Carlos Fuente Sr. has passed away. The patriarch and longtime chairman of Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia., died on Friday night in Tampa, Florida, after a battle with stomach cancer. He was 81 years old. Fuente ran one of the world's largest handmade cigar companies, presiding over such storied brands as Arturo Fuente and Fuente Fuente OpusX, and making many brands for others, among them all Ashtons and Diamond Crowns. More here.
How Cigars are Made at the La Aurora factory in the Dominican Republic.
Hundreds of old cigar labels. Vintage lighters. Cigar bands from the "Golden Age" of cigar advertising (1890s - 1920s). Japanese Matchbox label & manufacturing. Depression Era Cigarette Packs. Cigarette Holders for the Ladies. The Victorian Gentleman's Smoking Cap (and jacket). The History of the Cigar Store Indians and Side Walk Figure Statues. Let’s not forget the ashtrays [more inside]
If you've quit smoking and you're trying to get through the early withdrawal symptoms without gaining 20 pounds, one coping strategy is to get busy crafting. Sure, you say, you've made naughty figurines out of your cigarette packages in bored moments before, but now if you're going to craft you want to make something that celebrates your fantastic self-discipline and can serve as a worthy memorial to your renounced habit. If that's how you feel, check out these links. [more inside]
Carmen, ah! souviens-toi du passé! The 233 [mostly] female cigar rollers (las cigarreras) at Seville's Altadis tobacco factory are urgently trying to defend the last remaining trace of the four-hundred-year-old tobacco industry in Seville, which is certain to cease production by 2007. Responsible for manufacturing six million cigarettes a year for Altadis, las cigarreras claim to be "the rightful heirs of the feisty Gypsy heroine" Carmen, idealized in Georges Bizet's 1875 opera of the same name. "Invoking what they see as Carmen's 'independent, unbending' spirit, these contemporary las cigarreras have organized a protest every Wednesday, between shifts, for more than a year to save well-paying local jobs as well as the factory itself, a link to the gritty history that spawned the romantic legends."
An American Tragedy: No habanos; no Havana Club; not even a dram of that lovely new rummy Glenfiddich malt whisky! Although the embargo is still popular with the Jesse Helms crowd and certain Cuban immigrés, resistence is higher than ever. Why does it go on? From the outside, it just looks like obstinate stupidity. What is it with the Democrats, especially? Are they still covering up for JFK's mistakes? He, at least, had a good stock of Cuban cigars [well, Petit Uppmanns...] with which to sit the crisis out... What gives? What could possibly justify Americans missing out on such a massive scale? If for the pleasure of a decent smoke or even proper mojito or daiquiri alone?