The History

1492 | Christopher Columbus discovers the new world. Rodrigo de Jerez and Luis de Torres disembark in Cuba. Upon their return they note, 'These envoys met a great number of Indians, both men and women, who were holding a small piece of smouldering tinder with which to light certain herbs with which they perfume themselves, following their custom'.

1493 | Upon returning to Europe, the Spanish envoy, Luis de Torres, having lit up these peculiar tobacco leaves acquired from the New World, was arrested and condemned to 10 years imprisonment for sorcery.

1519 | Cortez arrives in Mexico and is confronted be the Aztecs who are also tobacco smokers but these enjoyed their leaves in pipes.

1520 | Tobacco is circulating through the Spanish ports of Seville, Cadiz, Cartagena and Moguer and the Portuguese port of Lisbon.

1525 | The first documented praise of tobacco written by, Jean d'Ango, a famous shipbuilder read, 'Yesterday I met an old sailor and I drank a jug of Brittany wine with him. While drinking he suddenly pilled out of his wallet a while clay object which at first I thought was a schoolboy's inkhorn. You would have said it was an inkhorn with a long pipe and a small mouth; he filled the wide end with brown leaves which he had crushed in the palm of his hands, set fire to it by means of a tinderbox, and the very next moment, having put the pipe between his lips, he was blowing smoke out of his mouth, which I found quite astounding. He apprised me that the Portuguese had taught him this trick, which they had learned from the Mexican Indians. He called it 'smoking' and said that this smoking sharpened the mind and produced happy thoughts.'

1530 | Tobacco served as the first currency of trade for African coastal slaves.

1542 | Bartolomé de Las Casas, a Dominican writer wrote in his, Breve Relación dela Destrucción de las Indias (A Very Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies) a most accurate description of the tobacco, "They were dried herbs rolled up in a certain led, also dried, forming a kind of paper 'fusee' like children make for the feast of Pentecost. People lit them at one end, sucked the other, and absorbed the smoke by breathing it in. This smoke...prevented them, they claimed, from feeling sleepy. These 'fusees,' or whatever we may call them, they themselves called 'tobaccos.'"

1556 | The first tobacco seeds were planted in Angoulême, France by André Thevet, a Cordelier monk.

1560 | Jean Nicot discovers the mysterious healing properties of tobacco leaves and cures the Queen, by administering tobacco in the form of snuff, of her severe migraines.

1567 | Jean Liébault, the son of a famous printer, in publishing, Agriculture and the Rustic House, he officially refers to the tobacco plant as Nicotiana, a clear homage to Jean Nicot who first acquired and studied the plant from the royal gardens in Portugal.

1580 | The English bring tobacco to Russia and the Italians bring the plant to Turkey.

1590 | Tobacco reaches Japan through the Portuguese navigators.

1595 | The Indian Mogul Empire is presented with the tobacco plant as is Morocco, Persia, Egypt and the Philippines.

1610 | Sir Francis Bacon writes that tobacco use is increasing and that it is a custom hard to quit.

1612 | John Rolfe, the famous husband of Indian princess Pocahontas, introduces tobacco into Virginia.

1623 | Following a decree by British King Philip III, the island of Cuba becomes the dispatch hub for tobacco to the entire Spanish Empire to include, Costa Rica, Mexico and the Canary Islands.

1717 | Madrid builds Cuba's first tobacco factory for exports to Seville.

1729-1796 | Catherine The Great was an avid cigar smoker. To avoid soiling her fingers with tobacco stains, she is credited as being the first to put a band around a cigar.

1748-1753 | Cuba exports an average of 800 tons of tobacco to Spain.

1779 | Pope Pius the VI grants a German tobacco manufacturer the first permit to produce and market 'tobacco sticks' (bastoni di tabacco).

1788 | Cigar production and distribution begins in Germany. Cigars are seen as the ultimate sign of well-being and bourgeoisie.

1810 | The United States joins the cigar trade rolling one foot long 'stogies' in Pennsylvania.

1816 | France joins the cigar trade, then Austria, who names their cigars, 'Virginians' in to the United States.

1827 | Don Jaime Partagás founds his tobacco firm which still remains in the city of Havana.

1834 | Por Larañaga emerges as a Cuban cigar brand.

1837 | Ramón Allones emerges as a brand in Cuba while overall tobacco production reaches 6,000 tons.

1840 | Manuel López of Cuba registers Punch as a trademark, to facilitate his entry into the British market.?The Cuban name for a puro or cigar adopts the name of Cuba's capital Havana.

1844 | H. Upmann and Partagás register their trademarks.

1848 | El Rey del Mundo and Sancho Panza are established as trademarks by the German wholesaler, Emilio Ohmstedt.

1850 | Romeo y Julieta is created by Inocenci Alvarez and Manin Garcia.


1851 | The Catalán José Gener founds Hoyo de Monterrey.?Cigar bands are first introduced and tobacco houses are soon commissioned by famous politicians, artists and society figures.

1920s | Bonnie and Clyde smoke Cuban cigars as they wreak havoc across the Southwest during the Depression.

1935 | Montecristo, the most popular brand in the world, is created.

1959 | Castro's insurgents enter Havana, nationalize the tobacco industry and place it under the powerful auspices of state owned, Cubatabaco.

1963 | Cohiba, a term used by the Taíno Indians to describe cigars and tobacco, is launched as Fidel's choice cigar and reserved, at first, only for friends of the Revolution.

1992 | The Línea 1492 is launched to commemorate the 5 centuries since tobacco was discovered in Cuba, by Christopher Columbus.

1992 | The largest female smoking club, The George Sand Society, is founded in Santa Monica, CA. George Sand (1804-187O) the famous French writer, was known to stride about Paris in men's trousers, trench coats and neckties, smoking Cuban cigars - sometimes as many as 7 a day!

2000 | The 1st Series of Edición Limitada is released and includes, Romeo y Julieta Exhibición No.2 Double Corona, Partagás Piramides and Montecristo Robustos. These cigars are marked by their oily, dark or maduro wrappers, and excellent construction. An additional band is added to these cigars which notes the date of the Edición Series.

2001 | The 2nd Series of Edición Limitadas. These include Hoyo Particulares, Partagas Série D No. 3, Cohiba Píramides, Montecristo Double Corona and the Romeo y Julieta Robusto.

2002 | Cohiba releases the X Anniversary Línea 1492 commemorative humidor to celebrate 10 years since the release of the Humidor.. 500 cases are produced and each contain the 1492 selection: Siglo I, II, III, IV, V with the special addition of the new Siglo VI.

2003 | Siglo VI is released individually, in limited quantities, as an official member of the Cohiba collection. Known as a Cañonazo this exclusive cigar measures 150mm and has a ring gauge of 52.?The 3rd Series of Edición Limitadas is released and includes, Romeo y Julieta Hermosos No. 1, Partagas Série D No. 2, Hoyo de Monterrey Pirámides, Montecristo 'C' and Cohiba Double Coronas.

2004 | Edmundo, the main character from the novel, The Count of Montecristo, is released onto the market as Montecristo's newest release in 30 years. Designed in a heavy ring gauge of 52 and a suitable length of 135mm or 5.3in ?The 4th Series of Edición Limitadas is released and includes, Romeo y Julieta Hermosos No. 2 and Partagas Série D No. 1