I was wondering today where to start talking about cigar box label art. Well, of course it has to be at the very beginning, right? After a little internet research, and going to the local library here is what I found out.
The earliest cigar box labels can be traced back to the 1840’s. Images were actually in the form of top brand dies that burn’t a vey crude image into the top of the cigar box. Typically, during that time, most cigar smokers would go to their local goods emporium and ask for a good cigar rather then pick something out based on what was attractive advertising.
Then in the 1850’s, copyrights were granted by the Federal government for the first printable cigar box labels in the U.S. In the beginning, printed labels were simple and usually drab in color. But slowly, they started to catch on as a means of product identification.
Below is “El Dante” one of the first registered labels of the 1850’s.