“All-over,” multicolor illustrated advertising envelope for Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company

“All-over,” multicolor illustrated advertising envelope for Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company

St. Louis, Missouri: Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company, 1898. Envelope or Cover. This “all-over” multi-color Ligget & Myers Tobacco Company cover is franked with a 2-cent Washington stamp (Scott #220) tied by a St. Louis machine cancel dated 1893. The cover features a colorful fantasy illustration of a boy fishing in a river alongside a block of five gigantic plugs of Star chewing tobacco. The company’s return address is printed in the form of a sign posted along the riverbank. It is in excellent shape and worthy of a feature place in a philatelic exhibit. Very good. Item #009273

In 1849 J. E. Liggett and Brother was established in St. Louis by John Edmund Liggett. In 1873, George S. Myers became his partner and in 1878, the business was renamed Liggett and Myers Company. By 1885, it had grown to become the world’s largest manufacture of plug chewing tobacco at a time when chewing was by far the most popular way to use tobacco.

Plugs were made by pressing tobacco leaves mixed with a sweet bonding agent, like molasses, between large metal plates and the cutting resulting sheets in blocks about 2.75” x 4.5” x 1” that sold for a nickel or dime depending on their quality. Star plug tobacco was Ligget & Myers bestselling brand, and by the mid-1890s, the company had outgrown its original location at 13th and St. Charles Street in downtown St. Louis. In 1896, it began constructing a massive thirteen-building factory on the outskirts of the city in what is now South St. Louis, just north of the vast tract of land owned by Henry Shaw, an English immigrant who had made millions selling hardware goods to regional settlers and pioneers heading west. Liggett & Myers was one of the very few companies that bested the Duke Brothers as they formed their American Tobacco Trust. The Dukes were unable to undercut Liggett & Myers during a long price war and eventually agreed to purchase the firm at an incredibly inflated price in 1898 at the time this envelope was mailed.

A reorganized Liggett & Myers continued operations on the same site after the Supreme Court broke-up the tobacco trust in 1911 until the plant was closed in the 1970s.

An exceptional example of a very scarce and sought after cover design identified as “MAGNIFICENT” in the "American Illustrated Cover Catalog" (#1504).

Price: $400.00

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