The Trust Problem in the United States

By Eliot Jones | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII 1
THE AMERICAN TOBACCO COMPANY

The history of the tobacco trust begins with the organization of the American Tobacco Company in 1890. After 1887, attempts had been made to consolidate some of the leading manufacturers of cigarettes, but these efforts proved unsuccessful until 1890.2 On January 21 of that year the American Tobacco Company was incorporated in the state of New Jersey, with a capital of $25,000,000,--$15,000,000 common, and $10,000,000 preferred.3 The American Tobacco Company was a consolidation of five of the leading manufacturers of cigarettes, producing

____________________
1
On the tobacco trust see: Report of the Commissioner of Corporations on the Tobacco Industry, part I, Position of the Tobacco Combination in the Industry ( February 25, 1909), part II, Capitalization, Investment, and Earnings ( September 25, 1911), and part III, Prices, Costs and Profits ( March 15, 1915); Original Petition in United States v. American Tobacco Company et al.; Transcript of Record, in five volumes, in United States v. American Tobacco Company et al. (no. 660), and in American Tobacco Company et al. v. United States (no. 661); Brief for the United States in United States v. American Tobacco Company et al. (no. 118), and in American Tobacco Company et al. v. United States (no. 119); 164 Fed. Rep. 700-728; 191 Fed. Rep.371-431; 221 U. S.106-193; Industrial Commission, vol. XIII, pp. 305-342; Report of Joint Committee of the Senate and Assembly appointed to investigate trusts, transmitted to the New York State Legislature, March 9, 1897 ( Lexow Report), pp. 860-926, 983-998; Jacobstein , The Tobacco Industry in the United States.
2
Report of the Commissioner of Corporations on the Tobacco Industry, part I, pp. 64-65. Referred to hereafter as Report on the Tobacco Industry.
3
The fair value of the tangible assets acquired by the American Tobacco Company was $3,545,108 plus notes of the organizers amounting to $1,825,354, a total of $5,370,462. The balance ($19,629,538) might be regarded as representing good will. The Bureau of Corporations, however, found the good will to be worth only $8,954,892. The overcapitalization, therefore, was very marked. See Report on the Tobacco Industry, part II, p. 8.

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