By Editorial Staff
Contributed by Info Guru Oliver VanDervoort
We have seen some of our favorite celebrities smoking them, we’ve even probably taken the plunge and smoked one or two ourselves.
Cigars, or “Stogies” have long been held in high esteem in the United States and other parts of the world. Cigars are still incredibly popular, despite the fact that their ugly little step brother, the cigarette is being treated … like an ugly little step brother. But where did the cigar come from? Who is the most recognizable cigar smoker in the world? How did it get its name? We bring you the top ten Stogie facts that you have just been dying to know.
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10. The Humidor
The Humidor is not a remotely new invention. Most people believe that the Irish born Manning family was the first to make something that would allow people to store their cigars and keep them nice and moist and smokeable. The humidor is first thought to have been created in the late 19th century.
9. Columbus Discovered Cohiba
Columbus wrote about an island nation he found, that he called Cohiba (later becoming Cuba). On this island he noticed that the citizens were rolling and smoking leaves of the Cohiba plant. Eventually this grew into what we now know as the Cohiba cigar.
8. Bill Clinton Loved a Good Cigar
While it wasn’t a particularly good movie, Behind Enemy Lines was based on a true story about a fighter pilot who was shot down in Bosnia during the Clinton years. One story says that when President Clinton found out the pilot had been rescued, he lit up one of his favorite kinds of cigars, a Romeo Y Julieta.
7. Fidel Castro had a favorite Brand
Being the Cuban dictator, it is not surprising that Fidel Castro was a cigar enthusiast. According to several reports, Castro’s brand of choice was not surprisingly the Cohiba.
6. Where “Stogie” Came From
The term “Stogie” is now synonymous with cigars in general, but back in the day they actually described a covered Conestoga (stogie) wagon that was used to display and advertise a special brand of cheaper, more pungent cigar in Pennsylvania.
5. Cigar Ring Evolution
Cigar rings used to be something that were used to protect those who wore white gloves while they smoked from getting stained by the cigar papers. These days the rings are mostly just a cosmetic addition and a brand mark.
4. Twain’s Love of Cigars
Mark Twain is one of the greatest American writers of all time. He was also quite prolific. His cigar smoking was prolific in its own right as it has been widely reported that he smoked as many as 300 cigars a month.
3. George Burns
Another famous cigar smoker was George Burns. According to the comedian he started smoking before the age of 12 and smoked until the end of his life. Burns’ favorite cigars are reported to have been El Productos. There may not have been a more iconic cigar aficionado in the 20th century.
2. Hand Rolled is the Way to Go
While there are cigarette lovers who will roll their own, cigars are known the world over as being much, much better when they are hand rolled. This does make for a longer process. On average an expert in rolling will be able to churn out about 120 cigars a day. After all that work make sure you have a professional cigar lighter to enjoy your handiwork.
1. Cuban Embargo
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Perhaps the United States’ most famous cigar story is that of President Kennedy and the Cuban Embargo. On the day that Kennedy signed the embargo, he first told his press secretary Pierre Salinger to go out and get as many Upmanns as humanly possible. This was Kennedy’s favorite Cuban cigar.
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