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Allen and Ginter was the , tobacco manufacturing firm formed by John Allen and Lewis Ginter in 1875 that created and marketed the first cigarette cards for collecting and trading. Some of the cards in the series include Charles Comiskey, Cap Anson, Jack Glasscock, and Buffalo Bill.

The company also offered a prize for the invention of a machine able to roll cigarettes (which until then had been hand-rolled). James Albert Bonsack won this prize with his 1880/81 invention. Because it was not completely reliable, all but one of the large tobacco manufacturers declined to buy the machine. James Buchanan Duke did buy this cigarette rolling machine in 1885 and used it to great success; by 1890 he had consolidated his four major competitors, including Allen & Ginter, and formed the American Tobacco Companymarker. The "Allen & Ginter Company" was no more, but Lewis Ginter sat on the board of the American Tobacco Company.

The cigarette brands of Allen & Ginter included Richmond Gems, Virginia Brights, Perfection, Dandies and Little Beauties.


  1. Pritcher, Lynn. "More About Tobacco Advertising and the Tobacco Collections." Duke University Libraries. 24 January 2008. 10 April 2008.

See also

Further reading

  • Robert Sobel The Entrepreneurs: Explorations Within the American Business Tradition (Weybright & Talley 1974), chapter 5, James Buchanan Duke: Opportunism Is the Spur ISBN 0-679-40064-8.

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