Turning the Century: Essays in Media and Cultural Studies

By Carol A. Stabile | Go to book overview
574-575). It is misleading, though not necessarily inaccurate, to assert, as Chandler does, that fifteen Bonsacks produced as many cigarettes as were sold in the United States in 1880. The Bonsack, although patented in 1881, was not improved and put into use by Duke until 1884. In the intervening time, Duke had steadily increased sales; so by 1884, the 1880 sales figures were no longer relevant.
55
Tilley 1948, 559.
56
See Chandler ( 1977, 289-291) for a discussion of the impact of continuous-flow technology, new transportation and communication infrastructures, and raw-material purchasing networks on Duke's success.
57
Strasser 1989, 23.
58
Porter and Livesay 1971, 202.
59
Figures on production costs are from Tennant ( 1950, 18).
60
Winkler 1942, 66.
61
Tilley 1948, 558.
62
Porter and Livesay 1971, 202.
63
Tennant ( 1950, 24) puts this 20 percent figure at $800,000; Tilley quotes a trade publication report that expenditures for advertising alone were $600,000 that year ( Tilley 1948, 576). It should be noted that these numbers represent advertising not only for cigarettes but also for other tobacco products manufactured and sold by Duke.
64
The 1880 figure is from Goodman ( 1993, 230); the 1889 figures are from Tennant ( 1950, 24-25). The question of whether all of these new cigarette smokers were new to the tobacco habit, or had switched from other tobacco products, is speculative. We do know that yearly per capita consumption of tobacco in general increased steadily from 2.9 pounds in 1870 to 7.18 pounds in 1920, so the new cigarette smokers might have been previous nonusers of tobacco. Available figures comparing relative consumption of tobacco products are of limited use here, because they routinely take the year 1900 as their starting point; however, it seems clear that cigarettes did not replace cigars in any major way in the 1880s, since cigar use did not decrease until 1917 (see Norris 1990, 127). It does seem clear, though, that Duke perceived his cigarettes to be in direct competition with Bull Durham smoking tobacco. And although figures for plug consumption previous to 1900 are remarkably difficult to find, we do know that in 1900, its use was already declining sharply. Overall, in 1901, per capita consumption of tobacco products was: 0.14 pounds of cigarettes; 1.5 pounds of cigars; 1.23 pounds of smoking tobacco; 1.9 pounds of chewing tobacco; and 0.23 pounds of snuff (see Tilley 1948, 618).

References

Allen, Robert C. 1991. Horrible Prettiness: Burlesque and American Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Chandler, Alfred D., Jr. 1977. The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

The Cigarette Manufacture at Richmond. 1883. Leslie's Illustrated. February 10: 420.

"Cigarettes." 1884. New York Times. January 29: 4.

Enrico, Dottie. 1999. Top 10 Advertising Icons. "Advertising Age Special Issue: The Advertising Century". 42-46.

"The Fragrant Cigarette: One of the Newest of American Industries." 1881. New York Times. March 4: 11.

-120-

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