I had some idle time at work the other day and ran across an interesting old book: Tobacconist Advertising : A Collection of Selling Phrases, Descriptions, and Illustrated Advertisements as used by Successful Advertisers by William Borsodi. Published in 1910.
I could find few ads for anything other than Havanas, either imported or clear. Most of the ad copy was as cheesy as ad copy today, but there were a couple gems I’d like to share with you.
It’s no puzzle to pick out the man who smokes our special 5 cent cigar. Signs of nervous prostration are not depicted on his countenance, but rather self-satisfaction and content, for he knows a good thing when he sees it. Our Bachelor 5 center is all right every way; but if you like something even better, nothing can fill the bill better than our Lancaster at 10 cents. –J.E. Tyler & Co., Pueblo CO
The only name brand I recognized among the ads was Cuesta Rey. The rest:
- Kook’s Templar
- Samuel Smiles
- Little Opera
- Uncle Oscar
- Anna Held
- First Consul
Here’s a sentiment I can agree with. I have never cared for Sumatra/Indonesian wrappers, generally speaking. But evidently they’ve been using them for some time:
There’s many a bad cigar on the inside of a Sumatra wrapper. There’s many a good cigar that never saw a Sumatra wrapper. Sumatra wrappers cost a great deal–don’t add one iota to the smoking qualities of the cigar–simply make the cigar look pretty. –Shryock-Johnson Mfg. Co., St. Louis Mo.
And finally, a suggestion that I will bet a few people have tried. I haven’t yet used this method, but according to Herbert it’s the only way:
Ever smoke two cigars at one time? It’s the only way to judge cigars. Smoke one you know, and the one you want to compare with it, at the same time. That’s the way experts judge tobacco. –Herbert D. Shivers, Philadelphia PA
Now, if I could just find a couple five cent cigars to experiment with…