Whole Leaf Tobacco

FX Smith's Sons

webmost

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Smith's machines use dies shaped like those templates to cut their wrappers. Not much wastage there. They can easily cut three or four wrapper out of one half-leaf of broadleaf... more from a half-leaf of shade. Five or six binders from ditto. Each die cut wrapper includes that scoop out where the tapered foot of a perfecto starts, and that curlicue which caps the head. Just a quarter inch overlap is what they aim for.

There is no vein crusher in the works. That big roller just smooths the final work, like when you roll your wrapped cigar on the table. I posted a video on YouTube long ago. It's also on their site.

There's a real good reason we mechanized everything we could, back there in the 19th century. The less materials you waste, the less time you spend, the more productivity you have, hence a better standard of living. We take all their hard work and ingenuity for granted. Nowadays we regulate up the cost; back then they automated down the cost. Sure they're cheap. That's the whole idea. All of a sudden, you didn't have to be a doctor or a banker or a liar* to afford a store bought cigar.

I just adore those template pins. Never saw those before.




* I always spell attorney phonetically, for clarity.
 

Thedbs999

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I purchased the webmasters favorites selection . Just finished all in the pack. The cigars were great.
Glad I found this post. What a nice web site. Plus a company that has such a long history. Iam glad to support them.

Dan
 

deluxestogie

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Thanks for posting, Dan.

Why care?

FX Smith's Sons is one of the last surviving manufacturers of genuine American-style cigars. [I had never heard of them, until Webmost introduced their name on the FTT forum some years ago.] These use Pennsylvania and Connecticut broadleaf varieties, and sometimes a smattering of imported leaf. I've always found them enjoyable. (Much more so, prior to the gigantic tax hike on cigars!) They are all machine-made.

One of my favorite American cigars was, for decades, the Muniemaker brand, sold by a Connecticut company, which has since gone out of business. BUT...FX Smith's Sons manufactured those cigars that were sold under the Connecticut Cigars Muniemaker label. AND...they continue to manufacture them, though under the Tuscacora name (which appears to be misspelled as "Tuscorora" on the website--maybe that's intentional).

Though it's not readily apparent from the website (time to spruce up the listings), many of these are sold in boxes of 50 cigars. So, for example, the Tuscarora Straight (5.25" x 46, natural wrapper) [ https://fxsmithssonscigars.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=81&products_id=265 ], at $69.80 per box, comes out to about $1.40 per cigar. That's not bad, at today's prices. Their oscuro-wrapped cigars are also a delightful smoke.

It's worth a look, if you want to explore the true taste of traditional American cigars. Yes, they are machine made, and are short filler, and use a reconstituted tobacco sheet binder. But the wrapper is tasty natural leaf, the draw is excellent, and I find them enjoyable. Besides, if you smoke a cigar in breezy conditions, you really want a short filler cigar, since they are less likely to burn down the side. (The cigar frontmark, cazadores, which means "hunters", were intended specifically for outdoor smoking. So, all short-filler cigars might be considered cazadores. The Spanish term, fumas, designates cigars that the torcedors roll for themselves, to take home with them. These are also traditionally made with short filler.)

With regard to the silly "short-filler vs. long-filler" debate: My home-rolled short filler cigars smoke as well as my long-filler cigars. Commercial hand-rolled short-filler cigars tend to have unpredictable draw. I believe that hand-rollers who use a cigar mold to make a short-filler cigar have less control of the final draw (density of packing), compared to rolling it free-hand, since their goal is size and shape, rather than density.

By contrast, machine-made short-filler cigar production is carefully calibrated to use the exact quantity of short-filler for the size and shape. What? I'm saying that machine-made short-filler cigars have a better and more consistent draw than factory-produced, hand-rolled short-filler cigars (when the torcedors use a mold). When you roll your own short-filler cigars free-hand, your fingers learn to feel the density of whatever you're rolling--so they can draw perfectly. No squishy or rock-hard sticks. The machine-mades do it by calibration.

[Just as a side-note, so-called "Cuban sandwich" cigars are short filler cigars with an added piece of long filler leaf. You get the same thing by using all short-filler in a double binder.]

Bob

Full Disclosure: I receive no compensation or kickback from FX Smith's Sons. I do, however experience nostalgia over the loss of Marsh Wheeling, National Cigar, and Muniemaker Connecticut Cigars, and others. They're gone forever. [Nostalgia: a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.]

 

deluxestogie

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Are cigar boxes collectible? Just curious. I know they are useful.
They are always collectible if you have grandchildren. When I sent my grandson a collection of small fossils, they went in their own cedar chests.

I'm not aware of their having any particular monetary value. I save every unique cigar band, with the thought of assembling an album or poster some day. I just toss them into the drawer at the top of my humidor. But the industry has moved from creating excellent cigars to creating a tsunami of band artwork.

As for the cheapie cardboard boxes from extinct cigar companies, I eventually create a piece of wall art from some of them.

This gallery is in the short hallway leading to a bathroom. Some of the items were sent to me by forum members.



I used the dressing on the bottom of a Marsh Wheeling box to create a frame for the inside of the lid.



When the namesake of one's own forum user identity goes extinct, it raises uncomfortable questions.

Bob the Endangered
 

OldDinosaurWesH

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I was just curious, people collect all manner of things. Some valuable, some not. I used to associate with a fellow who liquidated estates for a living, and he was really up on his collectibles. According to him, anything to do with smoking related memorabilia was out of fashion these days. The X'ers and now Millennials are very anti-smoking. Which drives the values of those kind of collectibles down. The collectibles market is a very see-saw kind of thing. Just watch Antiques Roadshow on TV and you can see that. My small collection of Matchbox toys I acquired as a child has lost about half of its value since the crash in 2008. As if I care, I wanted those to pass down through the family anyway. Tom Hanks, the actor, collects typewriters. There is only one kind of collectible that always maintains its value and constantly goes up over time. Gold! And perhaps guns.

Wes H.
 

BigBonner

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They are always collectible if you have grandchildren. When I sent my grandson a collection of small fossils, they went in their own cedar chests.

I'm not aware of their having any particular monetary value. I save every unique cigar band, with the thought of assembling an album or poster some day. I just toss them into the drawer at the top of my humidor. But the industry has moved from creating excellent cigars to creating a tsunami of band artwork.

As for the cheapie cardboard boxes from extinct cigar companies, I eventually create a piece of wall art from some of them.

This gallery is in the short hallway leading to a bathroom. Some of the items were sent to me by forum members.



I used the dressing on the bottom of a Marsh Wheeling box to create a frame for the inside of the lid.



When the namesake of one's own forum user identity goes extinct, it raises uncomfortable questions.

Bob the Endangered

What , no tobacco cards . I know my mother had some old tobacco cards in a dresser drawer . I don't know which family member that has those but if I find out I will post a picture of them .

I collect old Dazey Butter Churns . I don't know why I collect them , it is probably because that was the only toy I played with when I was a kid . My Mother would milk our cow and latter churn butter and I remember her doing this a lot .
 

deluxestogie

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That tobacco wreath on my wall is one that you sent me years ago, Larry. It was a bright lemon color originally. It still smells very smokable.

Bob
 

Thedbs999

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Bob,

That's an amazing Marsh Wheeling box on your wall. The colors are still so vivid, like new. I can still find the boxes here in Wheeling at a few antique stores however, most are very faded.

I wish the Marsh Wheeling Company was still in operation, but times change. At least FX Smith and Sons are still churning out good stuff after 150 years.

Dan
 

deluxestogie

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That's an amazing Marsh Wheeling box on your wall. The colors are still so vivid, like new. I can still find the boxes here in Wheeling at a few antique stores however, most are very faded.
The reason my Marsh Wheeling wall art has such vivid colors is because the frame section is from the bottom of a box, and the framed section is from the inside of the lid. No sunlight; no fading. If you pick up one of those faded boxes, check the bottom and the inside of the lid.

Of course, mine came with 50 cigars inside. I burned them.

Bob
 

webmost

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It's worth a look, if you want to explore the true taste of traditional American cigars. Yes, they are machine made, and are short filler, and use a reconstituted tobacco sheet binder.
Thanks for the kind words; but this one bit is not true. The only gars using homogenized binder are the budget smokes. Tuscororas (I dunno who first spelt it thus), Smiths, and Smithdales, including the erstwhile Muniemakers, as well as Toppers, Amish, Gettysburg, etc etc etc are all wholly baccy, from filler to wrap.

That said, one of my four faves is actually the White Orchid budget smoke with a homogenized binder. It has a unique black tea tang to it.

If you like that kind of art, take a gander at these: http://laterdudette.com/images/FramedPics/

... BetsyRoss.stand.jpg
The colors on some of these is outstanding. Printed a century ago using inks & methods you just don't see today. I think someone said there's gold in the gold. Embossed stuff too.
 

deluxestogie

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Webmost, I appreciate the correction. (I think my wiring harness might have a few shorts.) The old Muniemaker boxes clearly state that they are all natural leaf.

Those brilliant, colored inks (prior to about 1990) often use pigments of heavy metals. Those are non-fading. (Only the consumer fades.)

Bob
 

OldDinosaurWesH

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Realgar (Arsenic Sulfide, As S) makes brilliant reds, Orpiment (Arsenic Sulfide As2 S3) makes brilliant oranges and yellows. Cinnabar (Mercury Sulfide, Hg S) also make brilliant reds aka: "Vermillion" formerly used in paints and makeup. A lot of lead compounds were formerly used in paints and inks. And of course, Uranium makes an interesting green colored glass. The list goes on. Fortunately we have learned a few things along the way. And they wonder why some of those artists died so young. This is why those 500 year old "Old Masters" are still so brilliantly colored. The mineral Azurite, ( Cu3 (CO3) (OH)2 )is still in use to make the pigment for "Ultramarine" and is very spendy stuff as Azurite is fairly rare and very expensive.

I guess that's enough mineralogy for one day. Minerals are my favorite subject. I have two museum grade Realgar crystals in my collection and they are the most beautiful shade of red you ever saw.

Wes H
 

Thedbs999

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Webmost, I'd love to have those hanging in my rec room. Beautiful art. Oh, and the White Orchid is a very good smoke. Iam pretty much done purchasing cigars at 5,6,7 dollars or more at the local B&M shop. That's why i decided to try growing my own. This is my first crop year and now have some in the kiln. Iam so glad i found this thread and tried FX Smith and Sons. Much easier on my retired budget.

Dan
 

webmost

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Webmost, I'd love to have those hanging in my rec room. Beautiful art. Oh, and the White Orchid is a very good smoke. Iam pretty much done purchasing cigars at 5,6,7 dollars or more at the local B&M shop. That's why i decided to try growing my own. This is my first crop year and now have some in the kiln. Iam so glad i found this thread and tried FX Smith and Sons. Much easier on my retired budget.

Dan

I can sell you some. Framing and matting are not cheap, tho... costs around 40 or 45 per. It's amazing how much goes into just that. Especially since these are not your standard photo frame sizes, so you have to go for custom. If you want some, shoot me a PM.

WM
 
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