Swisher cigars had a modest beginning: to settle a debt in 1861, a small cigar business was handed over to David Swisher, a wagon merchant from Newark, OH. David, who worked with his four sons, treated the smokes as just another item they could offer while traveling through the Midwest in their horse-drawn "rolling stores."
Rolled by hand, the Ohio-based company was producing several hundred cigars per day by 1870. And the company took off: within 25 years, two of David's sons (Harry and John) would buy the company, renaming it Swisher Brothers. By 1895 the company had expanded to three factories, employing over 1,000 workers, producing over 300,000 sticks a day. Harry eventually sold his half of the business to his brother, who brought his son Carl into the business. The company was renamed again as John H. Swisher & Son, and was relocated to Jacksonville, FL.
Not just entrepreneurs, the Swishers were innovators - purchasing the first cigar rolling machines, capable of producing much more uniform smokes in both appearance and quality. The company was also the first to wrap finished cigars in cellophane sleeves, and even invented a means for easily removing the cellophane by pulling on the cigar's band.
By 1930, the Great Depression hit the country hard and millions of Americans were unemployed. But while other companies were laying people off, the Swishers were hiring. They created what is known today as "day care," by building the country's first children's nursery on the top floor of their Jacksonville headquarters. Named for the company's flagship cigar brand, The King Edward Nursery employed a staff of professional nurses and assistants who worked around the clock. A year later, King Edward became the world's bestselling cigars, and by 1941 the Swishers owned the world's largest single cigar factory.
Swishers Sweets cigars were introduced in 1958 and their success grew to worldwide proportions. The brand's lines included Swisher Sweets Little Cigars, Swisher Sweets Cigarillos, Tip Cigarillos, Sweet Coronellas, Wood Tips, Slims, Perfecto, Blunt, and Kings. By 1964 the company was producing over 4 million smokes per day.
Today, Swisher Sweets can also be found in a variety of flavors, including peach, menthol, strawberry, chocolate, cherry, grape, white grape, wine, and regular.
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Comparing Swisher Sweets versus cigarettes can be confusing. While their production methods are similar (both are made by machine), there are some very big differences in the finished products; we'll highlight the most important two. When comparing swisher Sweets and cigarettes, the first - and most obvious difference - is the wrapper. Swisher sweets use a homogenized tobacco outer wrapper; that is, tobacco leaf trimmings are finely ground, and water is added to make a pulp. The pulp is then laid out as a sheet to dry, then cut to size to wrap the little cigar. Cigarettes use a paper that's been impregnated with additives to make sure the cigarette doesn't go out. On the inside, Swishers utilize a blend of tobaccos called "chop fill" - which is basically a tobacco shred. Cigarettes also use a very fine cut of filler, but includes other combustibles as filler at the center of the cigarette. It's also important to remember that, when comparing Swishers Sweets vs cigarettes, they're not smoked the same way: cigarettes are inhaled, while Swishers Sweets are not.