126 years ago a patent was granted for a cigar printing machine, a machine designed to print brandings directly onto a cigar rather than on a separate band like the cigars we know today.
Publication number US394987 A — you can read the full December 25th 1888 Patent here
It’s interesting to think about what could have happened had a device like the one listed above became popular and replaced the traditional cigar bands used today.
Life is full of “what if” and something as simple as the patented cigar printing machine reaching widespread adoption would have completely changed how we label cigars today. According the patent , each cigar was to be printed or impressed with the brand or logo rather than allocating resources to a separate cigar band band.
There most likely is a reason it never took off, perhaps burning in the letters or logo on the cigar modified it’s taste, as well as the ink available 126 years ago was lead based or worse. Today we can find a La Gloria Cubana Serie N that kind of does this, but it’s a rare case and not considered common as most cigar companies do not print their cigars in this fashion.
Still however it’s still worth mentioning that ideas come and go, in this case 126 years later we did find a company that does somewhat stamp their cigars, though through an entirely different process.