Item #010237 1896 – Advertising envelope and dunning letter from the largest tobacco plug manufacturing company in the world
1896 – Advertising envelope and dunning letter from the largest tobacco plug manufacturing company in the world

1896 – Advertising envelope and dunning letter from the largest tobacco plug manufacturing company in the world

St. Louis, Missouri: 1896. Envelope or Cover. This lot consists of a colorful advertising cover and dunning letter sent to a customer, Horace King of Crawfordsville, Indiana, by the Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company of St. Louis, Missouri. The letter is datelined “St. Louis, Dec. 21, 1896.” The “all-over” multi-color Ligget & Myers Tobacco Company advertising envelope is franked with a 2-cent Washington stamp (Scott #267) tied by a St. Louis duplex postmark, also dated Dec. 21, 1896. The cover features a colorful block of five gigantic plugs of Star chewing tobacco, the “Leading Brand of the World.” The company’s return address is printed below. In nice shape with some minor postal and opening wear.

The enclosed typed letter features a b/w illustration of the company’s St. Louis headquarters and part of the factory. It addresses several overdue payments and unacceptable checks.

Also included is an example of the tin advertising pins that were affixed to each plug of Liggett & Myers tobacco. Very good. Item #010237

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 manufacturer 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.

.

Price: $100.00