This small cardboard cigar box has such an interesting history. Jose Melendi came from a family of Cuban cigar makers, but by 1926 he had left Cuba and established his own cigar factory in New York City, importing his tobacco from Cuba. After the Cuban revolution of 1959, he saw that good tobacco was going to be hard to import and by 1960 he sold his factory and began working as a consultant to several cigar companies. One company for whom he consulted was J. B. Back & Co., and it was during this time that Back let him experiment with creating his own cigar. After a year of trying different blends, he created the Jose Melendi cigar, which Back manufactured, until J. B. Back & Co. shut down in 1986. Since the USA had an embargo on Cuban tobacco, cigars makers couldn’t use Cuba’ tobacco, but Back was clever to market this cigar as “made under Cuban supervision.” Notice that the cigars sold for 55 cents when these were made in the 1970-80s. Good cigars sell for quite a bit more now.
The box measures 6 1/8” wide, 6 15/16” deep and 1 1/8” tall. The graphics on the box are excellent and all tags are still intact. One corner is very slightly mashed and there is one place where the paper was scraped. The lid dips a slight bit, but the few other Jose Melendi boxes I researched had the same slope; so I don’t know if that was done on purpose or not.
This would be a great addition to your tobacco or box collection. Please contact us if you have any questions.
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