To understand the topic of cigar boxes, one must enter the “way-back” machine to the early 1800’s. Although cigar boxes had been around in those days they were not widely available in consumer sizes; you only had the box-size choice of 25, 50 or 100. Suddenly the country was saddled with the Civil War. And along with that tragedy entered a bunch of various tax laws targeted at the boxes that held cigars. Yes, even back in those times, the government was able to dip its claws of taxes at cigar boxes. And so it was ordained that all boxes of cigars would be boxed, packed and sold and include, a stamp of sale, the same stamp cut to pieces when opened.
Why use a cigar box opener you may ask? Well, it was pretty much a “prestige” thing for the cigar owner and lover of the smell. If you’ve seen old-time movies from that era, you may recall never seeing an actor smoking a cigarette; it was always a cigar. And there were many other ways to open a cigar box:
* Your fingernails
* Pocket knives
* Table knives
* Even a screwdriver
But the proper tool to use that gets the job done best and faster, was a cigar box opener. These unique tools were specifically designed to slit the advertising label pasted on the end, damaging the tax stamp (a requirement), pry up the nail sealing the box and do all this quickly with minimal damage to your fingers.
Note: Originally, cigar box openers were manufactured and patented offering three options:
* Square End – Scarce
* Bar – The Most Common
* Single Headed Hammer – Rare
* Round Headed – Scarce
One of the first patent cigar box openers looked like what many men carried in those days: A pocket knife.