1760 French immigrant Pierre Lorillard founds LORILLARD
1783 With the "Peace of Paris" the United States of America become independent from Great Britain.
1803 USA buys Louisiana from France (today's Arkansas, Iowa, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wyoming)
1810 Foundation of FRISHMUTH BROS & CO.
1819 Florida becomes part of USA
1838 Foundation of S.F. HESS & CO.
1845 Texas becomes part of USA
1846 California and New Mexico become part of USA
1848 Arizona becomes part of USA
1849 John Edmund Liggett establishes J.E. LIGGETT & BROTHER
1852 Foundation of CHRISTIAN PEPER TOBACCO COMPANY
1856 Foundation of JOHN MIDDLETON TOBACCO COMPANY
1860 LORILLARD celebrates it's 100th birthday by wrapping 100$ bills at random in CENTURY cigarette tobacco packs.
One of the first popular cigarettes at USA is BULL DURHAM.
1867 USA buys Alaska from Russia
1869 JOHN ALLEN introduces his first brand SWEET CAPORAL.
BLACKWELL & CO. buys BULL DURHAM brand from JOHN GREEN.
JOHN EDMUND LIGGETT creates his first cigarettes
1870 BEDROSSIAN BROS. are the first ones mixing US and oriental tobacco in a cigarette
1871 R.A. Patterson founds the LUCKY STRIKE COMPANY
1873 RUFUS AND WILLIAM BROWN open a tobacco factory at Mocksville
1875 Richard Joshua Reynolds founds R.J. REYNOLDS.
ALLEN & GINTER COMPANY introduces picture cards at their cigarette brands RICHMOND STRAIGHT CUT NO.1 and PET. The cards are a huge hit.
1876 RUFUS AND WILLIAM BROWN move from Mocksville to Winston
1877 Charles and Herbert Larus found LARUS & BROTHER CO. INC.
Foundation of SCHINASI BROS.
1878 John Edmund Liggett & George S. Myers found LIGGETT & MYERS COMPANY
1880 James Bonsack invents the first cigarette producing machine (200 cigarettes a minute), but it doesn't work properly until 1884
1881 W. DUKE, SONS & COMPANY begins manufacturing cigarettes, first brand is DUKE OF DURHAM
Foundation of WILLIAM S. KIMBALL & COMPANY
1883 Sam Leavitt and William Peirce found LEAVITT & PEIRCE
1884 W. DUKE, SONS & COMPANY leases 2 of the imperfect Bonsack machines and brings them with the help of a mechanic from the Bonsack Machine Company finally to run. James Buchanan (Buck) Duke opens a branch of W. DUKE, SONS & COMPANY at New York. Within a few years it became the leading cigarette producer in USA.
1885 Sotorios Anargyros buys THOMSON TOBACCO COMPANY and renames it to S. ANARGYROS & CO.
1887 FELGNER joines MARBURG BROS.
1888 LIGGETT & MYERS COMPANY acquires DRUMMOND TOBACCO COMPANY
1889 James Buchanan (Buck) Duke founds AMERICAN TOBACCO COMPANY by merging ALLEN & GINTER COMPANY, F.S. KINNEY COMPANY, GOODWIN COMPANY, WILLIAM S. KIMBALL & COMPANY and W. DUKE, SONS & COMPANY, the 5 leading American tobacco companies at this time. This new company produced about 90% of all US cigarettes and became quickly known as the "tobacco trust".
1890 Foundation of LANE LIMITED
1895 AMERICAN TOBACCO COMPANY acquires CONSOLIDATED CIGARETTE COMPANY.
Stephane and Constantin Stephano found STEPHANO BROS TOBACCO COMPANY.
1896 GEORGE BRWON & ROBERT WILLIAMSON (both fathers had already tobacco factories) establish a joint company
1898 Hawai becomes part of USA.
AMERICAN TOBACCO COMPANY founds CONTINENTAL TOBACCO COMPANY and acquires ECKMEYER & CO.
1899 BENSON & HEDGES opens a branch at New York.
AMERICAN TOBACCO COMPANY
acquires BLACKWELL, DRUMMOND, LIGGETT & MYERS TOBACCO COMPANY, P. LORILLARD COMPANY, MONOPOLE TOBACCO WORKS and NATIONAL CIGARETTE COMPANY
1900 AMERICAN TOBACCO COMPANY acquires S. ANARGYROS & CO. and R.J. REYNOLDS.
1901 James Buchanan (Buck) Duke fuses his CONTINENTAL TOBACCO COMPANY and AMERICAN TOBACCO COMPANY into CONSOLIDATED TOBACCO.
Foundation of PENN TOBACCO COMPANY
1902 CONSOLIDATED TOBACCO and IMPERIAL TOBACCO (GB) found BAT (2 thirds owned by Consolidated, 1 third by Imperial) in order to sell both companies' brands abroad.
PHILIP MORRIS (GB) establishes PHILIP MORRIS at New York.
1903 Foundation of AXTON FISHER TOBACCO CO.
AMERICAN TOBACCO CO.
acquires WELLS-WHITEHEAD
1904 CONSOLIDATED TOBACCO becomes AMERICAN TOBACCO CO..
Miltiades Melachrino founds M. MELACHRINO & CO.
1905 AMERICAN TOBACCO CO. acquires LUCKY STRIKE COMPANY.
Foundation of G.A. GEORGOPULO & CO..
NESTOR GIANACLIS opens a branch at Boston.
1906 BROWN & WILLIAMSON gets established
1907 AMERICAN TOBACCO CO. acquires BUTLER & BUTLER TOBACCO CO..
1911 Forced by US government AMERICAN TOBACCO CO. (controls now 92% of world's tobacco business) breaks up into AMERICAN TOBACCO CO. (with brands HASSAN, MECCA, OMAR, PALL MALL, SWEET CAPORAL), LIGGETT & MYERS TOBACCO COMPANY (with brands AMERICAN BEAUTY, COUPON, FATIMA, HOME RUN, IMPERIALES, KING BEE, PIEDMONT and all cheap straight domestic brands), P. LORRILARD COMPANY (with brands EGYPTIAN DEITIES, HELMAR, MOGUL, MURAD, TURKISH TROPHIES, ZUBELDA and all straight Turkish brands except FATIMA), R.J. REYNOLDS (no cigarette brands) and divests itself of it's BAT shares which opens the US market for it. BAT gets listed on the London Stock Exchange, most shares acquired by British investors.
1913 R.J. REYNOLDS launches CAMEL cigarettes, their first blended cigarette. It was named after a circus camel called Old Joe.
The same year they use for their pipe tobacco PRINCE ALBERT for the first time the term "AMERICAN BLEND".
AMERICAN TOBACCO CO. buys M. MELACHRINO & CO.
1915 Nicholaos I. Sossidi founds N.I. SOSSIDI
1919 GEORGE WHELAN TOBACCO acquires PHILIP MORRIS, moves it from New York to Richmond and introduces the coronet logo (veni, vidi, vici).
1921 Miltiades Melachrino founds one more time M. MELACHRINO & CO.
U.S. TOBACCO COMPANY
becomes U.S.T.C. OF NEW-JERSEY
1923 CAMEL has 45% of the US-market.
1925 BROWN & WILLIAMSON buys J.G. FLYNT TOBACCO.
1926 BROWN & WILLIAMSON buys R.P. RICHARDSON COMPANY.
AXTON-FISHER TOBACCO CO.
buys SPUD menthol brand from LLOYD HUGHES.
1927 BAT acquires BROWN & WILLIAMSON.
Foundation of DRUCQUER & SONS
1929 PHILIP MORRIS gets independent from GEORGE WHELAN TOBACCO, buys a cigarette factory in Richmond and finally begins manufacturing it's own cigarettes.
BROWN & WILLIAMSON
moves from Winston-Salem to Louisville.
1930 Nat Sherman and Charles Bear found NAT SHERMAN.
Top 5 US brands: LUCKY STRIKE , CAMEL, CHESTERFIELD, OLD GOLD, RALEIGH
1931 R.J. REYNOLDS is the first company using cellophane sealing for cigarette packs.
JULEP CIGARETTE COMPANY buys GOLD LEAF CIGARETTE & TOBACCO COMPANY
1932 Introduction of tax stamps (1 inch wide).
1934 PHILIP MORRIS acquires CONTINENTAL TOBACCO COMPANY
1936 BROWN & WILLIAMSON launches VICEROY, the first cigarette with a cork-tipped filter.
1939 AMERICAN TOBACCO CO. launches PALL MALL KING SIZE , the first King-Size cigarette ever.
1940 Top 5 US brands: CAMEL, LUCKY STRIKE, CHESTERFIELD, RALEIGH, OLD GOLD
1943 BLOCH BROS. TOBACCO COMPANY acquires PENN TOBACCO COMPANY
1944 PHILIP MORRIS acquires AXTON-FISHER TOBACCO CO.
1950 Top 5 US brands: CAMEL, LUCKY STRIKE, CHESTERFIELD, COMMANDER, OLD GOLD
1952 BROWN & WILLIAMSON launches VICEROY with a cellulose acetate filter, the first one worlwide.
1954 R.J. REYNOLDS launches WINSTON, the first big-selling filter cigarette.
PHILIP MORRIS acquires American BENSON & HEDGES.
1955 Tax stamps get smaller (3/4 of an inch wide).
PHILIP MORRIS invents the Flip-Top box and redesigns MARLBORO as they are known today.
1956 BAT acquires overseas business for BENSON & HEDGES brand.
R.J. REYNOLDS launches SALEM, the first filter-tipped menthol cigarette.
1958 PHILIP MORRIS acquires BENSON & HEDGES rights for American continent (except Canada) and introduces ALPINE cigarettes.
1960 No more tax stamps.
1964 BROWN & WILLIAMSON launches CARLTON, the first cigarette with tar and nicotine test results printed on it.
1966 WINSTON becomes best selling cigarette in USA.
1967 Introduction of new tax stamps at bottom and health warnings (starting with CAUTION:)
1968 LIGGETT & MYERS TOBACCO COMPANY becomes LIGGETT & MYERS.
Canadian ROTHMANS acquires LARUS & BROTHER CO. INC. and renames it to HOUSE OF EDGEWORTH.
1969 AMERICAN TOBACCO COMPANY becomes AMERICAN BRANDS.
1970 Top 5 US brands: WINSTON, PALL MALL, MARLBORO, SALEM, KOOL
1971 New health warnings starting with WARNING:, no more cigarette ads on TV
1972 The convention from 1902 between AMERICAN TOBACCO COMPANY, IMPERIAL TOBACCO (GB) and BAT is revoked. IMPERIAL TOBACCO (GB) and BAT get back the exclusive ownership of their original brands.
1974 BAT acquires STEPHANO BROS TOBACCO COMPANY
1975 MARLBORO overtakes WINSTON as the best-selling cigarette in USA.
1976 LIGGETT & MYERS becomes LIGGETT GROUP
1977 BAT acquires international business of LORILLARD.
1978 PHILIP MORRIS acquires international cigarette business of LIGGETT GROUP.
1979 Top 20 US brands: MARLBORO, WINSTON, KOOL, SALEM, PALL MALL, BENSON & HEDGES, CAMEL, MERIT, VANTAGE, KENT, CARLTON, GOLDEN LIGHTS, TAREYTON, VICEROY, TRUE, RALEIGH, VIRGINIA SLIMS, NEWPORT, PARLIAMENT, L&M
1980 LIGGETT GROUP gets bought by UK's GRAND METROPOLITAN and founds generic branch GARY TOBACCO CO.
1982 Foundation of SANTA FE NATURAL TOBACCO.
1984 Foundation of ROBERT A. GORDON CO.
1986 New health warnings starting with SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING:
1990 Foundation of G.A. ANDRON & CO. by buying G.A. GEORGOPULO.
Foundation of STAR TOBACCO.
Top 5 US brands: MARLBORO, WINSTON, SALEM, KOOL, NEWPORT
1994 BAT buys AMERICAN TOBACCO from AMERICAN BRANDS.
1995 Foundation of PREMIER MANUFACTURING INC.
1997 AMERICAN BRANDS renames itself to FORTUNE BRANDS after spinning-off it's last tobacco unit GALLAHER (GB) on the Londen Stock Exchange.
Foundation of GENERAL TOBACCO
1999 BATmerges with ROTHMANS INTERNATIONAL (NL).
R.J. REYNOLDS lost all it's non-US international tobacco operations to JAPAN TOBACCO.
PHILIP MORRIS acquires brands L&M, LARK and CHESTERFIELD from LIGGETT GROUP.
2000 Top 10 US brands: MARLBORO, DORAL, NEWPORT, CAMEL, WINSTON, BASIC, GPC, KOOL, SALEM, VIRGINIA SLIMS
2002 R.J. REYNOLDS buys SANTA FE NATURAL TOBACCO
2004 R.J. REYNOLDS buys BROWN & WILLIAMSON from BAT and renames itself to REYNOLDS AMERICAN
Closure of ROBERT A. GORDON CO.
2007 IMPERIAL TOBACCO (GB) acquires COMMONWEALTH BRANDS INC.
2010 Closure of GENERAL TOBACCO, terms like "light" and "mild" are no longer allowed
2014 REYNOLDS AMERICAN acquires LORILLARD
2017 BAT acquires REYNOLDS AMERICAN