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Pittsburgh Leads All in Stogie Making

"Pittsburgh Leads All in Stogie Making: This City Has Outstripped State of West Virginia in Popular Smoking Product: Record of One Concern," The Pittsburgh Gazette Times, 12 July 1915, p.12.

The manufacture of stogies has for many years been one of the ever-growing industries of this section of the country, but few persons are familiar with the facts in regard to how this form of cigar first came into vogue and from whence the shape derived its name. The use of the stogie dates back to the old stage coach days when freight was transported in "Conestoga" wagons. The drivers in passing through the tobacco sections of Pennsylvania would pick up the leaves around tobacco sheds and fashion them into a long, slim roll similar to the stogies of today. Occasionally they carried some of the stogies to other sections and passed them along to friends with the result that a demand was gradually created.

Wheeling, being one of the terminals for these wagons, the first regular stogie factory was located there and in order to designate them from other cigars they were called stogies; taking the last half of the word "Conestoga." Pittsburgh soon fell in line and rapidly forged to the front in their manufacture. At first, the larger manufacturers commenced to cut the leaves up into small pieces about one-half inch square and made the bunch with machines. To designate this cigar from the original long-filler stogie the name was changed to tobie. However, the short fillers did not meet with so much favor as those made from the long-filler and for the past 25 years Pittsburgh has been manufacturing the regular stogie out of the long leaves of tobacco.

The stogie differs from the cigar, not only in the method of its manufacture, but also from the fact that it is made out of naturally sweated domestic tobacco without any artificial flavoring. To the fact that the stogie is made from the natural tobacco is attributed its ever-increasing popularity which has even penetrated to many foreign countries. Some idea as to how the Pittsburgh district has outstripped West Virginia may be gleaned from the statistics which show approximately 406,848,000 in a year, while the whole state of West Virginia's output was only about one-third of this number.

The tobacco from which the stogies are made is grown principally in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Kentucky. The Duquesne Cigar Company, makers of the Du Kane Seal stogie, was founded in 1897 by W. L. Flagg, former president of the Rotary Club; E. D. Trembly and C. D. Collins. The company was incorporated in 1902. From the start it has been successful and is today classed among the leaders in the business. The company occupies its own property at Twenty-fifth and Smallman streets.

Return to Home of the Stogie. Thumbnail: 
Scanned stamp of tobacco leaf and keystone (detail).
Thumbnail: Scanned stamp of worker wielding 
sledge hammer (detail). Return to Index of Thumbnails.