As the public demand for cigars increased so did the interest in cigar label art. By the early 1880’s, most of the cigar label production had shifted from small towns to large printing firms on the east coast such as: Louis E. Newman , O.L. Schwencke, and Heppenheimer & Mauer. It soon became apparent they would have to hire salesmen to not only show there products but also seduce a cigar maker into the themes of their labels. Hence was born the Cigar Box Label Salesman.
At the same time, small catalogues or Sample Books were created to display the variety of label themes available.
Each Sample label would list each type of label, their prices, and the minimum order number. With many themes to choose from the cigar maker could uniquely tailor a brand of cigar that would attract repeat customers. Most of these labels were either stock labels or labels that could be created upon receiving an order.
A label salesman, who may have represented several companies, would carry several books of sample labels. These oblong books were merely a stack of one printer’s samples bound on the left side. Paper-bound books would have eight to 10 sample labels, while the hardbound copies could contain 100 to 200 sample labels
New brands of labels were created somewhat haphazardly. Larger cigar manufacturers were able to order many different themes, buying lots of up to 100,000 labels, but smaller cigar makers could only afford a simple, two or three color label or a stock pictorial label that was printed in large lots with no brand name.
Hotels across America catered to salesmen. These picture of salesmen and the hotel letter heads were found in the files of one cigar company.