A RICH HISTORY OF MAKING HISTORY.
Swisher traces its roots back to 1861 when David Swisher, a merchant out of Newark, Ohio, received a small cigar business in settlement of a debt. David and his four sons began to sell cigars across the Midwest from their “rolling stores” or wagons. The cigars were rolled by hand every day in a one-room “manufactury” in Newark. In 1888, David’s sons, John and Harry, bought the company from their father and renamed it Swisher Brothers. The company experienced great growth, and by 1895 the business had grown into three factories that employed over 1,000 people who hand-rolled as many as 300,000 cigars per day.
In 1913, John bought out his brother, Harry, took on his own son, Carl, and renamed the company to Jno H. Swisher & Son. About ten years later, Carl selected Jacksonville, Florida when looking for a new home for their growing business due to the area’s climate, shipping facilities, and proximity to raw materials and markets. Swisher has been headquartered in Jacksonville ever since.
In 1923, Swisher was the first company to order rolling machines, which transformed the business by cost-effectively mass-producing cigars of great uniformity. The “fresh work” machines went into operation in Jacksonville on June 20, 1924, and by the end of the 1920s, Swisher was making 100 million cigars a year. Swisher was also the first to wrap individual cigars in cellophane and the first to come up with a simple device for removing the cellophane by pulling the cigar band. During the same period and largely due to its investment in money-saving machinery, Swisher was able to cut the price of its King Edward Cigar from 5 cents each to 2 for 5 cents. Sales soared, and by the early 1940s, King Edward was the world’s number one cigar. By 1941, the Jacksonville facility was the largest cigar factory in the world under one roof. It also housed the nation’s first industrial children’s nursery, which opened in 1939.
In the following years, Swisher expanded by opening other facilities for handling, processing, storing and shipping the huge quantities of tobacco needed in Jacksonville. In 1958, the Swisher Sweets brand was introduced, and by 1964, the company was making four million cigars a day. During the next twenty years, Swisher prospered by adding new King Edward and Swisher Sweets products.
In 2014, Swisher acquired Miami-based Drew Estate Tobacco Company, which produces a variety of brands such as ACID, Herrera Estelí, Kentucky Fired Cured, Liga Privada, MUWAT, Natural, Nica Rustica, Nirvana Cameroon Selection, Tabak Especial, UnderCrown, and Java by Drew Estate.
Swisher has continued to expand its offerings to include smokeless tobacco products, premium cigars, and even non-tobacco brands to appeal to diverse and changing consumer tastes. By bringing Hempire pure-hemp rolling papers and innovative Rogue “Nicotine On Demand” products into our lineup, Swisher is setting the standard for inspired enjoyment for adult consumers.