CHESTER ARTHUR : TRADE CARD : DUKE OF DURHAM : THE BEST SMOKING TOBACCO

This item is a vintage cigarette card featuring a portrait of the 21st President of the United States, Chester Arthur. The card is advertising the W. Duke Sons & Company of Durham, North Carolina. More specifically, the card advertises one of their brands, Duke of Durham. The company states that this brand is “The Best Smoking Tobacco”. Cigarette cards are trading cards issued by tobacco manufacturers. They served the dual purpose of stiffening cigarette packages as well as providing effective advertising of cigarette brands. they were issued between 1875 and the 1940’s. They were distributed as premiums inside of packages of tobacco or cigarettes. These cards became popular with collectors of the era. They are still collected today because they document past popular cultures. They depict actresses, athletes, and other examples of historic popular culture. W. Duke Sons & Company was established by Washington Duke in 1878. He was succeeded by his son, James Duke (1856-1925). James was a visionary and became very successful in growing the company. In fact, he was too successful. He took over the nation’s five major cigarette manufacturers and controlled 80 percent of the domestic tobacco industry. In 1904, James reorganized his company, calling it, the American Tobacco Company. To repeat, James was too successful. His monopoly caught the attention of Federal Court and the company was found guilty of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. The case went to the Supreme Court and the ruling was that American Tobacco had to jettison Liggett and Myers, P. Lorillard and the R J Reynolds Tobacco Company. James Duke was a multimillionaire and he donated much money to Trinity College. The school later became Duke University, They were issued between 1875 and the 1940’s. They were distributed as premiums inside of packages of tobacco or cigarettes. These cards became popular with collectors of the era. They are still collected today because they document past popular cultures. They depict actresses, athletes, and other examples of historic popular culture. This vintage cigarette trade card measures about 2 1/2″ x 3 5/8″.  SOLD