The Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company (L&M) can trace its roots back to the War of 1812. Christopher Foulks was the owner of a snuff mill in New Egypt, New Jersey. Christopher had the bad luck to have his mill burned to the ground by British soldiers. Around 1820 he moved his family west. Christopher began producing snuff in a small shop in Belleview, Illinois in 1822, then in 1833 moved his tobacco business to St. Louis, Missouri. John Edmund Liggett was the grandson of Christopher Foulks, and he entered his grandfather's business in 1847. By 1858 Christopher's company was known as J. E. Liggett and Brother. This company, together with George Smith Myers of Missouri, founded The Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company in 1873. By 1885 L&M had become the largest manufacturer of plug chewing tobacco in the world. Several early cigarette brands were also made in the St. Louis factory beginning with Crimps Cigarettes in 1878. Crimps was sold in a red and gold pack that pictured the unusual cigarette. Advertising stated that "The laps on Crimps Cigarettes are secured by crimping. There is no paste or glue on them." Early cigarette manufacturers were going out of their way to make sure smokers knew that cigarettes were pure, and that they weren't adulterated with opium or arsenic or the "injurious effect of the oil of creosote." The Sweet Moments Cigarette was L&M's leading cigarette brand, but Sledge, Music, Book, Good Form, Tent and Long Voyage were also produced. John Liggett died in 1897, and two years later the Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company became part of James B. Duke's tobacco trust.
I would like to thank my good friend and fellow tobacco historian Joe Parker of Prince Frederick, Maryland for his guidance in tracing John Liggett's genealogy. The very, very rare Crimps slide & shell packet is from the collection of my good friend Joseph Hudgins of North Carolina.