1880 1930 cigarettes

The beginning of commercially rolled cigarettes was in the late 1870s. Prior to this time, smokers would purchase the tobacco and the cigarette papers separately, then roll their own cigarettes. The same tobacco that was used in pipes was used to roll cigarettes, which is why a brand such as Lucky Strike started as a bulk tobacco brand by the American Tobacco Company for pipes.

Some cigarettes, particularly English cigarettes were rolled into "ovals," not round cigarettes as were later the common shape.

Cigarettes commonly came in sliding two-piece boxes until after 1900. These sliding boxes also generally held only ten cigarettes, not twenty as was later common. The length of the average cigarette was 60 millimeters.

Filters were not available, leading to the popularity of cigarette holders, which were believed to act as a filter. The Marlboro brand pictured had colored ends (ivory and red) in order to avoid lip marks or lipstick marks, and were therefore marketed primarily to women.

Cigarette stamps on the early sliding boxes were placed on the back of the box, and were not used as they later were, to seal the box/pack.

Cellophane, which was not yet developed, did not come into common use in cigarette packaging until 1930.





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