.
1865  HOYO de MONTERREY cigars are introduced by Jose Gener, long time Vuelta Abajo grower.
1865  MONTE CRISTO cigars begin production in Havana.
1865  Virginia leads other states by replacing the hogshead inspection system of tobacco marketing with the loose-leaf auction system for selling cigarette, snuff, and chewing tobaccos. It doesn’t become universal in the United States until 1939.
1866  US Government issues colorful redesigned tax stamps in 25, 50, 100, 250 and 500 denominations. Orders all cigars to be packed in boxes containing those quantities.
1866  Ordinary domestic cigars sell for 5¢ or six for 25¢. they are sold at “cheap refreshment stalls, lager beer saloons, and low groceries.” The more pretentious domestic cigars are made of the best domestic tobaccos carefully handled, perhaps with a little Havana added. These sell for 10¢. Next are those made of Havana filler wrapped in Connecticut wrapper. they sell for 10¢ to 15¢. All havana cigars made here sell for 15¢ to 50¢ and are as good as those made in Cuba.  Cuban cigars can be found as cheap as 15¢, but good ones cost 25¢ to $1.00. These prices would hold true a century later.
1866  Albert Thalheimer cigar box manufacturer, lumber mill, and tool dealer established in Reading, PA.
1866  William Tigner, cigar maker and wholesaler opens in Lima, OH.
1866  Hicks, Elliott & Shroyer wholesalers founded in Logansport, Indiana. Many name changes later (1871, 1879, 1891, 1897), still operating in 1899 as The J.T. Elliott Co.  letterhead
1867  Canadian Government issues slightly redesigned excise and customs stamps.
1867  G.W. Boyer, goes into cigar business in New Haven.  (the STANDARD box)
1867  SANCHEZ y HAYA cigar brand created.  Many examples.
1867  The Great American Cigar Co. advertised "All cigars are labeled [banded] with the company's trademark and money orders are issued, varying from $2 to $50 on the inside of labels of a certain portion of the cigars which will be cashed by the treasurer of  the company in presentation at their office" Factory & Salesroom   No. 24   Broadway St. Corner Church NYC.” Given that cigars cost from $1 to $15 a box during that decade, they couldn’t afford too many prize winners.
1868  US Government issues colorful redesigned tax stamps in 25, 50, 100, 250 and 500.
1868  US Government requires to be printed 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’).
1868  US Government requires “Caution Notices” pasted on boxes forbidding reuse of the box and stamp.
1868  Canadian Government issues new series of excise and customs stamps, similarly shaped. These used until 1880.
1868  A. Hussey Leaf Tobacco Co. founded (NY, Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis).
1868  Smoking cars established on British trains by law.
1868  Edward Norton begins manufacture of tin cans. The Norton Bros. ultimately became the driving force behind the consolidation of small makers into The American Can Co.
1868  Devastating ten-year-long war begins in Cuba.
1869  US Government issues colorful redesigned 1869 tax stamps in 25, 50, 100, 250 and 500 denominations.
1869  Little Dutch type cigar tobacco successfully developed in Ohio from seed introduced from Germany.
1869  CMIU offers temporary amnesty to allow mould workers into the CMIU. Strategy largely fails and the Union continues its battle against moulds and the people who use them.
1869  Klauber Wangenheim Co., important long-lived regional wholesalers, established in Calif.
1869  Juan F. Portuondo cigar factory established in Philadelphia, in business for 50+ years.   letterhead, can, boxes, sign? other
1869  H.A. Klene founds cigar factory at 127 Fourth St. in Quincy Ill  EXPOSITION
1869  Theodore Schumacher and Louis Ettlinger start one of the nation’s more important cigar label companies in New York City. (1869-1892).
1869  Somers Bros. begins tin box manufacture.
1869  Charles and Ernest Wulff found Wulff Litho.
1870  US Government allows tin to be used for cigar boxes.
1870  Connecticut seedleaf is developed sometime in the 1870’s, tho by whom is unrecorded. This is the 2nd of three important Connecticut cigar tobaccos. Continued experimentation sponsored by both federal and state governments soon led to better quality cigar tobacco growing in MA, NY, PA, MD, OH and WI.
1870  World’s biggest mould and tool makers Miller, DuBrul & Peters Mfg. Co. founded in Cincinnati. Eventually offers more than 2,000 different sizes and shapes of cigar mould.  
1870  S.R. Kocher, maker of NABOBS, QUAKER, VOLITTA and “special brands for reliable jobbers” founded in Factory 79, 9th District, Wrightsville, PA.
1870  Approximately 13.9 million cigarettes were smoked annually in the United States, or one-third of a cigarette per person. By 1930 consumption rose to 977 per person.
1870  Number of lithographers listed in 1870 New York City Directory?  Eighty-one.
1870  Detroit Litho Co. founded. Operates  into the 1970’s.
1871-72  US Government issues still colorful redesigned 1868/1871/1872 tax stamps in 25, 50, 100, 250 and 500 denominations.
1871  The great Chicago fire. Chicago is 4th largest US city.
1871  Pohalski & Co. register MONTE CRISTO for US manufacture.
1871  Daniel Morey opens Ottumwa, IA’s first cigar factory.  LA FLOR DE MAYO brand.
1871  William H. Raab (& Sons) opens cigar factory in Dallastown, PA.  OPINION, PADDY CARR, MARJORIE DAW and others. Capacity 75,000 per day.
1871  Antonio Roig & Langsdorf opens large cigar factory in Philadelphia (1871-1926)  GIRARD? factory, boxes
1871  Eduardo H. Gato established cigar factory in Key West, FL.  Boxes, factory illus.
1872  Charles F. Pusch founded his factory in Marysville KS. Fifteen years later his 20 rollers made him the 3rd largest of 150 Kansas cigar factories. Pusch lasted until the late 1920’s.
1873  Fiscal Depression in U.S. begins, lasts three years.
1873  Entrepreneur Francis Korbel and brothers Anton and Joseph in business in San Francisco (F. Korbel & Bros) as lithographers, cigar box makers. They eventually owned a sawmill, published THE WASP, and established Korbel winery. Printed labels 1873-1885 (possibly earlier). RED TAPE box 1873
1873  Starlight Bros, makers of LA ROSA de PARIS, established in Passaic, New Jersey.
1873  Emil Steffens founds NYC lithographic company. Becomes Steffens, Jones & Co. from 1906-1920,
1873  ROMEO Y JULIETA created (says Mara) by Inocencio Alvarez Rodriguez and Jose Mannin
    Garcia who already owned a factory. Sold in 1903 to Jose Rodriguez Fernandez (Don Pepin)
1874  R.G. Sullivan opens large 350 roller factory in Manchester, NH. Best known for 7-20-4 and small custom event boxes. Will last to celebrate 80th anniversary. Many artifacts
1874  “That smoker has reached the acme of skill...who can blow three concentric rings and spit through the inner circle without causing a line to waiver.”  Quoted in MY CIGAR magazine, 1874.
1875  US Government issues redesigned “March 3, 1875” tax stamps, printed in black ink on blue paper.
1875  The New York Times: “From the fine gentlemen who buy their cigars at Delmonicos, or get them direct from the importers, down to the little barefoot boys in the streets, who buy their smokes from the Chinamen at the corner or pick up the stumps that are thrown away, all smoke.”
1875  Sam Gompers and Adolph Strasser form CMIU Local 144 from many smaller NYC unions.
1875  Book published giving “long time successful” formulae for coloring poor quality tobacco, adding flavors, and for giving boxes a nice smell.
1875  Reliance / Hilson Company in NYC making 20,000,000 cigars annually. Numerous boxes
1875  ROMEO y JULIETA  first appears in 1875?   very early label, boxes  (see 1850)
1875  Ashland Cigar & Tobacco Co. established in Ashland, Wisc.  (wholesale makers) letterhead
1875  Andrew Steffen opens factory in Indianapolis, maker of TISH-I-MINGO.
1875  Kuhles & Stock, maker of SEAL OF MINNESOTA, PRIVATE SMITH, AQUILAS established at 353 Jackson in St. Paul, Minn.
1875  British Parliament passed the Trade Marks Act which, among other things, stopped British cigar makers from labeling all their cigars as being Havanas. No such prohibition against using the word Havana ever passed in the United States.
1875  Cigarette consumption 42,000,000; cigar consumption 5,000,000,000+  (tax paid cigars, that is).
1875  Official government figures based on tax receipts say the average person in the US (including all men, women, children) smoke 48 cigars a year, uses almost 3 pounds of chewing tobacco and a little over a pound of smoking tobacco.
1870’s  Bohemian immigrant women become big factor in NYC and Pittsburgh cigar industry.
I’d like to quit and go back home.
1876  United States’ 100th Birthday. The Centennial celebrated. Three dozen tobacco and cigar companies exhibited at the Centennial.
1876  The Dutch introduced Sumatran tobacco to various New York and Philadelphia companies, who were immediately hooked.  Sumatran was so thin and so elastic that two pounds would wrap 1,000 cigars when it took five to ten pounds of Connecticut wrapper to do the same.
1876  LA FLOR DE JUAN LOPEZ established by Juan Lopez Diaz in Havana.
1876  Illinois ships more than 11,000,000 pounds of tobacco, growing cigar tobacco since 1863.
1877  Abraham Waldstein founds the Pioneer Cigar Box Factory and label printer in San Francisco (1877-1892).
1877  Hooper brothers establish California Cigar Box Co. in San Francisco. (1877-1886).
1877  H.W. Heffener cigar box maker and label printer established in York, PA.
1878  US Government allows novelty packaging.  Cigar industry responds with great inventiveness.
1878  US Government issues redesigned 1878 tax stamps, Design continues, only date changes, until 1910. See: Dating Revenue Stamps.
1878  Bloody ten-year-long Civil War ends in Cuba with nearly a quarter of the male population dead.
1878  Women had been rolling cigars for a century on farms and small rural chinchalles. First women openly employed as rollers in Havana factory, LA AFRICANA.
1878  Havana type tobacco successfully planted in Ohio, called Zimmer after developer Jacob Zimmer.
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 listing the best Cuban brands: Partagas, La Intimidad, Cabañas, Villar y Villar, El Gaucho, Henry Clay, H.Upmann, Caliope, Paz de China, Confederacion Suiza, Española, A. Murias y Cia., La Carolina, Ramon Allones, V. Arango, Larranaga, Jose Morales and Cabarga y Cia.
1879  US Government allow cigars to be packed in boxes of 200.
1879  US Government issues long colorful import 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 (1879-1902).
1879  Herrman Dohm founds litho company that becomes Dohm & Rosa in 1887. (1879-1913)
1879  Yocum Bros. establish cigar factory in Reading PA.  Makers of Y-B cigars for 70+ yrs.
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 third largest tobacco growing state.  New York state added another 6,480,000 pounds to the nation’s cigar tobacco crop.
1880±  US Government requires new 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 founds two-man cigar factory in Marysville, KS, which lasts until 1951.
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. First National Union label. See examples in Dating.
1880  Cuba: Don Jose Lamadrid Piedra founds cigar factory which within 20 years was the best known Cuban brand outside of Cuba itself. Main market was the U.S.
1881  CMIU membership reaches 10,000.
1881  E. Goldberg, Kalamazoo, Michigan begins producing  LITTLE BEAUTIES.
1882 LA CORONA brand and factory sold, soon thereafter resold. Eventually bought up by the American Tobacco Trust.
1882-1960, 1987-  BELINDA registered in Havana, Cuba, by Francisco Menendez Martinez.
1882  Government monopoly over tobacco growing and manufacture in the Philippines lifted.
1883  US Government lowers taxes and issues tax stamp series of 1883, used until 1898.
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. One of first printers to extensively use zinc plates rather than limestone. Early user of photographic processes. Perhaps one reason the company 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 refers to a strain of domestic tobacco and DOES NOT MEAN the cigars contain imported tobacco.
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. Total number of cigar, cigarette and smoking tobacco factories reached a never-again-equalled high of 444.
1883  LA INSULAR cigar and cigarette factory established in Manilla, Philippine Islands.
1883  J.U. Fehr & Son dealers in Havana, Sumatra and domestic tobacco established in Reading, PA.
1884  Julius Fecht  starts factory in Ottumwa, Iowa, maker of “shaped” THREE STAR, UNIVERSAL brands. Lasts 70 years, closing its doors in 1953.
1884  Date of earliest cigar box in the NCM collection featuring de-nicotinized tobacco.
1884  F.D. Grave & Son cigar factory founded in New Haven, Connecticut. Made JUDGES CAVE and other cigars 75+ years.
1884  A.L. Cuesta, Senior, opens a three roller cigar factory in Atlanta, Georgia.
1884  India’s tobacco harvest huge, 2nd only to US worldwide.  340,000,000 pounds, mostly made into cigars and cheroots.
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, has more than 800 cigar factories, only 30 of which have more than 10 employees.
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.
1886  Cigar Maker’s Union membership reaches 24,000.
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  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  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  Charles Shonk established tin lithographic business in Chicago.  (1886-1907).
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  American Federation of Labor founded under leadership of cigar roller Samuel Gompers.
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  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  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  Schwencke & Pfitzmayer becomes O.L. Schwencke Litho., NYC.
1888  John  & Harry Swisher form Swisher Bros. in Ohio. Ultimately move to Florida, become huge maker of machine made cigars. RED RANGER, KING EDWARD, SWISHER SWEETS.
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  Tom Pallister founds Pallister Bros. in Ottumwa, IA. Made cigars and cigar boxes and distributed candy. Company closed in 1928 after 40 years.
1889  A.B. Hess Cigar Co. founded in Lancaster, PA.
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  Boyd & Co., cigar label printers (1881-1889), bought out by Heffron & Phelps.
1889  Bruns & Son, cigar label printers (1889-1896) open for business.
1889    J.B. Duke, et al., form 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.
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  Weidman Bros, cigar box makers, founded in Womelsdorf and Sinking Spring, PA. “Cigar labels and label printing; gold embossing on wood a specialty.”
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  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  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  LA FLOR DE CANO brand created by Tomas and Juan Cano (who had started the factory 7 years earlier).
1891  Abraham Fader opened Baltimore cigar factory with 80 rollers, closed 1971.
1891  Charles Maurer opens NYC lithographic company as label and commercial illustration printer 1891-1902.
1892  New York printer, Benjamin Day, invents the “Ben Day screen” which integrated photography and lithography, making it possible to add photographic images into cigar labels and simplifying and speeding preparation of lithographic masters. Hugely important innovation. See NCM exhibit of Vanity labels.
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 as President of Cigar Maker’s International Union.
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  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 ordinary receipts.
1893  E.F. Noll’s Cuban Star Cigar factory founded in Dallastown, PA. Capacity 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 companies.
1894  S. Hernsheim, New Orleans cigarmaker of LA BELLE CREOLE claims to have the largest daily output in the U.S.
1894  Cigar Maker’s Union stamp reworded with positive message. Negative “coolie” text no longer used.
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.
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  J.C. Newman founded M & N Cigar Co. at 125 Bank St. (Fact. 270, 18th Dist.) in Cleveland, Ohio.
1895  40,000+ cigar factories in operation in the U.S., including buckeyes/chinchalles, designated as factories with less than 10 workers.
1896  The Rothschilds 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  Wm. Steiner & Sons, Lithographers, formed from Steiner & Rosenthal (started 1884).
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.
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 thoroughly Americanized. See History of Cuba exhibit.
1898  El Credito cigar and cigarette factory begins operation.
1898  American Tinplate Co. formed. Becomes part of American Can Co.
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  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.
I’d like to quit and go back home.
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  Experiments with CT shadeleaf begin. Sumatra seed fails. Cuban shade seed succeeds in a few years. This is the third important cigar tobacco to be grown in Connecticut. See 1833 (broadleaf) and 1870 (seedleaf).
1900  Average cigar production per U.S. factory was 4,000 boxes a year. But there were 20+ thousand factories, the largest of which could produce 20,000 or more boxes 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  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 millions of possible word combinations. No product in history has been shipped in greater variety.
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 was the most popular and cost-effective wrapper.
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.
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  “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  The "powerful, rapacious, monopolizing and unscrupulous" American Tobacco Trust invades England. Leading British manufacturers combined to form the Imperial Tobacco Company and fought a bitter price war. The two combines were losing so much revenue they decided to merge American, Imperial and Ogden's as British-American Tobacco Company, which by 1910 controlled 75% of British production.
1901  About 19,000 people are employed in the tobacco industry in Havana. In May of 1901 there were 116 cigar, cigarette and tobacco factories plus 51 “manufacturers on a small scale” which according to law could not export goods or employ more than 7 workers each.
1901  US Government redates 1898 tax stamp to “Series of 1901” keeping date location the same.
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  American Can Co., formed by mergers of smaller companies, began operation this year.
1901  Heekin Can Co., Cincinnati, founded.
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.
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, even some of the most famous names in cigars, La Corona itself, were in foreign hands.
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  Some interesting figures for 1903 (rounded up to nearest 100k):
                Manhattan shipped 590,000,000 cigars
                Tampa shipped 94,800,000 cigars
                Key West shipped 32,600,000 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.
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.
1905  US population has doubled since 1865. Cigar consumption has multiplied 7 times.
1905  Tobacco Trust (operating under various names including American Tobacco Co.) has acquired major 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.
1905  US Government invades Cuba for a second time. President Teddy Roosevelt appoints Charles Magoon, former governor of the Canal Zone, to govern Cuba.
1906  Only 2% of cigar factories roll more than 2,000,000 cigars (50,000±) boxes a year but they account for 60% of all US cigar sales.  The remaining 98% of factories sell the other 40% of the cigars. More than one million different cigar brands were offered 1890-1920.
1906  US Government passes the Pure Food and Drug Act. Food and Drug Administration established. In exchange for supporting the Act, tobacco lobbyists get tobacco dropped from the Pharmacopoeia, and removing nicotine from regulation by the FDA.
1906  San Francisco earthquake and fire.
1906  Emil Steffens lithographic company becomes Steffens, Jones & Co. from 1906-1920,
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.
1908  Moehle Litho takes over Oscar 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. Sort of.
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  Factories in Boston make 134,000,000 cigars (roughly 2,500,000 boxes).
1910  LA CORONA (then 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).
1910-1916  Lots of Philippine cigars imported; (highly prized in Asia; what the Kennedy bros. smoked).
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 boxes of 5 and 10 regular cigars as well as 5 and 8 small cigars
1910  US Government allows Caution Notices to be printed directly on cigar boxes instead of pasted on.
1910  Western Tobacconist magazine founded.
1911  Tobacco Trust broken up: American, Lorillard, Liggett & Myers, RJ Reynolds separated out.
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 others sold at prices up to $1.
1912  H.Fendrich, maker of LA FENDRICH, CHARLES DENBY and many custom brands, opens huge new plant in Evansville, Indiana, claims to be largest cigar factory in the world.
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  Cuban Government begins use of wide green Guarantee stamp. Text all in Spanish.
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  RJ Reynolds introduces CAMEL the “first modern cigarette.”
1913:  A cigar makers’ strike involving 700 Cincinnati workers ends August 12 after two months when employers meet their wage demands.
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 more detail.
1914  Continuous ovens first used to dry inked tin speeding tin lithography greatly, making cans and boxes cheaper, starting two decades of popularity.
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  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.
1916  US Government shortens all cigar tax stamps to a uniform 4± inches.
1916  Membership in the Cigar Maker’s International Union peaks at only 55,000 members, but they are very influential philosophically. One hundred or more other union charters and constitutions are based on the cigarmakers.
1916  Don Francisco Pego Pita partnered with Cifuentes in Partagas. Name changed to Cifuentes, Pego y Cia.
1916  WILLEM II brand established in Valkenswaard, the Netherlands, by H. Kersten, former employee of the van Best Brothers.
1916   A German soldier’s ration during WWI was officially two cigars and two cigarettes a day.  History doesn’t record how often they succeeded in collecting it.
1916  American Tobacco Company introduces LUCKY STRIKE to compete with Camels and Chesterfield.
1916-1920  Nearly all laws prohibiting sale of tobacco products to minors were passed between 1916-1920, simultaneous to the development and popularity of the domestic-blend cigarette.
1917  US Government sets 5 tax classes for cigars based on their retail price; Tax class shown both on the box and stamp.
I’d like to quit and go back home.
1918  John Dengler opens St. Louis cigar factory and tobacco shop that lasted 50+ years.
1918  An entire generation of young men returns home to England, France, Australia and the U.S. from World War One addicted to cigarettes.
1919  First fully automated cigar machine introduced in US.  One machine sold. A decade later, more than 4,000 would be in production, making more cigars in an hour than a hand-roller could do in a day, at about half the daily wage cost.
1919  Philadelphia's Juan F. Portuondo celebrates 50th anniversary with gold/orange tin can.
1919  20,000± people employed making cigars and cigarettes in Manhattan.  
1919  Nationwide, 56% of cigar and cigarette factories produce less than $5,000 worth of goods a year.
1919  Cigarettes use more pounds of tobacco than smoking tobacco for the first time.
1919  US Government enacts national PROHIBITION of booze. Saloons by the tens of thousands closed, cutting off an important retail outlet for cigars.
1919  Membership in the CMIU drops 40% in NYC because of the strike of 1919.  One quarter of cigar rollers remain  members, but in New Jersey less than 3% of cigar rollers are unionized. Important cigar companies in NY, PA and MA begin plans to move to New Jersey.
1920  Amalgamated Tobacco Workers of America founded as CMIU rival, small ineffectual, harassed NYC manufacturers, driving some to relocate to non unionized New Jersey.
1920  American Cigar Co., General Cigar Co., Consolidated Cigar Corp., American Tobacco Co., P. Lorillard, Liggett & Myers and other domestic and foreign manufacturers all have NYC headquarters.
1920  George & Herman Schroer open what in 1972 would be Louisville’s last surviving cigar factory.
1920  Only 7.5% of cigar tobacco used in the US is imported, most of that from Sumatra via the Netherlands. Eight BILLION U.S. cigars used only eight million pounds of tobacco imported from Cuba. The word “Havana” on a cigar box almost always refers to a type of domestic U.S. tobacco, but is used in ways to make the smoker (and today’s ebay sellers) think of Cuba.
1920  The development of the modern blended burley cigarette, cup packs, World War One, the jazz age, automobiles, flappers, movies, and women smokers led to 100 Billion cigarettes going up in smoke. Cigar consumption remained around 8 Billion cigars.
1920  Cigarettes accounted for 51% of tobacco taxes, up from 2% in 1880. By 1970, cigarettes would account for 97% of all tobacco taxes collected by the Feds.
1920  NYC from 50th St to 96th, from 3rd Avenue East remains the greatest concentration of cigar factories in the world, but the introduction of the fully automated machine is about to change that.
1920  Cigar making machine permits four unskilled girls to make 4,000 cigars a day, compared to four skilled and much higher paid workers’ output of around 1,200,   The handwriting was on the wall and everyone could read it.
1920  Jose Fernandez Rocha and Jose Rodriguez Fernandez (owners of J.F. Rocha y Cia, Inc., a Havana tobacco company) established LA GLORIA CUBANA. Brand today is made in Cuba, but also in the Dominican Republic by Cuban refugees.
1920-1935 marks a fifteen year depression in the CT tobacco industry.
1921  Average cigar production per factory 461,000 per year, double that of 1900. Factories larger, more mechanized.
1921  R.G. Sullivan, one of New England’s largest cigar factories, making 225,000 cigars a day.
1921  Only 4% of US cigar factories roll more than 2,000,000 cigars a year but they account for 74% of all US cigars made.  The remaining 96% of the factories sold the other 26% of the cigars, with an average production of only 70,000 cigars. The majority of these were chinchalles (one man shops, also called ‘buckeyes’ because of their prevalence in Ohio).  Estimated 100,000 cigar brands being sold.
1921  60% of expensive clear Havana cigars are made in NYC, more than Florida. But Florida cigar makers were masters of romantic PR and successfully campaigned to be associated with fine cigars in smokers’ minds.
1921  Cigar production in CT peaks. A century of growth and continual expansion ends.
1921  Iowa became the first state to tax cigarettes. By 1950, 40 states had followed suit taxing them from 1¢ to 8¢ a pack.
1922  Canadian Government issues new series of redesigned black strip tax stamps, smaller than previous issues. Issued only in 25 and 50 denominations.
1922  Wages in a cigar factory range from $12 to $70 a week.  80% of cigar makers nationwide are women, and the lowest paid, generally as strippers and machine operators.  “Never hire a man if you can get a woman” was employer's creed.  Laws requiring separate bathrooms keep women from being hired in small factories.
1922  One in every 10 cigars (10% of US production) is machine made only five years after the first fully automated machine was introduced.
1922  The 35 largest factories in the U.S. made 12.5% of the cigars. The machine age gets established in the 1920’s and by 1930 the 35 largest companies would make 49.8% of all cigars.
1922  Baltimore had 132 registered cigar factories producing 350,000,000 cigars annually.
1923  Connecticut’s cigar tobacco crop small than that of any other crop, but worth twice as much.
1923  Exports of Cuban cigarettes hit an all time low. Once the world’s most sought after, they couldn’t compete with the Tobacco Trust’s marketing and price-cutting. By 1910 exports dropped to 15,000,000 packs; by 1920 less than 10,000,000 by 1923 only 2,000,000. Cuban in-island consumption rose dramatically, aided in part by lavish use of insert carts, including nudies. Cubans traditionally consumed half their output; by 1923 they smoked 80% of their production.
1924  Canadian Government issues 100 denomination tax stamp in style of 1922 stamps.
1924  Philip Morris re-introduces MARLBORO as a ‘woman’s cigarette.’
1924  QUINTERO brand established in the town of Cienfuegos by Augustin Quintero.
1924  Cuban Government changes the design of the green Cuban Guarantee stamp, adding text in English, French and German to previously all Spanish stamp.
1925  Only three brands, Camels, Chesterfield and Lucky Strike, sell 82% of all cigarettes, in great contrast to the cigar industry with many tens of thousands of brands sharing the pot.
1925  7,000 full and part time people are involved in cigar tobacco growing in Connecticut. More than 50% of tobacco was grown outdoors (as opposed to shade leaf) on small farms of 10 acres or less.
1925  Of the 3,300 cigar workers using automated machines, only 157 were men. Women who worked the machines were not well paid. Nearly 80% made less than $1000/year; 10% of the women made less than $5 a week, mostly in PA.
1926  US Government tax laws change. New “Series of 1926” stamps issued, used 1926-1932.
1926  Canadian Government issues undated Series A small denomination tax stamps.
1927  Regina Cigar Co. founded in Philadelphia. A 1969 letter from the Company to potential customers says: “...we make hundreds of private labels...”
1928  US Government allows boxes of 20 large (over 3# per 1,000) cigars.
1928  Hand cigar banders could put on 7,000 cigar bands in a day. The banding machine, tended by two not so nimble girls who got paid less, applies 30,000 cigar bands a day.  A hard working youngster could foil wrap about 2,400 cigars a day. A new 1928 model foil wrapping machine could do ten times that.
1929  Jno. H. Swisher & Son making 100,000,000 machine made and wrapped cigars a year in Jacksonville, FL.
1929  The stock market crashes, country begins sinking into financial depression for entire next decade.
1929  375 cigar factories closed; 90% of them made higher priced cigars and employed 6 or fewer workers.
1929  American Litho taken over by US Printing & Litho.
1930  Cigar label business of American Litho sold to Consolidated litho (1930-1980’s).
1930  The country’s 6,976 smallest cigar factories made 5.2% of the US output.  The 35 largest cigar factories made 49.8% of the US output.  Middle size factories (those with an annual output 5 million to 40 million) were close behind, roughly 45%.
1930  4,500 fully automatic cigar making machines in operation in the U.S.  Four young girls can make almost 480 cigars an hour in contrast with a skilled hand roller’s daily 300 to 400.
1930  US Government reaps $500+ million from tobacco taxes, 80% from cigarettes.
1931  US Government changes 1910 white import stamp slightly, now dated 1931.
1931  WHITE OWL largest selling 5¢ cigar, at 520,000,000 per year.
1931  Readers in Tampa factories fired “for reading socialist propaganda” claim owners. 7,000 rollers walked out. When they returned to work, radios had replaced readers.
1932  US Government allows boxes of 3 and 7 regular cigars and issues stamps accordingly.
1932  US Government starts adding annual Series numbers on all cigar tax stamps, starting with “Act of 1926, Series 102” in 1932. Numbering system continues through “Series 125” (1955).
1933  American Tobacco moves LA CORONA, BOCK y CA, VILLAR y VILLAR, HENRY CLAY and other Cuban brands to modern air-conditioned factory in Trenton, New Jersey.
1933  Prohibition repealed. Legal saloons reopen.
1933  Wolf Bros. lost their private brand business so began manufacturing rum-soaked crooks.
1934  US Government passes the National Recovery Act and NRA blue eagle logos and stamps appear on boxes until mid 1935.
1935  Canadian Government issues undated Series C tax stamps, used until 1960. Eleven types, including black strip and small horizontal as well as colored verticals, were issued.
1935  MONTECRISTO reintroduced in Cuba by the owners of H.UPMANN.
1935  Americans could no longer afford Cuban cigars. Imports dropped from $41,000,000 worth in the 1920’s to less than $14,000,000 worth in 1935.
1935  US Government passes the Tobacco Inspection Act.  Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to establish quality standards and control auction markets. The act preserved the two elements causing colonial regulation: the encouragement of quality and the discouragement of quantity.
1930’s  Depression prices for Wisconsin tobacco drop to 1¢ to 3¢ a pound,   Tobacco growers continue, much on barter for labor which was widely available.  After 1934 prices began to climb upward somewhat to the 7¢ range.
1939  First scientific study linking lung cancer with smoking was published.
1939  Hermann Goring forbids German soldiers to smoke on the street, during marches and during short breaks. ironic in that he was a heavy cigar smoker with a custom brand decorated with his family crest and, even more rare, a Berlin-made brand with his portrait in uniform. Both can be seen in the Museum.
1940  Marsh Wheeling factory in Wheeling, WV, celebrates 100th anniversary. Numerous boxes.
1940  After Death of Ramon Cifuentes in 1938 and Francisco Pega Pita in 1940, Partagas company was renamed Cifuentes y Cîa.
1940  GISPERT cigars founded in Pinar del Rio, a region in Western Cuba named after an important early citizen.
1941-1945  World War II.
1942  US Government introduces 7 tax classes based on retail price, adding F and G.
1942  US Government radically changes manner in which revenue stamps are printed.
1942-1945  US Government rations cigars. Substantial production from large factories such as H.Fendrich going to military for troops overseas.
1945  Valkenswaard, the Netherlands, bombed during the last week of World War Two, wiping out most of the city’s cigar factories.  HOFNAR and WILLEM II among the few surviving brands.
1946  US Government discontinues use of import stamps on boxes of imported cigars.
1949  Regina Cigar Co. of Philadelphia acquires Boston’s Estabrook and Eaton Co.
1950  H.Fendrich, Evansville, IN, celebrates 100th anniversary.
1951  Joe Wiedemeyer, 75, closed the Henry E. Wiedemeyer cigar factory in Marysville, KS, originally founded by his father in 1880, and where he had worked since age 15. “I still roll a few for friends.”
1952  Canadian Government begins overprinting Series C tax stamps to accommodate newly permitted quantities of cigars in boxes.
1953  J.C. Newman Cigar Co. moves from Ohio and opens factory in Tampa.
1953  Regina Cigar Co. of Philadelphia acquires Bobrow Brothers Cigar Co., also of that city.
1954  R.G. Sullivan cigar factory, maker of 7-20-4, Manchester, NH, celebrates 80th anniversary.
1958  SWISHER SWEETS introduced by Jno. H. Swisher & Son Jacksonville Florida maker of 6¢ KING EDWARD.
1958  Barely 800 cigar factories remain in the U.S., down from an 1895 high of 40,000.  
1959  US Government overhauled tax laws go into effect, no longer requiring tax stamps.
1959  Corrupt Cuban President Fulgencio Batista flees Cuba, leaving revolutionary Fidel Castro in charge. Not long after, after failing to get help for his new government from Washington, Castro infuriates foreign investors who own most of Cuba by nationalizing their businesses. See NCM exhibit on pre-Castro history.
1960  Canadian Government issues new smaller 3 3/4” black strip style tax stamps.
1960  Illinois, once the 3rd leading cigar producer, down to 27 registered cigar factories.
1960  The U.S. tobacco industry provides Americans with 150,000,000 pounds of manufactured tobacco a year and pays upwards of $4,000,000,000 in taxes. No wonder the government has never been too enthusiastic about tobacco regulations other than those helping the IRS to collect taxes.
1961  COHIBA founded in Cuba under direction of Fidel Castro.
1962  U.S. embargo against Cuba leads to cigar makers beginning relocation to Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, the Canary Islands and elsewhere.
1965  Canadian Government issues small vertical black tax stamps to replace the almost 4” long strip stamps of 1960.
1965  US Government requires addition of “Cigarette Smoking May be Hazardous to Your Health” to cigarette packs. This was a watered down warning compared to the wording originally enacted. No one, consumers, government, or the industry was happy.
1971   Canadian Government issues redesigned small vertical black tax stamps to replace the stamps of 1965.
1971  US Government requires a new warning, another compromise, reading: "Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined That Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health."
1974  Canada becomes world’s last country to discontinue use of cigar tax stamps.
1974  The Cigar Maker’s International Union merges with the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Worker’s Union. An ignominious ending to a once-proud and important Union.
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