History Nebraska Blog

Nebraska Cigar Boxes

Employees at the Ross & Dryson Cigar Factory, Lincoln, ca. 1910 (RG2158-9-15)

Employees at Ross & Dryson Cigar Factory, Lincoln, Nebraska (RG2158.PH9-15)

Cigar making and cigar smoking in Nebraska reached their pinnacle shortly after the turn of the century. Then more than two hundred cigar makers in the state produced nearly thirty million cigars each year. Cigars declined in popularity as World War I, and then the 1920s, saw the rise in cigarette smoking. 

Many of these early cigar "factories" were actually cottage industries located in a home or perhaps an adjoining shed. Two or three people made cigars by hand, using wooden molds. However, not all cigar manufacturing was done on such a small scale, even in Nebraska. In 1916 Hastings had six cigar factories producing seven million cigars per year. The Kipp Cigar Company, founded in 1909, by 1925 was making ten million cigars annually. Another Hastings cigar factory, the Evans-Bloom Cigar Company, was established in 1905 and by the 1920s claimed to be the largest cigar factory in Nebraska.

These Nebraska cigar boxes are just a few from the Charles Tuthill collection that were recently donated to the Society.


Road Queens Cigar box (13053-4)

Road Queens Cigar Box
H. F. Busche, Seward
Early 1900s
NSHS 13053-4

Road Queens Cigar box, interior (13053-4)

Our Baby Cigar Box (13053-17)

Our Baby Cigar Box
Hobbs Bros. Manufacturers, Pawnee City
NSHS 13053-17

Our Baby Cigar Box, interior (13053-17)

My Boys Cigar Box (13053-31)

My Boys Cigar Box
Hene & Co., Omaha
NSHS 13053-31

My Boys Cigar Box, interior (13053-31)

Old Dad Cigar Box (13053-22)

Old Dad Cigar Box
Gay & Sons, Hastings
Early 1900s
NSHS 13053-22

Old Dad Cigar Box, interior (13053-22)

Bismark Cigar box (13053-25)

Bismark Cigar Box
Falls City
Late 1800s- early 1900s
NSHS 13053-25

Bismark Cigar box, interior (13053-25)

Little Pets Cigar Box (13053-27)

Little Pets Cigar Box
Shaffer & Miller, Beaver City
NSHS 13053-2

Little Pets Cigar box, interior (13052-27)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Cigar Box (13053-33)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Cigar Box
Late 1800s-early 1900s
NSHS 13053-33

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Cigar Box, interior (13053-33)

Become a History Nebraska Member Today

Learn More