Assorted Fraternal Cigar Boxes

Blue Lodge

MYSTIC SHRINE
Factory 370, 21st District NY
Cigars made by Powell & Goldstein, Oneida, NY
8 stone litho by Schumacher & Ettlinger
1888-1892

Schumacher & Ettlinger. 441 Pearl Street., New York, 108-110 Randolph Street, Chicago

Submitted by Bro.  F. G. Card,  MM/32 degree, King Hiram # 78, Grand Lodge of Canada

Submitted by Bro.  F. G. Card,  MM/32 degree, King Hiram # 78, Grand Lodge of Canada

EASTERN STAR
Factory 27, 3rd District NY (lower Manhattan)
1880 or 90's
Dramatic use of only two colors.
Though made in Manhattan, the brand
could have been custom made for anyone in America.

GRAND COMMANDER Diplomatico
Factory 1239, 21st Dist NY
Cigars made by Barnes, Smith & Co., Binghamton, NY
Made for Joseph Simon & Son, Distributors, Cedar Rapids, IA
1901-1909

KP (Knights of Pythias)
Factory 12, 1st Dist Ohio
Cigars made by F.H. Berning & Sons, Cincinnati
Made for F. & L. (whomever and wherever they were)
Note the tray insert. This is a box of 25, with a removable tray
separating the two rows of cigars.
1901-1909

KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS
Label taken from the sample label book of O.L, Schwencke, a large NYC
printer specializing in cigar labels. This was a dramatic stock label
offered to customers nationwide. The use of silver ink makes the label
stand out, as it was seldom used as it was the most difficult color to
print and involved high waste

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
Factory 4, Revenue District 8
Cigars made by Miller & Lockwell, Quebec
Label by Clark Litho, Toronto
Unknown customer
1897-1910
Very nice embossed box of 10 and the most recent addition to my
fraternal order collection.

EAGLE'S CLUB
Factory 360, tax Dist of Wisconsin
Cigars by P.F. Auler, Oshkosh, WI
Customer unknown
1927-1931

MODERN WOODMEN OF AMERICA
Factory 26, 2nd Dist Wisconsin
Cigars made by John Schnell, Madison, WI
Customer unknown
Early 1890's

THE ELK
Factory 616, 1st Dist PA (Philadelphia & environs)
Unknown cigar maker
Unknown customer
1917

K.O.T.M.  (Maccabees)
Factory 469, 21st District NY
Cigars by Watkins Cigar Co., Watkins [Glen], NY
Unknown customer
Label by F.M. Howell, Elmira, NY a major supplier of private labels
1901-1904

 

KEM Allies
Factory 439, 3rd District NY (lower Manhattan)
Unknown cigar maker
Made for W.W. Pegan, Grand Forks, N.D.
1910-1915
Small box of ten  cigars with odd inset portrait.

Anyone know what the initials stand for?
My guess was Knights of Eastern Mysticism
but that's a guess by a guy who knows nothing of fraternal orders.

K. OF S.S. (Knights of the Skunk Skin)
Factory 136, 1st District Wisconsin
Cigars made by George Schmidt & Son, Neenah, Wisc.
Customer unknown.
1901-1909
Nice little salesman's sample box of 12.

V.F.W.  Favoritas
Factory 82, District of Indiana
Unknown cigar maker.
Unknown customer.
1920's

MOOSE SPECIAL
Factory 1700, 9th Dist PA (the cheap and custom cigar district which
includes York)
Unknown cigar maker.
Made for York, PA, Moose Lodge 148.
1911 (their second anniversary)

Between 1840 and 1960, more than 350,000 U.S. cigar factories opened
and closed. The statistically average factory had three and a half
workers and lasted just about that many years. Cigar factories were to
be found in every city and state. As the westward movement progressed
it wasn't unusual for towns to advertise in big city papers for skilled
people they needed, frequently listing doctors, blacksmiths, and
cigar makers among them.

Though cigars were everywhere, the center of cigar production was
Connecticut in the 1700's, Philadelphia area in the early 1800's, and
New York City from around 1850 to the 1920's. At the close of the Civil
War there were approximately 3,000 cigar factories nationwide. By
1880's more than 3,500 factories were in operation in Manhattan alone,
many of them in tenement houses. Pennsylvania's Lancaster valley became
home to thousands of medium size (10-30 rollers) factories which
specialized in making cigars for the trade. These factories often did
not have brands of their own, but made cigars in response to requests
from wholesale grocers and others who maintained traveling salesmen who
dealt with retailers. Private Brands were created casually in
response to fads, pop culture, and the latest events in the news.
Although a few national brands existed, OWL and CAPADURA being the most
famous, most brands were local or regional until after the Tobacco
Trust (1891-1910) and the post 1920 machine age when factories became
increasingly consolidated, and smaller companies, including those
specializing in private brands, were driven out of business.

In the Spring of 1952 a twelve year old eighth grader brought home a
pile of cigar boxes to keep childhood treasures in, noticed they were
made all over the country, and asked the not-so-rhetorical question "I
wonder how many of these there are."  By age 16, that lad owned 2,300
different boxes and the beginnings of a research library that now
encompasses approximately  15,000 books, magazines, newspapers,
catalogs, and pieces of paper ephemera, and thousands of boxes. One of
the many subcategories to be found in that collection is "Fraternal
Orders," shared here with you. To see a small portion of the rest of
the collection you are invited to
<http://www.cigarnexus.com/nationalcigarmuseum> where you will find
four other subcategories, Indians, Racism, Christmas, and Vanity labels.

The story of the rise and fall of the cigar industry is a fascinating
one involving inventiveness, duplicity, hard work, dreaming and
scheming, cleverness, racism, immigrants, labor strife, mechanical
genius, taxes, Uncle Sam, bribery, counterfeiting, war, smuggling,
theft, corner-cutting...and more than 2,000,000 brands of cigars, more
than any product in history. My original intention was to have 160
exhibits and nearly 3,000 pictures telling the whole cigar industry
story, but the sponsors of the Museum lost interest three years ago,
and nothing has been added since. I am currently looking for a
volunteer webmaster and server space to gradually add more to this
story.

Fraternal order collection property of Dr. Tony Hyman.
Located on the Central California Coast.
Inquiries regarding cigar industry history before 1960 are welcome.
<thyman@charter.net>

BRAND NAMES are in caps, the size and shape of the cigar follows in
lower case when known.
Factory is the factory in which the cigars were made.
The actual name of the factory is included when known.
The wholesaler or retailer is given when known.
All dates indicate when the box was used, not the entire possible
period in which the brand was sold. Federal laws regarding cigar boxes
changed in 1868, 1872, 1875, 1878, 1883, 1891, 1898, 1901, 1909, 1916,
1917, 1919, 1926, 1931 and yearly thereafter. Various characteristics,
legal notices, etc., make it possible to narrow dates to a range, and
every so often to a specific year.

 

         

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