My last post was on how the earliest cigar box labels began. Today, I would like to expound further on the limited need for cigar box labels between the 1850-1860’s time period. At that time the cigar industry was comprised of mostly small businesses in towns and cities. Cigars were mostly displayed in bundles with very few being in boxes. The small cigar makers who could afford printing a label, turned to their local printing establishment. At the time, large lithographic firms were few and only in a few major cities. The labels of this period besides being of simple design were intended to advertise the brand of cigar as well as the quality. Cigar labels used terms like: “Habana”‘, “”Fabriac de Tobacco” and ” Vuelta anajo Tobacco” to indicate the tobacco was of the finest Cuban Tobacco.
I sometimes try to picture myself going back into time, walking into a tobacco store and smelling the fine aroma of cigars. Once I knew I enjoyed a particular cigar I probably would ask the brand name and where the Tobacco came from. You have to remember cigar smoking was a step up from tobacco chewing and pipe smoking. Cigar makers catered to a more upper class American society. My guess is, it was a place for men of leisure to congregate and talk about the politics of their time.