Top 5 Weirdest Vintage Cigar Brands

From the very beginning of the cigar’s introduction as an American commodity in the late 1700’s there has been cigar marketing. Over the years cigar branding and advertising has seen countless approaches, ranging from the good, to the bad, to the downright weird. Today’s post focuses on the last category, as we take a look at five of the absolute weirdest brands in cigar history.

1. Rotten Cigars (1912)

Probably the least appetizing name on this list (although the next one is a close 2nd), “Rotten”may have been an early example of “thinking outside the box” in terms of cigar branding, although I think it’s safe to say this one went a little too far outside. Other similarly unappealing names of the era include “Rat Tails”, “Tramps”, and “Sucker.”

2. Liver Regulator (1886)

“Liver Regulator” is one of many health-related cigar front-marks that were part of a popular late-1800’s marketing trend based on claims that some cigars actually held medicinal benefits for the smoker. Other “healthy” smokes of the period were labeled “Doctor’s Favorite”, “Cure-All”, and the none-too-subtle “Health Brand Cigars.”

3. Little Satan (1883)

Because nothing says “quality tobacco” quite like a depiction of tiny devils flying around on the ends of lit stogies. I’m not sure what the manufacturer had in mind when concocting this baffling image in an attempt to sell cigars. As strange as it seems today, “Little Satan” was actually one of many devil-themed cigar ad campaigns of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


4. Pap George (1910)

The label on “Pap George” cigars features a scantily-clad middle-aged man engaged in various displays of physical strength- Not exactly the sort of motif you’d expect to see on a cigar box. The best explanation I can offer is that this brand may have been intended as a tribute to burly Civil War General George Henry Thomas, who was nicknamed “Pap Thomas” by his admirers.

5. Quail On Toast (1886)

“Quail On Toast”  takes the cake in terms of outright weirdness in cigar themes. I’m going to assume this odd name was an ill-conceived attempt at suggesting luxury, as Quail eggs on toast was actually a popular breakfast dish among the wealthy back in the 1800’s. Either way, this is just friggin’ bizarre. Even more bizarre is the fact that this brand was quite popular in its hey-day, and even spawned a few imitators.
photos from National Cigar

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