The Old West, often referred to as the Wild West, encompasses the period 1865 – 1885. During this time, thousands of pioneers pushed their way westward in search of land, some in search of gold and silver, and some to escape the law. Geographically, the “Old West” applies to those states west of the Mississippi River.
From outlaws to gunfighters, to the American cowboy on the frontier, the Old West provided great subject matter for cigar box labels. The tall tales of the old west and the famous men that were pictured on the cigar box label were enough to attract a cigar smoker.
Meeting the demands of the many Cowboys there were dance halls and saloons. They almost always featured gambling, smoking, and prostitution. The towns grew quickly, often levying taxes on the cigars provided to the cowboys.
It was here in these old west towns that many famous characters gained or bolstered their reputations. Men such as Col. Cody, Wild Bill Hickok, Kit Carson, John Wesley Hardin and dozens of others. Cigar Manufacturers were quick to cash in on this fame, creating colorful images of these infamous characters in order to attract customers.