Eva Halloween

November 21, 1871: Patent #121,049 issued to M. F. Gale for the cigar lighter

black-and-white-cigar-girlNearly a millennium after the Mayans were smoking rolled tobacco, and three centuries after the invention of the first lighters (notoriously made of flint and gunpowder), Moses Gale patented a unique device for the lighting of cigars.  A cigar lighter burns hot and steady, better for lighting the slow-igniting, oily cigar wrapper.

At the time of Gale’s patent, cigars were not only widely smoked in the United States, they were actually manufactured right here, beginning with the enterprising Mrs. Prout of South Windsor, Connecticut, who began hiring neighborhood women to roll locally-grown tobacco into cigars known as “Long Nines” in 1801. Later, Latin manufacturers capitalized on the link between ladies and cigars, notoriously claiming to roll cigars on the thighs of female workers.  The Cohiba brand, launched in 1963, was the first to staff exclusively women cigar rollers.

While women rolled cigars in the 18th century,  society frowned at ladies smoking them (with notable exceptions for artists and prostitutes), and not until the Roaring 20’s did women reclaim the habit. In honor of today’s day in history (and the doughty Mrs. Prout), here’s a whole gallery of cigar-loving ladies.  Enjoy!

9 Comments

  1. Acadia Einstein
    November 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Everyone is always making exceptions for prostitutes!

    • Eva Halloween
      November 21, 2012 at 9:46 pm

      They’re the hardest working ladies in show business! No wait, that’s not right.

  2. ❤ Julie Maloney ❤ (@Momspective)
    November 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Chicks smoking cigars is hot. I should know, I’ve done it :)

    • Eva Halloween
      November 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      *clears throat*

      You know, the gallery would balance better with more pictures.

      Just sayin

  3. angie potter
    angie potterReply
    November 21, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    I’ve been known to smoke a stogie, will have to see if I can find some pics.

  4. Alex
    November 22, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Another fantastic and informative post, Ms. Halloween. And a most excellent selection of images (though one or two in particular stand out as uniquely captivating.)

    • Eva Halloween
      November 22, 2012 at 4:35 am

      Very naughty, Mr. Wolfe. I don’t think anyone else noticed that. :-)

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