Durham Tobacco Timeline 

Interview Source
Tobacco History
Tobacco Timeline Relevant to Durham, North Carolina
1839: Agriculture, North Carolina: SLADE "yallercure" presages flue-cured Bright tobacco. Charcoal used in flue-curing for the first time in North Carolina. Not only cheaper, its intense heat turns the thinner, low-nicotine Piedmont leaf a brilliant golden color. This results in the classic American "Bright leaf" variety, which is so mild it virtually invites a smoker to inhale it.(RK), (ATS)
1849: J.E. Liggett and Brother is established in St. Louis, Mo., by John Edmund Liggett
1850: Bartlett Durham offered free land for the railroads to build a station on his property
1852: Washington Duke, a young tobacco farmer, builds a modest, two-story home near Durham, NC, for himself and his new bride. The house, and the log structure which served as a "tobacco factory" after the Civil War may still be seen at the Duke Homestead Museum
1852: Matches are introduced, making smoking more convenient
1853: Durham Station established
1856: James Buchanan "Buck" Duke is born to Washington "Wash" Duke, an independent farmer who hated the plantation class, opposed slavery, and raised food and a little tobacco
1860: Statistics:  Virginia and North Carolina list 348 tobacco factories, virtually all producing chewing tobacco. Only 6 list smoking tobacco as a side-product (which is manufactured from scraps left over from plug production).
1860: Manufactured cigarettes appear. A popular early brand is Bull Durham
1861-1865: USA: The Civil War: Tobacco is given with rations by both North and South; many Northerners are introduced to tobacco this way. During Sherman's march, Union soldiers, now attracted to the mild, sweet "bright" tobacco of the South, raided warehouses--including Washington Duke's--for some chew on the way home. Some bright made it all the way back. Bright tobacco becomes the rage in the North.
1864: Civil War: The first federal cigarette excise tax is imposed to help pay for the Civil War.
1864: First American cigarette factory opens and produces almost 20 million cigarettes.
1865: Civil War ended:  Troops camped around Durham Station waiting for the surrender at Durham Station exhaust local farmers' supply of tobacco.  Later troops wrote to Durham station looking for more of the local tobacco. 
1865: Durham Population: 2,000
1874: Washington Duke, with sons Ben Duke and “Buck” Duke, builds his first tobacco factory
1875: Allen and Ginter offer a reward of $75,000 for cigarette rolling machine.
1875: Richmond, VA: Allen & Ginter cigarette brands ("Richmond Straight Cut No. 1," "Pet") begin using picture cards to stiffen the pack and give the buyer a premium. Some themes: "Fifty Scenes of Perilous Occupations," "Flags of All Nations," boxers, actresses, famous battles, etc. The cards are a huge hit
1876: Centennial Celebration, Philadelphia: Allen & Ginter's cigarette displays are so impressive that some writers thought the Philadelphia exposition marked the birth of the cigarette as well as the telephone.
1878: Brodie Duke builds warehouse in Durham
1878: J.E. Liggett & Brother incorporates as Liggett & Myers Company. By 1885 Liggett is world's largest plug tobacco manufacturer; doesn't make cigarettes until the 1890's
1880s: Buck Duke's aggressive salesman Edward Featherston Small hires cigarette saleswoman, Mrs. Leonard.
In .St. Louis, when retailers ignored him, Small advertised for a saleswoman. A petite, thin-lipped widow, a Mrs. Leonard, applied for the job and was accepted. This little stunt gave Dukes thousands of dollars of free publicity in local newspapers
1880: Bonsack machine granted first cigarette machine patent
1881:  Buck Duke enters the manufactured cigarette business, moving 125 Russian Jewish immigrants to Durham, NC. First cigarette: Duke of Durham brand. Duke's factory produces 9.8 million cigarettes, 1.5 % of the total market
1884: Duke heads to New York City to take his tobacco business national and form a cartel that eventually becomes the American Tobacco Company (ATC).  Duke buys 2 Bonsack machines, getting one of them to produce 120,000 cigarettes in 10 hours by the end of the year. In this year Duke produces 744 million cigarettes, more than the national total in 1883. Duke's airtight contracts with Bonsack allow him to undersell all competitors.
1886: Buck Duke targets women with "Cameo" brand.
1887: His contracts with Bonsack unknown to competitors, Duke slashes prices, sparking price war he knew he'd win.
1889-04-23: The five leading cigarette firms, including W. Duke Sons & Company, unite to form new American Tobacco Company (ATC). Buck Duke emerges as the president.
1890: Statistic: Peak of chewing tobacco consumption in US, three pounds per capita.
1890: Dukes establish the American Tobacco Company, which will soon monopolize the entire US tobacco industry. ATC will be dissolved in Anti-Trust action in 1911.
1898: controlling interest in Blackwell was bought out by Union Tobacco Co., which promptly sold it to American.
1899: L&M taken into Duke's Tobacco Trust. Duke has finally won Bull Durham brand of chew.
1900: Statistics: 4.4 billion cigarettes are sold this year. The anti-cigarette movement has destroyed many smaller companies. Buck Duke is selling 9 out of 10 cigarettes in the US.
1900: RJ Reynolds reluctantly folds his company into Duke's Tobacco Trust
1901: Duke fuses his Continental Tobacco and American Tobacco companies into Consolidated Tobacco
1901: UK: Duke's Consolidated buys the British Ogden tobacco firm, signaling a raid on the British industry.
1901-12-10: UK: Incorporation of The Imperial Tobacco Co. (ITC) of Great Britain & Ireland Ltd.; 13 of the largest British tobacco companies, including W. D. & H.O. Wills, unite to combat Duke's take-over, and form  Bristol-based ITC
1902: In an end to the war, Imperial and American agree to stay in their own countries, and unite to form the British American Tobacco Company (BAT) to sell both companies' brands abroad.
1902: Tobacconists (future Durham Bulls) began playing
1903: ITC, Ltd. of Great Britain & Ireland established branch of leaf buying organization in Durham
1904: Duke forms the American Tobacco Co. (ATC) by the merger of 2 subsidiaries, Consolidated and American & Continental. The only form of tobacco Duke does not control is cigars--the form with the most prestige.
1905: ATC acquires R.A. Patterson's Lucky Strike company.
1907: ATC purchases Butler & Butler, acquiring the Pall Mall brand.
1907: Regulation: Teddy Roosevelt's Justice Department files anti-trust charges against American Tobacco.
1909: 15 states have passed legislation banning the sale of cigarettes.
1911: Statistics: Duke's ATC controls 92% of the world's tobacco business. Leading National Brand: Fatima, (first popular brand to be sold in 20-unit packs; 15 cents) from L&M, a Turkish/domestic blend. Most popular in Eastern urban areas. Other Turkish/domestic competitors: Omar (ATC); Zubelda (Lorillard); Even the straight domestic brands were seasoned with a sprinkling of Turkish, likeSweet Caporals (originally made for F.S. Kinney and later for ATC) Leading Brand in Southeast: Piedmont, an all-Bright leaf brand. 
1911: Statistic: Tobacco-growing is allowed in England for the first time in more than 250 years.
1911: ATC establishes a Research Department.
1911-05-29: "Trustbusters" break up American Tobacco Co. (ATC) US Supreme Court dissolves Duke's trust as a monopoly and in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890). The major companies to emerge are: ATC, R.J. Reynolds, L&M (Durham), Lorillard and BAT. RJ Reynolds says, "Now watch me give Buck Duke hell."
  • Liggett & Myers was given about 28 per cent of the cigarette market:  Piedmont     American Beauty     Home Run     Imperiales     Coupon     King Bee     Fatima (the only 15
  • Turkish blend and the cheap straight domestic brands.  
  • P. Lorillard received 15 per cent of the nation's business:  Helmar     Murad     Mogul     Egyptian Deities     Turkish Trophies     and all straight Turkish brands
  • American Tobacco retained 37 per cent of the market:  Sweet Caporal     Hassan     Mecca     Pall Mall (its expensive all-Turkish brand, named for a fashionable London street in the 18th century where "pall-mall" (a precursor to croquet) was played).                                      
  • R. J. Reynolds received no cigarette line but was awarded 20 per cent of the plug trade.
1912: Newly freed L&M introduces "Chesterfield" brand cigarettes, with slogan, “They do satisfy”
1917: There are now 3 standard brands of cigarettes on the US market: Lucky Strike, Camel and Chesterfield. R.J. Reynolds suspects American Tobacco of disseminating rumors of salt petre in tobacco, and factor workers with leprosy and syphilis. Claims that agents would enter streetcars, one from the front and one from the rear, and hold a loud conversation about these...and then exit to repeat again and again. R.J. Reynolds posts $500 reward notices. (Pollay)
1917: ATC unleashes an ad campaign for Lucky Strike aimed at women: "Avoid that future shadow," warns one ad, comparing ladies' jowls.
1917-1918: World War I: US joins. Cigarette rations determined by market share, a great boost to Camel, which had over 1/3 domestic market.  Virtually an entire generation return from the war addicted to cigarettes.  Turkish leaf is unavailable; American tobacco farmers get up to 70 cents/pound.  Those opposed to sending cigarettes to doughboys are accused of being traitors. According to General John J. Pershing: “You ask me what we need to win this war. I answer tobacco as much as bullets. Tobacco is as indispensable as the daily ration; we must have thousands of tons without delay.”
1918: War Department buys the entire output of Bull Durham tobacco. Bull Durham advertises, "When our boys light up, the Huns will light out."
1918-19: influenza epidemic
1924: Durham: Buck Duke gives endowment to Trinity College. Under fund provisions, Trinity becomes Duke University.
1925: James “Buck” Buchanan Duke dies.
1925: Liberty Warehouse opens
1926: team moved to newly constructed El Toro Park on Corporation Street
1926: L&M Chesterfield targets women for second-hand smoke in "Blow some my way" ad. There is a public outcry.
1927: Luckies target women A sensation is created when George Washington Hill aims Lucky Strike advertising campaign at women for the first time, using testimonials from female movie stars and singers. Soon Lucky Strike has 38% of the American market. Smoking initiation rates among adolescent females triple between 1925-1935. 
1935 or 1936: Tobacco workers strike at Liggett & Myers, Union formed
1938:  Tobacco allotments by state of NC are begun
1939: Original El Toro Park burned to the ground
1941: Beginning of World War II
1942: "Lucky Strike Green Goes to War"
1944: February strike of tobacco workers
1944: Huge fire destroys many of Durham’s tobacco warehouses
1940s: the Brodie Duke Warehouse was converted to a smoking tobacco warehouse
1984: Last tobacco sold at Liberty Warehouse
1987: movie “Bull Durham” was filmed here
1988: the Durham City Council voted to officially change the city’s nickname from the “Bull City” (named for Bull Durham Tobacco) to the “City of Medicine”
1998: new ballpark was opened on the other side of downtown
2000: September, last cigarettes manufactured in Durham as L&M moves their operation to Mebane, NC