A cigar box label’s charming New Year’s greeting

When I first saw this Happy New Year greeting, I thought Schumacher & Ettlinger must be a cigar company, with offices on 19th Street and Fourth Avenue, as the image states.

Instead, Schumacher & Ettlinger appear to be a lithography company that produced labels for cigar boxes. Makes sense based on their address; Fourth Avenue (Park Avenue South today, of course) was in the city’s publishing and booksellers’ district…close to what became known as Booksellers’ Row in the 20th century.

The first box label carries the date 1893, and the second one doesn’t appear to have a copyright date. Whenever they were produced, I’m sure the person gifted with a box of cigars for the New Year was quite charmed.

[First image: MCNY 40.70.487; second image: MCNY 40.70.486]

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14 Responses to “A cigar box label’s charming New Year’s greeting”

  1. A cigar box label's charming New Year's greeting | Real Estate Investing Says:

    […] Source: FS – NYC Real Estate A cigar box label’s charming New Year’s greeting […]

  2. Victoria Rosen Says:

    I bought a very beautiful collection of antique European cigar box labels that I’ve had for more than 30 years. Would be happy to sell the set now if any suggestions of who might want them. Thanks & Happy New Year.

    On Mon, Dec 28, 2020 at 1:50 AM Ephemeral New York wrote:

    > ephemeralnewyork posted: ” When I first saw this Happy New Year greeting, > I thought Schumacher & Ettlinger must be a cigar company, with offices on > 19th Street and Fourth Avenue, as the image states. Instead, Schumacher & > Ettlinger appear to be a lithography company” >

  3. Tom B Says:

    As a kid I never got tired looking at these Xmas prints. Still like them. I smoke cigars and find the pictures on the boxes and labels intriguing.

  4. Jarrett Ferrier Says:

    Love this! SEX always sells! Very, very much appreciate your efforts on this ‘though I live in DC.

    Schwa Design Group http://www.SchwaDesignGroup.com 202.744.6714 cell

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  5. Mykola Mick Dementiuk Says:

    I remember Bookseller’s Row being below 14th St & 4th Ave, don’t know if it rose above 14 St, maybe? I was just a kid back then and bookseller’s kept their eyes on us as we wandered around the aisles. We were just curious in books, I’ll have you believe…

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      There were a lot of publishers of various things—books, sheet music—congregated around Union Square at the turn of the century. They weren’t booksellers like the Strand and other stores, but part of the same industry, more or less.

  6. kenny Says:

    Imagine the keepsakes and baseball cards saved in those fragrant cigar boxes.
    Happy New Year ENY and New Yorkers wherever you are.

  7. countrypaul Says:

    These almost make we want to take up smoking!

  8. Bob Says:

    Per Walter Grutchfield (https://www.14to42.net/19streete050.html):

    “‘American Lithographic Co’., 50-52 E. 19th St.

    “This inscription above the doorway on the 19th St. side of 44-56 E. 19th St. / 224-230 Park Avenue South marks the home of the American Lithographic Co. The building is a 13-story loft building constructed in 1895. […]

    “The formation of the American Lithographic Co. was announced in The American Art Printer, vol. V, no. 6, January, 1892, p. 162, as follows, ‘Lithographers Join Hands – It is announced that a lithographers’ trust has been formed, consisting of the firms of George S. Harris & Sons, of Philadelphia, Schumacher & Ettlinger, the Knapp Company, F. Heppenheimer’s Sons, Geo. H. Buek, and the Giles Company, all of this city. The trust will be known as the American Lithographic Company, and will have an office here. The capital is said to be $12,000,000. The firms included in the trust say that it is too early to make known the terms of the agreement. The object of the trust is not to cut down prices, but to reduce the cost of manufacture. Competition has been so strong of late that several firms have been driven out of business. The firms mentioned manufacture practically all the cigar labels in the country.’

    “The American Lithographic Co. were located here from 1895 to 1936. Principle (sic) among officers during the early years of the company were Leopold C. Schumacher (1849-1914) and Louis Ettlinger (1845-1927). These two were in business as Schumacher & Ettlinger from 1870 to 1895.

    “On his death Leopold Schumacher received the following notice in the New York Times, 8 Sept. 1914, ‘Leopold C. Schumacher, 64 years old, of 15 North Tenth Avenue, Mount Vernon, died yesterday at his home. Mr. Schumacher was formerly a member of Schumacher & Ettinger [sic], lithographers of this city, and since that company’s incorporation as the American Lithographic Company had been a large stockholder in it. He retired from business four years ago.’

    “Louis Ettlinger received a longer obituary notice, 24 Jan. 1927, reading, ‘Louis Ettlinger, Treasurer of the American Lithographic Company, died on Saturday night at his home, 40 East Seventy-third Street, in his eighty-second year. He leaves two daughters, Mrs. Giles Whiting and Mrs. William A. McFadden. Funeral services will be held at 10 A. M. tomorrow in the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church at Seventy-third Street. The pallbearers will be Joseph P. Knapp, Lucian Oudin. Dr. Fred Whiting and Elliott Daingerfield. Mr. Ettlinger was born in Germany and received his education and early business training there. He came to the United States in 1866 and formed the lithographic firm of Schumacher & Ettlinger, which in 1892 was merged with the new American Lithographic Co. He was a director of the Crowell Publishing Co., publishers of Collier’s Weekly, Woman’s Home Companion, American Magazine, Farm and Fireside the [sic] The Mentor. He was also chairman of the Board of the Persian Rug Manufactory. Deeply interested in horticulture, Mr. Ettlinger, twenty-five years ago, purchased Boscobel, the Henry Ward Beecher estate in Peekskill, where he made his Summer home and continued the famous preacher’s work of transplanting and cultivating trees from foreign countries.’ […]

    “In 1880 the U. S. Census, non-population schedules, recorded the firm of Schumacher & Ettlinger, when they employed 110 hands. Hours in an ordinary day were 9. Skilled mechanics were paid $3.50 per day, ordinary laborers $2.00. They paid $60,000 in wages, and valued the year’s production at $180,000. The building at 32-36 Bleecker St., known as the Schumacher [now high-end condominiums], was constructed in 1882-85 for Schumacher & Ettlinger. They were still in business at this location in 1897 (click for ad from the Scientific American from March, 1897). […]”

    • Bob Says:

      More on the cigar label industry and the original location of Schumacher and Ettlinger, from “The Art of Cigar Boxes” (https://www.cigaraficionado.com/article/the-art-of-cigar-boxes-7767):

      ” […] With 40 percent of the country’s entire 1890 cigar output manufactured in three square miles of tenement factories on the Lower East Side of New York, it is no surprise that nearly all important label printers were located in that neighborhood. The best were run by German immigrants including George Schlegel, O. L. Schwenke, Schmidt & Co., Witsch & Schmitt, Schumacher & Ettlinger and F. Heppenheimers Sons in lower Manhattan and Moehle Litho in Brooklyn. Drop-in traffic was substantial because three of the printers could be found in a single block on Pearl Street; the others were a short walk away.

      “Those seven companies, plus Philadelphia’s George Harris & Sons, accounted for roughly 80 percent of the cigar labels used in this country. Their cigar labels have been hailed by scholars as the highest-quality commercial printing in history. […]

      “The coming of photoengraving and four-color presses coincided with the introduction of modern cigar-making machinery and the closing of fully 80 percent of the American cigar factories in less than a decade. After 1920, labels became less interesting, less varied and, thanks to the cigarette, less plentiful. As factories closed, the remaining stocks of their labels were usually burned. Today, nothing remains of the nineteenth-century cigar factories and label printers except relatively few samples of their work, saved by customers or employees. […]”

  9. Bob Says:

    According to testimony in an 1894 court case between the former partners in the lithography business that went up all the way to the NYS Court of Appeals (see: Ettlinger v. Persian Rug & Carpet Co., 142 NY 189 [1894]), Ettlinger bought out Schumacher in 1890.

    Per Court records, under cross examination, Ettlinger stated, “I have known Mr. Schumacher; we have been together in business with him since 1869 until 1890. We were formerly partners, as Schumacher & Ettlinger, in the lithographing business. We turned that establishment into a corporation, and the amount of stock and bonds issued to us respectively amount to several hundred thousand dollars. […] Mr. Schumacher and myself were engaged in the lithographic business in the city–a coporation. The capital stock of that corporation was $250,000 (sic). I owned of it personally $127,000. Mr. Schumacher owned exactly the same amount–the same sum each. Then there were some small portions of that stock owned by outsiders. I bought out a large portion of Mr. Schumacher’s interest in his stock […]”.

  10. Cigar events: A cigar box label’s charming New Year’s greeting – The Urban Fishing Pole: Cigar Blogger, Lifestyle Says:

    […] A cigar box label’s charming New Year’s greeting […]

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