General Cigar Company

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General Cigar Company
General Cigar Company in Evansville.jpg
Southern side of the building
General Cigar Company is located in Indiana
General Cigar Company
General Cigar Company is located in the US
General Cigar Company
Location 223 NW 2nd St., Evansville, Indiana
Coordinates 37°57′51″N 87°34′30″W / 37.96417°N 87.57500°W / 37.96417; -87.57500Coordinates: 37°57′51″N 87°34′30″W / 37.96417°N 87.57500°W / 37.96417; -87.57500
Area Less than 1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built 1902
Built by Harry Boyle and Company; Alfred E. Neucks
Architectural style Arts and Crafts
NRHP Reference # 00000212[1]
Added to NRHP March 15, 2000

General Cigar Company is one of the largest manufacturers of cigars in the world. It is a subsidiary of Scandinavian Tobacco Group. The General Cigar Company building at Evansville, Indiana was built in 1902, and expanded in 1929. It is a three-story, "L"-shaped red brick building with Arts and Crafts style design elements.[2] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.[1]

Company history[edit]

In 1961 General Cigar, which was profitably selling about $30 million worth of cigars annually, was purchased for approximately $25 million by a group of investors headed by Edgar M. Cullman, a fourth generation American in the tobacco industry.[3][3]

Later in the 1960s, Culbro and General Cigar acquired Gradiaz Annis, maker of Gold Label cigars and the Temple Hall factory that owned the Macanudo brand name, ushering in a turn towards hand-rolled premium cigars.[3] Macanudo, a small label made in limited quantities for the market in the United Kingdom, was seen as the principal vehicle for growth in the premium cigar category. A careful effort was made to reblend the product for the large American marketplace (then and now subject to a ban on Cuban tobacco, the industry's gold standard) using select binder and filler from the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Mexico and Connecticut shade-grown wrapper.[3] Mass advertising was conducted in support of the brand, which by the early 1990s had grown into the best selling premium cigar label in the United States.[3]

In 1978 General registered a U.S. trademark on the brand name "Cohiba", thereby obtaining the right to use the name of that premium Cuban cigar in the American market without any connection to or content provided by its Cuban maker. Protracted legal wrangling followed, resolved when the U. S. Supreme Court denied the petition of the Cuban tobacco marketing agency, Cubatabaco, in 2006.[4] General's Cohiba cigars bear a disclaimer that they are not affiliated in any way while the Cuban-brand individual cigars do not.

From 1978 General Cigar has also produced the Cuban tobacco free Partagas and Bolivar cigar brands for the American market in competition with Cuban brands of the same name. Initial production of Partagas was conducted in Jamaica, but the following year production moved to a modern 70,000-square-foot (6,500 m2) factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic.[5]

A similar trade dress to the Cuban product has been used by General Cigar for its competing version of the Partagás brand, employing a red-and-gold band scheme, save with the word "Habana" replaced by the date "1845" on the packaging.[5]

In 1997, General Cigar acquired Villazon, a company marketing non-Cuban versions of the leading Cuban cigar brands Punch and Hoyo de Monterrey.[6]

In 2005, Swedish Match acquired General Cigar.[7] In 2010, Swedish Match merged its premium cigars into Scandinavian Tobacco Group.[8]

General Cigar's brands[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD)" (Searchable database). Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. Retrieved 2016-08-01.  Note: This includes Kristen Brennan (June 1999). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: General Cigar Company" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Marvin R. Shanken, "Interview: Edgar Cullman, Sr.," Cigar Aficionado, vol. 3, no. 1 (Autumn 1994), pp. 55-71.
  4. ^ Empresa Cubana del Tabaco v. Culbro Corp., 399 F.3d 462 (2d Cir. 2005).
  5. ^ a b James Suckling, "The Partagas Family: Cigar Smokers from Around the World Gathered in Havana and Orlando This Summer to Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Partagas Cigars," Cigar Aficionado, vol. 4, no. 2 (Winter 1995/96), pp. 134-143.
  6. ^ "General Cigar Co.," Neptune Cigars, neptunecigar.com/ Retrieved October 24, 2010.
  7. ^ Swedish Match To Acquire Remaining Ownership In General Cigar
  8. ^ Savona, David. "Swedish Match and Scandinavian Tobacco Merge to Form Giant Cigar Company". CigarAficionado.com. Retrieved 2016-06-27. 

External links[edit]