Henry Clay (cigar)

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A 1905 advertisement.

Henry Clay is a brand of cigars named after the early American politician Henry Clay (1777-1852).[1] The cigars are currently manufactured in the Dominican Republic.[2]

History[edit]

The Henry Clay brand was created in the 1840s by a Cuban tobacco magnate, the Spanish emigrant Julián Álvarez Granda. The name was proposed by Alvarez when he was in the service of an employer and he maintained it once he was in business for himself.[3]

The Cuban business interest of Alvarez was eventually transferred to a British company named Henry Clay and Bock & Co. Ltd. which was founded in 1888. Henry Clay and Bock & Co. Ltd. became a component of the Tobacco Trust that, along with other trusts, was an object of the antitrust legislation of the United States.[4]

The brand is currently owned by the Spanish company Altadis, a division of Imperial Tobacco.

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the Russian and Soviet poet, playwright and actor Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky's 1925 poem Блек энд уайт/Black and White portraying issues of racism and capitalist exploitation, the setting is a Henry Clay and Bock Ltd. cigar factory in Havana.
  • Maurice Leblanc's gentleman thief Arsène Lupin was noted to have used a Henry Clay cigar to conceal a reply to an invented associate as a part of his escape from jail in Arsène Lupin in Prison.
  • In the film Blackmail (1929 film) the blackmailer is offered a Henry Clay cigar but chooses a Corona and gets Frank to pay for it.
  • In George Simenon's novel, Pietr the Latvian, the book's namesake is observed by Inspector Maigret smoking a Henry Clay cigar.
  • The Kurt Weill song 'Matrosen-Tango' (Sailor-Tango) includes the lyric 'Und Zigarren rauchen wir Henry Clay ... Denn andere Zigarren, die rauchen wir nicht' (And we smoke Henry Clay cigars... we don't smoke any other cigars).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Joyce, James; Johnson, Jeri (1998), "Notes to pages 235-240", Ulysses, Cambridge: Oxford University Press: 873, ISBN 978-0-19-283464-5
  2. ^ Shanken, Marvin R. (2005), Cigar Companion, Cambridge: Running Press, p. 41, ISBN 978-0-7624-1957-9
  3. ^ "DEATH OF JULIAN ALVAREZ.; A MAN WHO MADE MILLIONS OUT OF THE FAMOUS "HENRY CLAY" CIGAR". The New York Times. December 17, 1885.
  4. ^ Moody, John (1904), The Truth About The Trusts: A Description and Analysis of the American Trust Movement, New York: Moody Publishing Company, p. 91

External links[edit]