Early Cigarettes Production Method
There is a long process of cigarettes production. Sometimes we as smokers didn’t know how our cigarettes are made, is it by machine or by humans. In this 21st century, big tobacco companies use machine for producing their cigarette brands.
At first, all cigarettes were rolled manually, whether by the individual smoker or by shop workers, who rolled and glued cigarettes before they were packaged. Baron Josef Huppmann was an integral figure in modernizing early cigarette production.
He established the Ferme cigarette factory in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1850 and opened a branch in Dresden, Germany in 1872. Ten years later he also established the Monopal cigarette works in New York City.
In the 1850s, Englishman Robert Peacock Gloag manufactured cigarettes with Turkish tobacco and yellow tissue paper. Gloag’s method used a thin metal tube to feed crushed tobacco into a paper cylinder, forming a cigarette (early cigarettes production system).
In the U.S., cigarettes continued to be produced manually until the late 1800s. To make a cigarette, the worker sat in front of a table containing a small trench the length of a cigarette.
The rolling paper was placed in the trench so its edges were slightly above the tabletop, and a pinch of shredded tobacco was placed in the paper.
The worker, wearing a piece of felt over the palm of the hand, rubbed the felt over the trench until it caught an edge of the paper.
Continuing the motion, the worker rolled the cigarette into shape and sealed it with paste. A good roller could make almost 40 cigarettes per minute using this method.
Cigarette Production Machine
In 1880, James A. Bonsack was granted a U.S. patent for a cigarette machine that uniformly fed tobacco onto a continuous strip of paper. It mechanically formed, pasted, closed, and cut cigarettes with a rotary blade.
Six years later this machine was refined by William O’Brien and James B. Duke, and it produced 4,000,000 cigarettes per day and reduced costs by 50 cents per every 1,000 made.
During the World War I era, the longstanding popular bias against female smokers began to diminish, providing a new market for the tobacco companies. Packaging machines were developed during the early 1900s, and, in 1931, moisture-proof cellophane that preserved the freshness of the cigarettes was introduced.
Also in the 1930s, seed flax, an herb commonly cultivated in the U.S., was discovered to be a viable new source of cigarette paper.
This discovery and the erection of a cigarette paper plant in North Carolina enabled the U.S. cigarette industry to flourish after the end of World War II.