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Unveiling the Legacy: A History of American Tobacco

November 1, 2023

The rich history of American tobacco is a journey full of innovation, tradition, and resilience. American tobacco has deep roots that can be traced back to the Native American cultures that cultivated and used tobacco long before European settlers arrived. However, it was in the early 17th century that the crop gained commercial significance, and usage spread throughout Europe. The Virginia Colony became the birthplace of American tobacco cultivation, and it soon became a major export to Europe.

The Cigar Rolling Machine Revolution

The 19th century witnessed a revolution in the tobacco industry with the invention of the cigar-rolling machine. It dramatically increased the efficiency of cigar production, allowing for larger-scale manufacturing of cigars while maintaining quality and consistency. This innovation made cigars, which were once expensive imported goods, more accessible to a wider audience, paving the way for the thriving cigar culture we know today. The cigar-rolling machine was adopted by Avanti’s founding fathers, the Suraci brothers, and is still used today. 

The 1900s

At the end of the 19th century, there were approximately 42,000 cigar factories in the United States and the cigar industry was thriving. The first half of the 20th century was full of ups and downs for the cigar industry. Cigars were extremely popular throughout the Roaring Twenties until the stock market crashed in 1929. Following the crash, Avanti moved production from New York to Scranton.

The Cuban Embargo

For many companies, including Avanti, cigar sales began to climb again after World War II, but sales dropped again following the Cuban embargo. The Cuban embargo, which began in the early 1960s, had a profound impact on the global tobacco industry. As a result of this embargo, Cuban cigars were largely unavailable in the United States. Many American cigar manufacturers began to explore new avenues, including using American-grown tobacco.

The Cuban embargo prompted American tobacco growers and cigar makers to focus on producing high-quality, premium cigars using domestic tobacco. Avanti Cigar Company is proud to use dark-fired tobacco grown in Kentucky and Tennessee. Find American tobacco cigars in our shop today!