Even the most devoted aficionados may be unaware that February 27 is actually National Cigar Day. Sure, this is the perfect excuse to enjoy a high-end cigar (or two), but how did this particular date become associated with stogies? The answer lies back in the 19th century, with one Oscar Hammerstein.
In case you couldn’t tell by that surname, Hammerstein was born to German parents. He had aspirations outside of Europe, though, and eventually made his way to New York City in 1864. How did he make a living while stateside? By working at a cigar factory, of course.
As he climbed the ranks in the world of cigar manufacturing, he began noticing ways to automate the process for efficiency. Chief among them was his cigar-rolling machine, which was patented in 1883 on—you guessed it—February 27. Aside from this revolutionary machine, Hammerstein’s list of inventions includes roughly 80 other patents. They range from components that cut tobacco leaves more cleanly to improved plumbing systems.
Still, it should come as no surprise that the cigar-rolling machine was his greatest success, eventually attaining a value of $200,000. That’s why we celebrate the anniversary of its patent to this day. Now, do you need to smoke a machine-made stick to celebrate the cigar-rolling machine? Is it self-defeating to enjoy a hand-rolled cigar for such an occasion? We suggest you avoid overthinking and simply light one up for Oscar Hammerstein!